Rapper cause of Harvard hubbub


Cash Money Records

Rapper Tyga will perform at Springfest on May 8 with Pusha T and Sevyn Streeter.

SUNY Buffalo State Springfest headliner Tyga was a controversial choice when he performed at Harvard last year. But, so far, the choice made by United Students Government has been well received across campus.

After Tyga was booked to play at Harvard’s Yardfest last year, a student who found his lyrics sexist began a protest on Change.org calling for the school to cancel Tyga’s performance. Nearly 1,700 people signed the petition, including current students and alumni and the college’s Student Life Office formally requested that his act be cancelled.

“Tyga is notorious for his explicitly and violently misogynistic lyrics,” the petition read.

In calling for the cancellation of his act, it said, “…we believe that Harvard should not provide a platform for music that promotes sexism and rape culture.”

Harvard decided to keep Tyga, but pushed the timing of his act back so that students who were uncomfortable had a chance to leave before he took the stage. An alternative concert was held for those students at a residence hall on campus.

According to Fatoumatou Binta Barry, associate vice president for public relations for USG and a member of the committee that selected the Springfest artists, USG was not aware of the Harvard controversy when it chose Tyga to perform.

Alexis Childs, head of the committee and a secretary for USG, said that if they had known about it, it “absolutely” would have affected the decision.

Childs said that UPD ran criminal background checks on all the chosen artists to ensure student safety.

However, Childs also said that USG was pressed for time finding artists who weren’t on tour or recording albums.

Students at Buffalo State were not bothered by USG’s choice.

Tasien Sanders, a political science freshman, said he could understand how Tyga’s lyrics could be seen as sexist, but didn’t think they actively promote violence towards women.

“I don’t see him promoting rape,” Sanders said. “He has a wife and he has kids, too.”

Sanders said he was a fan of Tyga and looked forward to seeing him perform.

Sociology junior Mike Rivera also said that he didn’t think Tyga’s lyrics were harmful. He said he didn’t think a controversy like what happened at Harvard was likely at Buffalo State.

“I feel like people just want to stir things up,” Rivera said of the Harvard petition. “It’s just lyrics; it’s making money.”

Rivera said he personally wasn’t a fan of Tyga’s work, but had no problem with him appearing at Springfest. He was impressed that USG was able to book the popular performer.

“It’s pretty cool he’s gonna perform here,” Rivera said. “He’s a well-known rapper.”

Email: [email protected]