Another country has lifted its ban on Tyler, The Creator. According to the New Zealand-based outlet Stuff, the Odd Future founder has been approved to perform at New Zealand’s Bay Dreams Festival in January 2020. New Zealand Immigration has reportedly determined Tyler “is no longer deemed to be a potential threat to public order and the public interest.” The agency told Stuff his visa has been approved and is “currently being processed.”
Tyler’s problems in New Zealand date back to 2011. The Grammy-nominated artist and his fellow Odd Future members were booked to perform at the 2012 Big Day Out Festival, but they were removed from the lineup over concerns about their music’s homophobic content in November 2011.
In 2014, Tyler and Odd Future were banned from New Zealand, preventing the group from being the opening act at an Eminem concert. Following the decision, Slim Shady’s manager Paul Rosenberg spoke out about the ban via Twitter. “Very unfortunate decision by NZ immigration to withdraw Odd Future’s travel visas- while they were on the way to the airport,” Rosenberg wrote. “We do not support any decisions by government agencies or otherwise that result in the suppression of any form of artistic expression.”
Immigration New Zealand issued a statement on the matter, claiming Odd Future was a public threat. “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,” the agency explained. “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 hospitalized following a riot incited by Odd Future.”
Tyler addressed his troubles with New Zealand on the Lil Wayne and Kanye West-assisted track “Smuckers,” which appeared on his 2015 album Cherry Bomb. “I got banned from New Zealand, whitey called me a demon/And a terrorist, God damn it, I couldn’t believe it/Ban a kid from a country, I never fall, never timber/But you fucked up as a parent, your child idol’s a nigga,” he rapped.