Eminem's upcoming New Zealand festival appearance has added two new acts - but lost one in the process.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar pulled out of Rapture - a hip-hop festival being held on Saturday, February 15 at Western Springs - with the Grammy-nominated artist citing "unavoidable scheduling conflicts".

It's a blow for the show: Lamar is considered one of the world's best MCs, he performed a still-talked-about Powerstation show here just over a year ago, and his electric performance at the Grammys with Imagine Dragons was one of the show's highlights.

But there's good news in the form of two replacement acts: acclaimed Los Angeles collective Odd Future, and Australian hip-hop artist 360. Also on the bill are Americans J. Cole and Action Bronson, and Kiwi David Dallas.


In a statement, Lamar apologised to New Zealand fans for skipping New Zealand - he will still perform at the festival's three Australian dates - and promised Odd Future would "kill it".

"New Zealand - sorry I'm missing you this time, but the homies Odd Future will kill it for you and I'm excited for Australia this month."

Odd Future were last here in 2012: they were set to perform at the Big Day Out, but had their performance axed after complaints their homophobic lyrics encouraged "bullying and violence".

They denied they were homophobic, came anyway and performed an incendiary sideshow at Auckland's Powerstation the night before the Big Day Out, before performing all of the Australian dates without incident.

Making the trip to New Zealand for Odd Future - which includes a revolving cast of up to nine rappers - will be ringleader Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Left Brain, Mike G and Taco Bennett. Earl Sweatshirt, who was just here for Laneway, won't be making the trip.

Complaints about hip-hop acts being homophobic are nothing new - Rapture's headliner Eminem has faced criticism throughout his career, most recently for the song Rap God from last year's album The Marshall Mathers LP II.

The rapper responded to complaints by calling his use of derogatory terms "tongue-in-cheek" and saying people were taking it the wrong way. He told Rolling Stone magazine it came from saying whatever he wanted to say during rap battles while he was learning his craft.

Australian artist 360 is little known here: His 2011 single Boys Like You is the only one to chart here at No 33, but his 2011 album Falling & Flying won the Best Independent Hip-Hop Album award at the 2012 Aria Awards. He has a new album due out this year.


Speaking of Aussie musicians, Dub FX is set to perform two shows here in April with Kiwi dance DJ Opiuo and Kid Theo in support. Dub FX, a Melbourne-based street performer, who crafts songs live by sampling and looping his voice to make beats, before rapping over them.

He rose to prominence in a 2008 YouTube video in which he performs the song Love Somebody while busking. It has had more than 18 million views.

He's set to play the James Smith Basement in Wellington on April 17. Tickets are available from Dash Tickets now.

In other tour news, New Orleans metallers Down are set to play a one-off New Zealand show.

Along with Suicide Silence and Depths, Down will perform on Wednesday, March 6 at Auckland's Powerstation.

Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster.

- TimeOut