If APRA Can Reward Misogynist Act ONEFOUR Then Something Needs To Change - Noise11.com

If APRA Can Reward Misogynist Act ONEFOUR Then Something Needs To Change

by Paul Cashmere on May 6, 2024

in News,Noise Pro

A misogynist rap song glorifying violence against women and sex acts has won the APRA Award for Most Performed Hip Hop / Rap song at the 2024 APRA Music Awards.

The track titled ‘Comma’s’ by ONEFOUR ft. CG includes the verse:

In bed with twists and turns
I check my day and see I’m free lad, I got shit to burn
I brush my teeth and hit the road, shit I get straight to work
She wanna sit in bed all day, but this bitch needs to learn

As well as the line “I wake up and she gon’ give me top in her pajamas”, (give me top meaning ‘oral sex’).

The song is published by Sony Music Publishing Australia.

In a week where the Australian Prime Minister has unveiled Australia’s $925 million plan for the ‘Leaving Violence Payment’ and years of restriction in the Australian record industry with top name executives leaving in shame over a toxic workplace culture, it beggars belief how a song that so blatantly confronts the values the music industry is striving for can receive such a prestigious award.

In March 2023, New South Wales Police stopped ONEFOUR from performing at a boxing match at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena.

After that incident NSW Police released this statement. “Police do not tolerate public acts of violence and they also won’t tolerate any behaviour – including music – that clearly incites and provokes retribution and other violent behaviour in NSW.”

The incident was filmed and put on the ONEFOUR socials:

@onefour WHEN THEY SEE US. #FYP ♬ original sound – ONEFOUR

In January this year, Police charged two men over an alleged plot to kill four members of ONEFOUR.

According to reporting by Rafqa Touma of the Guardian with AAP, “A 26-year-old man was arrested in a raid at Cartwright in Sydney’s south-west early on Thursday and was later charged with 20 offences including conspiring to murder and conspiring to detain a person in company.

The other charges covered conspiring to commit armed robbery, weapons and drug offences.
The man was allegedly coordinating a criminal cell taking on contract work, sometimes from rival criminal networks, to carry out serious and violent crime such as murders and kidnappings, according to a New South Wales police statement”.

When Noise11 reached out to APRA for an explanation we were told the song did fit the APRA rules and guidelines. This was their response:

Thanks for your question – it’s an important one. To clarify that as a Most Performed winner, the eligibility criteria and guidelines are as follows:

  •  must have a minimum Australian APRA writer share of 20%
  •  have been released in the 15 month period 1 July 2022 – 30 September 2023.
  •  are determined by domestic performance activity across broadcast, digital downloads, streaming and live revenue sources
  •  reflect earnings, according to APRA’s statistical analysis over the 12 month period 1 October 2022 – 30 September 2023
  •  Here are the full guidelines and eligibility.

APRA AMCOS’ response, attributed to a spokesperson is, “The award in this category is given to the work with the most earnings from streaming, broadcast and live performance in Australia. It is determined by audiences and listeners.”

Upon request for a less dismissive response addressing the issue “My question is about APRA’s moral responsibility to protect the industry and audience. The industry cannot ask/push for responsibility and then allow and reward aggressive content like this to be rewarded” we did not receive a response by the end of last week, over the weekend or at publication this afternoon (Monday, 3 May 2024).

In 2009 APRA awarded Sony Music Australia CEO and Chairman Denis Handlin AO its most prestigious honour in 2009, the Ted Albert Award. That award was revoked in 2021 after Handlin leaving the company over allegations of a toxic workplace, bullying and intimidation.

Clearly the rules can be broken when needed as they were when it came to Mr Handlin.

On a parallel matter, APRA AMCOS released a statement late Friday addressing the ‘lack of diversity amongst the winners, stating the “disparity in the industry of male to women, non-binary and gender diverse award winners”.

Again, if your awards need to be changed to suit diversity, then clearly the best artist is not necessarily going to win. APRA does not have a issue changing the rules to meet diversity but not for glorifying violent acts against women.

The music industry cannot have it both ways. APRA AMCOS cannot do the right thing for the music community when it is rewarding another sector of music same community for glorifying inappropriate behaviour. This cannot be swept under the (red) carpet.

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