Tyler the Creator, Odd Future

Tyler, The Creator, center, holds the award for best new artist as he poses with other members of Odd Future at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. New Zealand immigration authorities have banned Los Angeles rappers Odd Future from entering the country after deciding they pose a threat to public order. (Chris Pizzello / AP / August 29, 2011)

L.A. rap collective Odd Future will have to unpack: Authorities in New Zealand have refused to allow the group into the country for a scheduled appearance Saturday opening for Eminem after deeming it a threat to public order.

"It’s not a decision we take lightly and not one that happens often,” Border Operations Manager Karen Urwin told reporters after announcing that the government would not approve visas for six members of the group.

Odd Future member Tyler, the Creator tweeted “OF is banned from New Zealand, again. They said we were ‘terrorist threats and bad for the society’ or whatever. Sick.” In a follow-up tweet, he added, “I love NZ tho.”

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Immigration officials cited a 2011 incident in Boston in which some witnesses said Odd Future members incited fans to attack police officers.

Urwin said the content of the group’s lyrics were not at issue and that the provision cited for denying the visas was rarely invoked against musicians, and typically used to prevent white supremacists and Holocaust deniers from entering the country.

The Eminem concert is scheduled to be held in an open-air venue in Auckland.


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