Published Apr 11, 2017Hopsin was set to be one of the bigger rap draws for Canadian Music Week's 2017 edition, but now the Los Angeles MC's show has been dropped by the festival over his "violently sexist" lyrics.
As NOW reports, a petition was launched by community activist Erica Shiner last weekend urging organizers to remove the rapper (born Marcus Jamal Hopson) from the bill.
"Canadian Music Week has scheduled violently sexist musician Hopsin to headline a week of musical performances partly funded by both the federal and provincial governments," the online petition reads. "Hopsin's lyrics are riddled with gendered violence."
In particular, the petition makes mention of Hopsin's song "All Your Fault" and its accompanying video, of which Shiner notes "he's not playing a character, and is referred to by his real name, Marcus." The petition highlights the particular lyric, "I fuckin' hate this bitch / Her name can sit on a grave / The only reason she ain't dead is 'cause my kid on the way."
NOW reports that Hopsin was removed from the festival lineup a day after the petition was posted online. Hopsin's show will still continue at the Phoenix Concert Theatre without CMW affiliation, however.
The magazine reports that festival programmer John Kastner wrote an email statement to Shiner, reading, "We have no financial investment in the event, and will not be hosting it on our website or social channels...You have brought to light a very important conversation regarding lyrical content and censorship, and while we recognize the challenges it poses in programming a festival that appeals to a wide variety of people, we aim to uphold a sense of positive values and contributions to our community responsibly."
As of press time, Shiner's petition has collected 50 signatures.
Shiner also started a successful petition against Queens MC Action Bronson in 2015, removing him as the headliner of the city's NXNE festival that year. That petition nearly reached 44,000 signatures.
In September of last year, Hopsin pled guilty to assaulting a woman in Australia and was given a two-year good behaviour bond and 12-month apprehended violence order.
"I'm very appreciative of CMW's decision to remove Hopsin from their programming," Shiner told NOW. "I'm also impressed with the speed at which they responded to this issue once it was brought to their attention. I think the way the Action Bronson petition brought this issue to forefront of public consciousness created a shift in our perspective and our standards for government-funded programming. Women, people of colour, the LGBTQ community and other oppressed groups have the right to demand that our public spaces and public dollars don't go toward art that promotes violence against us."