Sweden: Hip-hop performances cancelled because of controversial lyrics




Hip-hop performances cancelled because of controversial lyrics

The hip-hop group Labyrint from Uppsala was stopped from performing in Växjö and Värnamo after a notice from police authorities saying their lyrics glorify drugs.

Labyrint was scheduled to perform in a youth club in Växjö. But when police drew the attention of the Municipality of Växjö to the group’s lyrics, saying they are ‘drug liberal’, the municipality cancelled the gig, and another concert due to be held in Värnamo was also called off.

The police and municipal action has been critizised on several fronts. Many think it smells like censorship, and that freedom of expression is being curtailed, because the group has not violated any law. The musicians of Labyrint argue that they do not glorify drugs, but rather that they depict the raw and unvarnished reality.

Several Swedish hip-hop artists, producers and journalists have now launched a petition against the act of stopping the hip-hop group from performing. One of them is producer and DJ Salla. He does not believe that the cancellation of the performances was due to songs about drugs, but argues that the group is censored because of it’s ‘uncomfortable’ and socially critical lyrics.

Head of the local police in Växjö, Ola Severinsson, defended the police involvement: “I can not think of a single argument why we should have artists who sing positively about cannabis for children,” he told the national Swedish radio news on SR P3 channel.



Labyrint consists of Sai, Jacco, Dajanko and Aki.


Sveriges Radio, Mitt i Musiken – 5 May 2011:

‘Hiphopgruppen Labyrint stoppades av V

Go to top
Related reading concerning hip-hop on freemuse.org

Back to top