“Rack City” rapper Tyga was announced as Harvard’s Yardfest headliner last week, sparking mixed emotions on campus.
“I don’t really support the lyrics, but I think it’s a step up from last year,” sophomore Linda Zhang told the Harvard Crimson.
Zhang’s complaint, however, is one of nearly 1,500.
A Change.org petition started swirling around the Web over the weekend, asking administrators to consider canceling Tyga due to his “explicitly and violently misogynistic lyrics.” Launched by senior Leah Reis-Dennis, the petition garnered more than 400 signatures in its first hour online, according to the Crimson.
“The problems that pervade Tyga’s music dominate mainstream society and are endemic to Harvard’s campus,” Reis-Dennis wrote in the petition. “Tyga’s invitation to perform at Yardfest provides an opportunity for 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.”
Harvard sophomore Matt Shuham, drummer for The Cantab Cowboys, signed the petition, writing: “I’m playing in the band that will open for the Yardfest artist, who at this time is Tyga. I don’t support his lyrics, or the college’s choice to invite him.”
And alumni have started chiming in, as well, calling this “embarrassing for the entire Harvard community,” as it is “directly opposed to the kind of image and values that an institution like Harvard should be promoting.”
After receiving thousands of signatures Reis-Dennis says the Office of Student Life “will have no choice but to acknowledge student opinion.”
Let’s see if they can’t get PSY of “Gangnam Style” acclaim instead. Would, “Hey, sexy lady” fly?
Photo Courtesy of University of California, Riverside