Tyler The Creator recently made headlines because he was banned from going to Australia and the UK, due to his controversial lyrics. Apparently lyrics from tracks like “VCR,” “Blow,” “Sarah,” “Tron Cat” and “French” have been ruled so obscene, that the UK doesn’t want him in their country. The craziest part? This is nothing new.
Rappers have been banned from various countries plenty of times over the years, for petty offenses like writing inappropriate lyrics from the perspective of an alter-ego, to more serious crimes like battery. Our neighbors in Canada have banned quite a few of the MCs on this list, for a variety of reasons.
50 Cent was banned from Canada in 2005
Canada’s Junior Foreign Minister Dan McTeague said this about 50 Cent: “There are indeed limits and restrictions on freedom of expression. Particularly if they incite hate or if they are the kind of activity that is killing our youths right now across Toronto.”
Apparently, Canada was worried that 50’s presence would incite violence, and they banned him from entering the country to perform. We know Canada doesn’t usually accept American currency, but couldn’t they make an exception for 50 Cent?
Jay Z was banned in China in 2006
In 2006, Jay Z was slated to perform for the very first time in China. The country’s Ministry of Culture decided that Sean Carter’s lyrics were too vulgar for the Chinese public, and they banned him from performing a scheduled concert on Chinese soil.
What could the Chinese government possibly find inappropriate about this slice of Western culture?
Snoop Dogg was banned from the UK in 2006, and AUS in 2007, and Norway in 2012
Snoop’s international problems go deeper than his recent trip to Sweden. In the UK, Snoop and his entourage were involved in a physical altercation when they tried to enter the first class lounge. Then, when Snoop was scheduled to perform at Australia’s Music Video Awards, he was ultimately refused a Visa and banned on “character grounds.” Sounds pretty similar to what Australia recently did to Tyler.
Finally, he was banned from Norway for two years when eight grams of weed was found on him at the Norwegian airport. He probably just got high and forgot he had it, though.
Cam’ron & Vado were banned from Canada in 2010
Vado had a felony on his record and Cam’ron had allegedly brought a machine gun into the country in 2003. This is the reasoning for the Harlem MCs inability to enter Canada back in 2010. Cam’ron would make it back into our northern neighbor for some shows in 2014.
MF DOOM was banned from the US in 2010
Leave it to America to go ahead and ban one of the most beloved underground MCs of all time in 2010. That’s right, MF DOOM, who was born in London before moving with his family to New York, never received proper US citizenship. When he went to return to America in 2010 following a European tour, America wasn’t having it. Apparently legal mumbo-jumbo kept DOOM from returning, and he didn’t even fight it. Instead, he settled down in London and said he’s “done with the United States.”
Occasionally he’ll show up and rock a crowd in England, but US fans will have to hold their breathe for a show on American soil.
The Game was banned from Canada in 2011
When The Game was scheduled to perform in Nova Scotia, he was detained and denied entry. The Compton rapper’s lyrical ties to the Blood gang was too vulgar for Canada, and he was deported back to Cali, Cali.
Lesson learned: you can’t claim to be a gang-banger on record and expect to travel freely between countries.
M.I.A. was banned from leaving the US in 2013
M.I.A. is actually from London, so how did the United States tell her she can’t go home? After her ex filed a restraining order, the Sri Lankan artist was forbidden to leave America with the couple’s son. As a result, M.I.A. had to stay in the country until an agreement between both parties was reached.
Check out her track “Born Free.” (Viewer discretion advised)
Odd Future was banned from New Zealand in 2014
New Zealand said, in an official statement, that Odd Future was “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.” Oddly enough, they were slated to support Eminem, a rapper that has had a historical amount of controversial lyrics, at a festival in New Zealand.
Waka Flocka Flame was banned from Australia in 2015
When Waka had a mini-tour scheduled for New Zealand and Australia, only the former nation allowed the Atlanta rapper to perform. Tour promoter Robin Fernando said, “Unfortunately Waka Flocka’s entry into Australia was denied by the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection, due to his recent arrest(s) on both firearms and drug charges.”
Tyler The Creator was banned from Australia & UK in 2015
Most recently, Tyler The Creator made headlines when he was barred from both Australia and the UK, within a short period of time apart. The Odd Future leader had this to say:
“What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned? Why don’t they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them? There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bullshit song, but you got motherfuckers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?”