By Caitlin Antonios
The lineup for UCI’s annual fall concert Shocktoberfest was announced on Oct. 8 with Famous Dex slotted as the midliner despite a leaked security video from 2016 showing the rapper chasing his girlfriend down a hallway and getting into a physical altercation with her.
Dex has since addressed the incident on popular morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” in April of this year.
“What I learned from that, I learnt a lot,” Dex said. “Not just me putting my hands on a female, I just, me losing my mom, me being new to this music stuff, it was a lot of pressure on me, you know? So I just kinda blanked out right there. God is good. I’m glad everything kinda, you know, it went a different way. It didn’t go, like, far. I didn’t go to jail for it. She didn’t get hurt or nothing. She had my king, she had my son, and I just wanna be forgetting about it.”
According to the video, the altercation in the hallway lasted about 30 seconds before a third party intervened to remove Dex off his girlfriend. Charges were never pressed against Dex. Following the release of the video, Dex tweeted then deleted that his girlfriend at the time had be caught cheating on him which caused the altercation. The rapper was dropped as a collaborator with clothing designer and footwear apparel brand PUMA, who stated in a tweet “PUMA does not condone any act of violence toward women. We do not, nor will we, have any relationship w/ Famous Dex.” Dex had previously modelled a collection for the brand earlier that year.
UCI students have begun to comment online about Famous Dex’s invitation to perform at Shocktoberfest. Like all ASUCI events, Shocktoberfest is funded with student fees procured in part from the Associated Students Fee which for the 2018-2019 academic year amounts to $84 per student as well as some income from ticket sales.
In response to inquiries about Famous Dex performing at Shocktoberfest, Student Services VP Dilraj Toor sent this statement:
I want to start off by saying we do not condone this behavior whatsoever. When choosing artists for events, we try our best to find entertainers who are prevalent and interest students on this campus. Being in this position is hard at times because we want to please everyone on campus, but that is logistically impossible because everyone is so unique with what they are interested in.
In regards to Famous Dex, he is someone that is very prevalent in the music industry and sparks interest in students. All our entertainers for Shocktoberfest are very prevalent right now and artists students want to see, as can be evinced [sic] by our sold out show. Famous Dex’s actions are not something we support, and not something we condone. We ask students to look at this artists simply as that, an artist. The decisions Dexter makes are his own, and we cannot control that or do anything about that.
If the actions of this artist have brought detrimental affects [sic] to any students well-being, I sincerely apologize. I do encourage students to reach out to any of the many resources we have on campus, such as the Counseling Center, The Center Student Wellness & Health Promotion, or any of the other available resources for students.
We hope students understand the position we are in, and once again hope they look at the entertainers as simply entertainers. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at email@example.com with any other comments or remarks.
This response comes in light of the recent resignation and removal of UCI professor and researcher Francisco J. Ayala from the Biological Sciences library and the resignation of professor Ron Carlson after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.
The topic is especially sensitive as the anniversary of the #MeToo movement — which swept Hollywood to hold artists accountable for their misconduct — celebrated its one year anniversary this past week.
Shocktoberfest will also feature LA rapper YG as its headliner and Iamsu! as the opening act. Doors open at 7 p.m. at the Bren Events Center Oct. 19.
Edit: A previous version of this article had indicated the total amount of the Associated Student Fee per year was $1,128. This amount is for the Student Services Fee per student per year. Shocktoberfest funding comes from the Associated Student Fee which is $84 per student per year.