Cupcakes can solve a lot of problems and make negative feelings go away, but can they defuse protest? That seems to be what the guys of Odd Future were hoping for at Pitchfork Festival this weekend. They delivered baked goods not only to fans but to anti-violence groups that were there spreading awareness because of the imagery in their lyrics.
The controversy surrounding the hip-hop collective has been going on pretty much since they started hitting it big, with advocates, groups and other musicians talking about the references to violence, homophobia and rape within their songs.
So this weekend in Chicago, some groups took the opportunity to raise awareness about those very issues. From the video below, it seems the groups like Between Friends and Family Shelter Service were there less to silence the act and more to turn the things they talk about into a platform for discussion.
Tyler, the Creator and company delivered cupcakes to the groups and some of their fans. Judging by Tyler’s tweet and the account of one of the women from the groups, they were trying to prove they’re decent guys. Which they very well may be, but that’s an entirely separate issue from whether or not someone has a problem with their lyrics.
“They took some of the fans, too,” said Amanda Wapiennik with Family Shelter Service. “One of them said, ‘See, we’re nice.’ I said, ‘We never said you weren’t.’ … That’s exactly the kind of dialogue and exchange we’re looking for.”
Of course, the controversy around Odd Future is never really going to die, but the groups at Pitchfork seem to have taken on a productive approach to dealing with it by trying to start a conversation and turning the problematic words into something positive, instead of just trying to make them stop.