Students protest Tyga for Harvard Yardfest
More than 1,400 people have signed an online petition calling on the Harvard Office of Student Life to cancel Tyga’s scheduled appearance at the school’s annual spring concert Yardfest.
The petition, which was launched last night, called the artist misogynistic and said Harvard should not give a stage to “music that promotes sexism and rape culture.” The artist is best known for his single “Rack City” and raps that he “need[s] a b-tich that can f-ck, cook, clean, right” in his song “B-tiches ain’t sh-t.”
In an addendum to the petition added this morning, organizers wrote that while canceling Tyga’s appearance would not solve the larger issues of violence and sexism, it would represent a step in the right direction. In an editorial published today, The Harvard Crimson echoed the petition’s sentiments, saying Tyga’s songs “feature little more than hate speech against women.”
“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,” The Crimson wrote. “His message goes against everything that Harvard should be saying to its students about sex and self-worth.”
The online petition has continued to garner steam. One person who signed the petition claimed to be a member of a band opening for Tyga at the concert.
Yardfest is scheduled for April 13.
Read the full petition below:
The College Events Board announced last Wednesday that Tyga, a hip-hop artist known for the hit single “Rack City” will headline this year’s Yardfest. Tyga is notorious for his explicitly and violently misogynistic lyrics. In his song “Bitches Ain’t Shit,” Tyga raps, “Need a bitch that can fuck, cook, clean, right. Turn a bitch out, make her lick twice.” In “Bitch Betta Have My Money,” Tyga raps, “Shut the fuck up and jump on this dick. Nothing but a motherfucking skank. Fuck what you talking bout and fuck what you think.”
We hope that the College Events Board can find a different headliner for Yardfest. However, we believe that a Yardfest without a headliner would be better than a Yardfest that amplifies misogyny and violence. We demand that Harvard rescind its offer to Tyga, because we believe that Harvard should not provide a platform for music that promotes sexism and rape culture.
We understand that Tyga is not representative of hip-hop as a genre, nor do we hope to position hip-hop and feminism in opposition to each other. We recognize that other performers at Harvard sanctioned events have problematic lyrics and regret that opposition campaigns were not launched towards these artists as well.
The problems that pervade Tyga’s music dominate mainstream society and are endemic to Harvard’s campus. 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.