ONEFOUR‘s management have opened up about the ways authorities have allegedly impeded the Mount Druitt drill group’s attempts to tour and perform shows.
Earlier this week, NSW Police’s acting assistant commissioner, Jason Weinstein, spoke to The Daily Telegraph for a story about police warning that drill and rap music was inciting violence.
Weinstein indicated that police may request streaming services and social media platforms take down drill songs and posts that they believe are “being weaponised to basically inflame” gang violence, fuelling “postcode wars”.
At the time, Weinstein said that authorities “don’t have the power to stop anything such as concerts or songs or what people post”, but that NSW Police would “take action in relation to content that contains material inciting violence or criminal activity” by communicating takedown requests to online platforms.
Weinstein’s claim that police are unable to stop concerts doesn’t align with comments that NSW Police made in 2019, after ONEFOUR’s planned Australian tour was cancelled. At the time, they admitted they had successfully “shut down” the group’s concerts.
Speaking to the ABC in 2019, Sergeant Nathan Trueman advised ONEFOUR they wouldn’t be performing in front of Australian fans. He added: “I’m going to use everything in my power to make your life miserable, until you stop doing what you’re doing. Every aspect of your life. I’m going to make it uncomfortable for you.”
Since then, ONEFOUR have consistently reaffirmed that police pressure had been stopping them from performing anywhere in Australia. Now, speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, manager Ricky Simandjuntak disputed Weinstein’s claims, saying police had employed numerous tactics to stop the Western Sydney group from performing live.
“Usually, when it comes to shows, they don’t shut us down directly, so they press the venue, threaten to investigate past discrepancies, and put pressure on venues and agents not to do business with ONEFOUR,” Simandjuntak told the publication.
“We’ve had cases where they’ve asked festival promoters or venues not to book ONEFOUR. We’re used to it by now; when you’re the first out of the gate, you get made an example of, and the NSW Police are often trying to make an example of ONEFOUR.”
Simandjuntak also indicated that authorities’ attempts to quell the group’s success were having the opposite effect. “They should’ve learned their lesson last time,” he added. “When you try to ban something, that’s the way to get it popping.”
ONEFOUR have, despite the police pressure, managed to find ways to perform in Sydney this year. In May, they performed at a party for fashion brand Ksbui, delivering recent single ‘CAP’, 2019 cuts like ‘The Message’ and ‘Ladz in the Hood’, and more.
Later that week, they joined The Kid LAROI onstage during the rapper’s Sydney show at Qudos Bank Arena, performing their collaboration ‘My City’ along with ‘Shanks and Shivs’ and ‘Spot the Difference’.
“These guys have been banned from performing in Australia, and guess what? I don’t fuck with that,” LAROI said when welcoming ONEFOUR to the stage. “So tonight, I’m gonna fucking give them what they deserve, and they’re gonna come out here and do a few songs for us.”