New Zealand Bans Odd Future Ahead Of Performance

Immigration New Zealand barred the hip-hop collective from entering the country because of a "threat or risk to public order."
Posted at 12:08 AM, Feb 14, 2014

Tyler, The Creator and hip-hop collective Odd Future will be notably absent from a New Zealand music festival after authorities banned them from entering the country. 

The group was scheduled to play at the Rapture festival in Auckland along with Eminem before New Zealand immigration officials denied their visas Wednesday. (Via The New York Times)

"The rappers came under fire for gay slurs and references to raping women. ... Immigration says six Odd Future members are a potential risk to public order and have incited violence at past performances." (Via TVNZ)

If you've never heard of Odd Future, they are a Los Angeles-based hip-hop group that has been compared to the likes another hip-hop act, the Wu-Tang Clan. (Via Rolling Stone)

A number of sub-groups perform under the name Odd Future, but most of the attention has been on the group's frontman, Tyler, the Creator. 

Tyler won "Best New Artist" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and has recently collaborated with the producer who dominated 2013, Pharrell. (Via Columbia Records)

In a statement, Immigration New Zealand said, "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." (Via The New Zealand Herald)

One of those reasons is a 2011 Boston appearance in which Odd Future was accused of inciting a crowd from the roof of a building. One officer was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. (Via WFXT)

Karen Urwin, the border operation manager for Immigration New Zealand, told 3 News the ban is "Generally it's aimed at organisations like white supremacists," but added "the key thing is that Tyler the Creator wasn't there. I think he seems to be, from what I can see, one of the main instigators."

Tyler hit back at New Zealand Immigration officials on Twitter, saying "THE IRONY IS THAT, WE CANT GET IN TO OPEN FOR EMINEM. ... LIKE HE DIDNT MAKE 'KILL YOU' OR 'KIM,'" two tracks very explicit tracks in their own right. He later tweeted, "I LOVE NZ THO," along with a picture the official rejection letter from Immigration New Zealand.

Odd Future was scheduled to replace Kendrick Lamar at the Rapture festival. There's no word on who will fill in for them.