Published Apr 21, 2016After having his headlining show at NXNE in 2015 petitioned and then subsequently axed, New York MC Action Bronson has found himself removed from performance slots elsewhere a handful of times since. The latest instance comes from Hartford, CT, where a scheduled performance at Trinity College has been cancelled following student outcry.
A statement from the president, vice-president and executive board of the college's Barnyard Entertainment (the entertainment branch of student government) apologizes for not conducting "a thorough enough check into the content of Action Bronson's lyrics and music videos" before booking him, and cites the Change.org petition "Remove Action Bronson from Trinity College's Spring Weekend Concert" as an important part of their decision making. You can find their complete statement below.
"As both students and student leaders, we fully agree that it is not only certain songs by Action Bronson that go against the school's mission. The very act of bringing him to this campus runs counter to the College's obligation to protect the emotional and physical safety of its students," the statement reads. "As the Executive Board of EAC Barnyard, we believe that protecting the safety of our students is our top priority."
The decision comes after Bronson was removed from the bill for George Washington University's Spring Fling event earlier this month. Following that removal, the rapper released a statement acknowledging his past mistakes, which you can find below.
To the Students at George Washington University and the public at large:
I'm writing this letter to hopefully bring clarity to some misconceptions about who I am as an artist and as a person. It has become clear to me that things have reached a point which makes me feel the need to address the issues raised so that we can bring some understanding and healing to the table, so to speak. I can't continue to walk around with the thought that people are thinking these things about me that are far from who I really am.
Five years ago in 2011, I wrote a song called "Consensual Rape" that admittedly contains lyrics and a general sentiment of violence towards woman which I never meant to represent who I am but rather to depict a story. I approach my music as other types of artists approach their work, and I don't always intend the stories that I tell, the characters that I play in them or the lyrics I lay down to be taken literally. The songs I make aren't any different than a director creating a movie, or an author writing a book meaning they contain scenes or things happen in them that aren't meant to be anything but an artistic expression- just a song, a book or a film. I've never performed "Consensual Rape" at a concert, and I don't plan to.
Regardless, I understand that when it comes to musicians, and more specifically rappers, the lyrics I say are taken to heart many times as a representation of my beliefs or true feelings. SO please let me make this very clear: I think rape and acts of violence toward woman are DISGUSTING. I would never condone anything remotely close to that type of behavior, and it's certainly not what I'm about at all. But, the song in question has caused people discomfort and pain and I'm sincerely sorry about it. It was not my intention to hurt people when I made it years ago, and I certainly will be much more sensitive on this matter moving ahead.
Similarly, there has been some attention placed on a insensitive Instagram post I made years ago regarding me inappropriately labelling someone as transexual and being disrespectful to them in a way that is not ok. I have sat with members of the LGBT community recently in an effort to understand how to avoid being hurtful and insensitive towards these issues moving forward. I have never had any issues with anyone's sexual orientation or gender transitioning. I'm far, far from perfect and I recognize my flaws and I'm making an effort to grow and be a better human.
Thanks for reading this.