with reporting contributed by Kimon Triantfyllou
SPEC’s decision to rescind Tyga’s invitation is the latest in invitation-induced controversies to descend upon Penn’s campus. The trouble began with the publication of Tyga lyrics across campus, peppered with such choice phrases as “Treat her like a dog, called the bitch lassy” and “Bitches stand on their feet, handicap get out of your seat.” This culminated with a petition signed by faculty and students against allowing Tyga to perform at this year’s Spring Fling.
The backlash thus far has been astonishing. At a rate of 15 articles a day, the Daily Pennsylvanian has covered the story with admirable passion. With each article receiving around 243 comments, clear lines have been drawn in the virtual sand. One especially persistent commenter, going by the name “Free My N***a Tyga” described the decision as “an irrevocable breach of the social contract upon which this educational institution resides.”
From Tyga’s native city of Los Angeles busloads were trucked in to protest the move. Marching along Locust Walk, they brandished signs reading, “Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom, no such thing as public liberty and no such thing as bitches on the side.” With the song “Rack City” blasting, the crowd continued to march. College sophomore Hank Grassman was walking by the scene and described it as “A cool thing to see on a Saturday. So, what is this?”
The demonstration was mistaken for a block party by many of the Greek organizations along Locust and fraternity brothers soon moved in to the milieu, hands full with kegs and solo cups. It was only twenty minutes into the protest that many brothers realized they were moving along with the crowd and hoisting up placards displaying Tyga with a halo around his head. The confusion was neutralized when the brothers were informed that they were supporting the composer of “Rack City” and soon they integrated with the protest, enthusiastically chanting, “We want Tyga!”
Tyga released an official statement on his Twitter account that denounced the university, laconically accusing faculty of being “gay about the whole thing” and adding, “Fuck UPenn.” There has been a strong show of support in favor of Tyga in the music industry, with the Philadelphia Orchestra playing an instrumental rendition of “Bitch Betta Have My Money” last weekend, to which they received a standing ovation.
Faculty members have been flummoxed by the demonstrations. One professor who wished to remain anonymous lest he become the next target of pro-Tyga protestors, remarked “I haven’t seen this much drama over an invitation since my sister forgot to send her cousin a save the date for her wedding.” But the protests go on. In the eloquent words of “Free My N***a Tyga”, “the fight will continue until every rap-ophobe, communist, Marxist, fascist, socialist, Bolshevik, Menshevik and radical gets out of the way of my liberty.”