Controversial rap collective Odd Future have been denied entry to New Zealand having been 'deemed a threat to public order' by Immigration officials, who yesterday revoked the group's earlier approved visa's. The hip-hop group were scheduled to perform at the Rapture festival while supporting Eminem, but officials denied 6 OF members entry to the country, claiming that the band has incited riots and violence against police officers in the past.
According to The Guardian, the incident in question took place in 2011 when Tyler The Creator, the group's leader, was alleged to have insulted police officials while they attempted to control possible overcrowding at an autograph signing by the band in a comic book store in Boston. The same year, the group were removed from the Big Day Out Festival in Auckland, with the City Council objecting to their offensive lyrical content, however this time around officials have denied that OF are being refused due to lyrics.
"If we banned people who used swear words, we wouldn't have many people left in New Zealand," said Border Operations manager Karen Irwin.
The full statement released by Immigration New Zealand to 3 News was as follows:
"The Immigration Act 2009 provides that entry permission may not be granted where there is reason to believe there is, or is likely to be, a threat or risk to public order or the public interest."
"Odd Future has been deemed to be a potential threat to public order and the public interest for several reasons, including incidents at past performances in which they have incited violence. In one instance, a police officer was hospitalised following a riot incited by Odd Future."
In response, OF manager Christian Clancy tweeted: "sorry new zealand apparently this group of kids that have inspired the shit out of me for the last few years are a threat to society. ... and thanks for the hour before flight heads up. after approving and issuing visas."
Also speaking on Twitter, Tyler was a little more blunt about his feelings: 'OF IS BANNED FROM NEW ZEALAND, AGAIN. THEY SAID WE WERE 'TERRORIST THREATS AND BAD FOR THE SOCIETY' OR WHATEVER. SICK. THEY ARE ANTI GOLF'
While it's true that the band have often provoked outrage with their misogynistic and homophobic lyrics, this seems a tad over the top for a group that possess major criminal records and perhaps hypocritical considering they guy they were scheduled to perform with has probably outdone them tenfold in the controversy department, what with threatening to murder his wife and carrying a chainsaw around on stage.
Interestingly, earlier this year on January 27th, OF member Earl Sweatshirt played the Laneway Festival in Auckland with no issue surrounding his entry.