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McDonald's drops Twista from tour
Twista, who was tapped by McDonald's to perform during its
nationwide concert series, has been dropped from the lineup because of
his "controversial lyrics," the fast food giant said Monday. The
Chicago MC is better known for his lightning-fast rap delivery than
particularly raunchy content: His hits include "Slow Jamz," with Kanye
West and Jamie Foxx, and "Overnight Celebrity." However, he does use
explicit language and reference drugs in his some of his rhymes. McDonald's,
which initially signed Twista to perform in Chicago for its 10-city
concert series, said it could no longer support him for the Aug. 7
performance. "Although we respect free speech and artistic
expression, we do not condone or perpetuate derogatory language," said
spokesman William Whitman in a statement. "We want to ensure these free
concerts are fun as well as appropriate for all of our customers." When asked why they booked Twista, given his content, the company referred back to the statement.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Twista said that in some ways,
he was surprised by the announcement, "especially after hearing from
certain people that represented McDonald's that they were fans of the
music and they were excited about the whole thing and that they backed
me, and then to hear a few a days later that I was actually not on the
show." However, he blamed the increased criticism of hip-hop
in the wake of the racial flap over former CBS radio and MSNBC
broadcaster Don Imus for putting pressure on the corporate giant to
drop him from the series. "They started hearing things...
feeling like they were getting a little flak, and I felt like rather
than stick by me and stick through it, they got scared," Twista said. "I've
been rapping the same way for 15 years. It only became a problem when
Don Imus said something negative about black women and they needed a
scapegoat." After Imus was fired, some critics decried what they considered a double standard for MCs who often use derogatory terms about women. Increased pressure was put on record labels to clean up offensive content. Twista said
that typically, when he performs at events that are more mainstream and
that attract kids, he cleans up his lyrics, and had intended to do so
for the Chicago performance. "I was actually going to have a
school with a choir come sing the song 'Hope' with me. So now...
McDonald's have to tell the kids that they can't perform."
-- The Associated Press
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