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Rick Ross concert completely cancelled following criticism

After protests over the alleged promotion of sexual violence in Ross’ lyrics, and the withdrawal of CUSA’s support for the concert in an April 5 statement, Urban Jamz cancelled the concert citing “security concerns.” (File photo)

The Ottawa Rick Ross concert has been cancelled, according to promotion company Urban Jamz’s Twitter account.

The announcement comes after the Carleton University Students’ Association released a statement on April 5 saying it was completely pulling its support from the show.
Urban Jamz’s Twitter account said, “Due to the protest surrounding Rick Ross latest song “U.O.E.N.O.” the concert on Apr 09, is canceled because of security concerns.”

The Carleton University Students’ Association (CUSA) decided to hold this year’s Pandamonium concert with a company run by a former CUSA president, despite their University of Ottawa counterparts objecting and pulling out of the agreement.

Obed Okyere was CUSA’s president in 2011-12, before Alexander Golovko’s term in 2012-13. He is the registered director of Urban Jamz Enterprise, the company CUSA is organizing the Pandamonium concert with. This is the first year CUSA will be working with the company.

Pandamonium concert tickets were bought by CUSA for a higher price than the $20 they were being sold to Carleton students at.

Okyere said exact details of the contract are unavailable as it has not been made public. He said he could only reveal the contract and the exact cost he sold the tickets at if CUSA allowed him to release the contract.

Former CUSA president Obed Okyere is the director of the company promoting the Rick Ross concert. (File photo by Lewis Novack)

Okyere initially denied involvement with the company, but later acknowledged that he is a director and helped incorporate Urban Jamz.

The tickets were sold to students “at cost,” according to a CUSA statement.

Urban Jamz was incorporated March 7, 2013, according to the federal business registry.

The company’s Internet domain was created March 12, according to domain registration information. The identity and contact information of who registered the domain are not available.

On March 13, Rick Ross was announced on Twitter as the headliner of the Pandamonium concert.

The concert has sparked frustration and discussion on campus due to lyrics believed to promote rape culture in a song featuring Ross, where he raps, “Put molly all in her champagne / She ain’t even know it / I took her home and I enjoyed that / She ain’t even know it.”

Although Pandamonium has traditionally been a co-operative event between CUSA and the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), the SFUO has distanced itself from the event.

The SFUO withdrew from selling tickets this year, opposing the choice of Rick Ross as the performer, the cost of the concert, and the legitimacy of Urban Jamz, according to SFUO vice-president (social) Jozef Spiteri.

Spiteri said CUSA vice-president (student life) Tomisin Olawale approached him in the summer with the idea of featuring Ross.

“I can’t do Rick Ross, that’s out of the question,” Spiteri said he responded.

He said he suggested other artists to CUSA, which were refused, as well as other promotion companies, which were also refused.

Spiteri said CUSA refused to work with Kevin Duffy, a promoter who has worked on Pandamonium in the past and who advised CUSA against having Ross.

Okyere said he acknowledged that part of the reason for SFUO’s withdrawal from the concert was the federation’s unfamiliarity with Urban Jamz.

He said that CUSA had been spending too much money with its past promoters relative to the amount of people attending.

“We wanted to start concerts targeting the hip hop market in Ottawa,” he said.

In December, Spiteri said he requested a budget for the concert from Olawale. It came forwarded from Urban Jamz without a name.

He said he did not trust the budget he received.

“From what I saw it was completely over-budget, and from the numbers I saw [CUSA] was looking to make a profit off the students,” he said.

He said that was the “nail in the coffin” for SFUO, and they pulled out of Pandamonium.

Although no longer selling tickets in the Unicentre atrium, CUSA is still selling tickets out of their front office for $20.

Olawale could not be reached for comment, and Golovko was not available for comment.

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