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Aus Hip Hop Community Responds To Eso’s Misogynistic Photos

Written by Nastassia Baroni on September 3, 2014

The Australian hip-hop community has come out in force with their reaction to the recent actions of Bliss N Eso‘s Max MacKinnon, who apologised yesterday for publishing a series of misogynistic photos. Many have condemned the MC for his actions, while also acknowledging a wider problem facing the Australian hip-hop scene.

MacKinnon, also known as MC Eso, had posted a series of sexist photos with various waxworks celebrities on a recent visit to Madame Tussauds in Hollywood. Amongst the photos was one that showed the MC threateningly holding his fist up to Rihanna, as a nod to her 2009 assault by then-boyfriend Chris Brown.

It was captioned, “Where did ya throw those fuckin car keys woman!?!” and “#smackmybitch #shelovesthewayithurts”.

MC Eso has since removed the images, which also included lewd photos with a wax Raquel Welch and Lady Gaga, and has apologised, saying they were shot in a “comedic manner, which upon reflection I realise was in bad taste and unacceptable”. He added that, “The photos were not intended to promote violence.”

The MC was met with a barrage of online backlash following the posts, including comments from other artists in the Australian hip hop community who have at once condemned Eso for his actions, while also acknowledging the existence of sexism in Australian hip-hop today.

Sydney MC and producer Chance Waters took to his Facebook page to craft an eloquent response, calling for a more open discussion about “male attitudes towards women within the hip-hop scene”. He says that Eso has “done the right thing” by apologising for the posts and urges avoiding a media “witch-hunt” against the MC as “there are simply much bigger fish to fry”.

“When a generally progressive and well liked artist who himself would never engage in violence against women feels comfortable engaging in obvious misogyny there is evidence of a much bigger problem – I feel this probably goes for all of us,” he wrote.

Fellow Sydney-based MC The Tongue penned an open letter, published on The Vine today, making clear to fans that Eso “does not speak” for the entire Australian hip-hop scene. “We are progressive, we are positive, we want to change the world for the better with music,” he writes.

“That’s what our heroes did. We are saddened when we see the potential to do this thrown away in exchange for a gimmick or money or, in this case, for a cheap laugh at the expense of abused women.”

Elefant Traks‘ Urthboy has also condemned Eso’s behaviour, drawing attention to the lyric from Bliss N Eso and M-Phazes‘ 2010 track Walk On Clouds, where Eso actually raps, “hitting that bitch like Chris Brown”. “No one made a deal. Can’t remember a single mention. We are complicit,” said Urthboy.

That sentiment was echoed by Sydney MC Thomas Rock, who warned against “pretending” that Eso is the only one in Australian hip hop that has this attitude. “Please, tell the world, especially young men, what Eso did is wrong,” he wrote. “But don’t act like we haven’t all been down with it for a long time.”

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