Tyler the Creator, the controversial rapper from L.A. group Odd Future, was arrested Saturday for inciting a riot on Thursday during SXSW, an annual music, film and technology festival in Austin, Texas.
The police also released a video (watch above) that shows him encouraging the crowd stuck outside his already-at-capacity show at the Scoot Inn to push down the barricades, and charge in. Police said Tyler, "Encouraged behavior causing immediate danger and injury to persons."
Spin reporter Garrett Kamps was on-site during the chaos at the Converse/Thrasher "Death Match" Thursday afternoon, and wrote this intense description:
"All you guys back there that can't get in," he said — then implored the mob to bust down the gates. There was a split second when it seemed like the crowd wasn't going to do it, a possibility Tyler extinguished as he led the audience in a chant of "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!"
And just like that, hundreds of people came rushing through the gates. I happened to be directly in their path when they did, and it felt like being hit with a wave: I pinged off this person and that person before stabilizing myself and catching my breath. I noticed the futile attempts of the security guards: a shit-kicker Joe Arpaio-type at the door tackled someone; another, meeker dude tried a clothesline that didn't work. It was of little use: the handful of guards were pushed aside like twigs in a flood. Someone came rushing to the sound booth where I'd moored myself and yelled at the sound guy to turn the music off. He did. I looked behind me and, to my horror, saw that they were locking the gates.
Kamps also reports the venue turned the sound back on to try to prevent a full-blown riot, and Tyler completed a 20-minute set. There were other reports that police subsequently arrived and used pepper spray to clear the venue.
Later that night, Tyler tweeted:
Last night, however, he seemed to get the message.
Making the riot incitement even crazier was that it happened less than a day after Tyler the Creator was preparing to go onstage at The Mohawk, when suspect Rashad Owens drove into a crowd of people waiting to see him, killing two and injuring 23. Owens was charged with capital murder.
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