Review: As Destructo, HARD Events’ Gary Richards drops tasteless video with YG

In the “What was he thinking?” department comes the new video from Gary Richards, founder of Live Nation’s HARD Events subsidiary.

Richards, whose annual Hard Summer festival just concluded, makes EDM music as Destructo, and is signed to Insomniac/Interscope Records. The 2012 sale of HARD to Live Nation earned Richards a windfall, and as part of the deal he joined the corporation to help work on its dance music initiatives. The attention also proffered him access to a larger platform for his production work as Destructo.

That may not be a good thing.

Depending on your perspective, Richards’ success as an entrepreneur has either emboldened or blinded him, as evidenced by the antics he celebrates in the clip for his recent track with L.A. rapper YG, called “Party Up.”


Utilizing too many embarrassingly sexist rap tropes to count, the video -- or what the press release calls “a cinematic clip” -- takes place in a rolling party bus packed with strippers, poles, YG, Richards and a few hangers on. Then there’s the chorus: “I keep bitches on the party bus.”

Really, that’s all you need to know, because all four unfortunate minutes embody that profound declaration. The EDM executive and/or YG not only keep “bitches” on the party bus (like, all the time or do they ever get to go home?), they fling cash at them, grind on them while mouthing cliches and cussing. Destructo works to look street-sanctioned at every step, proving it most obnoxiously by not editing out YG’s use of the n-word. He uses a woman as his DJ table. He makes out with a bikinied girl in a bunny mask. He throws more money at them.

As Richards said of the process in the “making of” video on Vevo: “We got some girls. We got a party bus.”

That’s the depth we’re dealing with here. What he didn’t have, apparently, is someone to pull him aside and ask him a few hard questions about race, gender and perception.

Then again, it could have been worse. As music writer Philip Sherburne noted on Twitter after lambasting “Party Up”: “On the other hand, at least it’s not the outright violent misogyny of his ‘Technology’ video, so... an improvement?”

You can watch the video by clicking below, but be warned: it’s not safe for work (or your IQ).


Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit