New Zealand refuses entry to rap group Odd Future

Immigration authorities there have barred rap group Odd Future from entering the country, saying that the group "has been deemed to be a potential threat to public order."

Story highlights

  • Odd Future are "deemed to be a potential threat to public order," immigration service says
  • Officials point to 2011 concert in Boston that left a police officer hospitalized
  • Group leader Tyler the Creator still "loves NZ" but calls the government's decision "sick"

Odd Future has no future in New Zealand -- at least for now.

Immigration authorities there have barred the rap group from entering the country, saying that the group "has been deemed to be a potential threat to public order."

Six performers from the group were set to be the opening act for rapper Eminem during a tour there later this month.

"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," Immigration New Zealand said in a statement.

Karen Urwin, border operations manager for Immigration New Zealand, pointed to an incident in 2011 at an Odd Future concert in the United States that left a police officer hospitalized.

Urwin also said that the group's leader, Tyler the Creator, riled up his fans last year against an Australian woman who had been part of an effort by a feminist group to have his visa revoked. He rewteeted her tweets, which led to threats and harassment, media reports say.

The group, whose full name is Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, has been criticized by feminists for what they call misogynist lyrics.

Urwin said it is the first time that the regulations have been used to keep a performer out of the country.

"It's a section in our legislation we don't use very often, but they are clearly on the extreme edge of the music spectrum" she said, explaining that the law is more commonly used to block the entry of Holocaust deniers, Hells Angels bikers or hard-line Muslim preachers.

Tyler the Creator fired back on Twitter.

"They said we were 'terrorist threats and bad for the society' or whatever," he wrote on Twitter. "Sick."

He went on to point out what he saw as a bit of hypocrisy by the government.

"The irony is that, we cant get in to open for Eminem. HAHAHAHA, like he didn't make 'Kill You' or 'Kim'," he wrote. "HAHAHAHAHA"

But he went on to say that although he was down on the government, he still "loves NZ."

And Urwin said that this wasn't a lifetime ban.

"We would entertain the idea of having them come back," she said "As long as they change the direction of some of their message and mellow their attitude."