On Tuesday, May 26 a group of concerned Torontonians created a petition to remove NYC rapper Action Bronson from NXNE’s lineup on Sunday, June 21 at Yonge-Dundas Square. Action’s lyrics could be construed as celebrating gang rape and promoting misogyny, and it puts any compnay working with him in a stange place – far be it for anyone to want outright censorship in music, but as the performance is happening at a city-owned and administered venue, there’s going to be outrage over an artist on public property whose lyrics they deem misogyny and violent. The petition has spawned a passionate online discussion and this morning, NXNE has just released a statement to address this topic.
Action Bronson performed at Yonge-Dundas Square as part of NXNE in 2012 with Killer Mike, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. It was a positive concert that was described by reviewers as “laid back”, “a lot of fun” and a “world class hip-hop showcase”. NXNE is confident the lineup on June 21 at Yonge-Dundas Square will make for another enjoyable day of music in a public space.
“NXNE will also present a number of rap artists at various venues, such as Tink and Kate Tempest, who have be lauded for the undisguised feminist viewpoints in their music.” says Sara Peel, Managing Director of NXNE. “That being said, in the interest of moving forward in a positive manner, we are engaging in discussion with our community about this important issue, and looking to provide opportunities for concerned voices to be heard.”
NXNE believes each and every one of these artists have the right to express their views through music, but those views belong to them and them alone. Those who are offended by an artist are invited to check out other Festival showcases, as NXNE will present hundreds of artists this June – some may be considered controversial, but most are just plain fun.