A group of nearly 30 protesters staged a “die-in” at USC outside an auditorium where pop-rapper Iggy Azalea performed Thursday night.
The demonstration was just one of hundreds happening across the nation in response to grand juries deciding not to indict white officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, unarmed black men, earlier this year.
“We want to be very clear about the fact that black culture seems to be loved a lot more than black people [in this country],” said Lauryn Riley, one of the protest organizers.
Riley, a third-year law student from Maryland, said they targeted Azalea’s show because attendees would be privy to what is going on nationally.
But the protest at the concert -- a free gig as part of Yahoo’s On The Road tour, which brings artists to college campuses nationwide -- came as Azalea, along with a slew of other white artists, are being heavily criticized. They have been catching flack for not speaking out against social issues largely effecting black people despite their music and aesthetics being inspired by black culture.
Fellow rapper Azealia Banks recently took to Twitter, voicing her discontent with Azalea after the Garner-related decision was released.
“It’s funny to see people like Igloo Australia silent when these things happen,” Banks wrote, obviously in reference to Azalea, who is from Australia. “Black Culture is cool, but black issues sure aren’t huh?”
Banks continued, quoting comedian Paul Mooney: “Everybody wanna be black, but don’t nobody wanna be black.”
The “Fancy” rapper would respond hours later tweeting, in part: “There’s more to sparking a change than trolling on social media. World issues shouldn’t be used as a poor excuse to promote fan battles…”
Azalea then tweeted out a “Bustle” article titled “5 Ways You Can Help Ferguson, Its Protesters, and Mike Brown’s Family.” Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus have also been called out by detractors.
Protesters hoped to disrupt the performance, however Azalea’s show -- which was also live streamed -- went off without a hitch.