Harvard University may scrap a scheduled concert performance by rapper Tyga due to a student protest over lyrics that critics are calling misogynistic, the Boston Globe reports.
Tyga, a rapper best known for "Rack City," was announced last week as the headliner for Harvard's Yardfest on April 13. The choice quickly generated a backlash online, and now the college is weighing whether to cancel the hip hop star's appearance.
"The College's Office of Student Life has asked the College Events Board and Concert Commission to re-evaluate the invitation to Tyga in light of the concerns raised by students that the performer's lyrics are offensive and hurtful to many in our community," Harvard spokesman Jeff Neal told the Boston Globe.
A petition on Change.org calling for the performance to be canceled gathered more than 1,800 signatures so far, 1,200 of which came within 24 hours, according to Boston Magazine. (Harvard has roughly 10,000 undergraduates.)
Note: This article contains explicit language that some readers may find objectionable.
The petition says it's not necessarily about Tyga, but about what his music represents:
Violence and sexism are not unique to Tyga's music; deeper, systemic changes must be made. However, Tyga's invitation to perform at Yardfest provides an opportunity for a tangible, if short term, response to rape culture. Activism surrounding Tyga's performance at Harvard should not be divorced from activism around larger structural issues of race, gender, and homophobia.
The petition points to lyrics it characterizes as "misogynistic." One example is a line from a YG track "Bitches Ain't S***,” in which Tyga raps, "Need a bitch that can f***, cook, clean, right. Turn a bitch out, make her lick twice."
The Harvard Crimson called for the cancelation of the performance in a staff editorial posted Monday:
At a university whose students have recently gone to great lengths to combat rape culture, where all students should feel both safe and valued, putting Tyga onstage at a campus-wide event is wholly inappropriate. His message goes against everything that Harvard should be saying to its students about sex and self-worth.
Other Ivy Leaguers have taken notice, too. In a Daily Pennsylvanian column, facetiously titled "In Tyga's defense," Penn sophomore Jason Fernandes notes that the rapper's music could be considered "hate speech with a catchy beat."