FORT MYERS (AP) — Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott is upset that Florida Gulf Coast University has hired Grammy-winning rapper Ludacris to headline a November concert at a county owned park.
The News-Press of Fort Myers reports Scott emailed university president Wilson Bradshaw regarding the event, called “Eaglepalooza.”
In a series of emails The News-Press obtained through public records requests, Scott challenged Bradshaw to overrule a student group’s decision to bring the nationally known rapper to Southwest Florida.
“I can’t for the life of me begin to imagine why a black university president would sanction such vile content,” Scott wrote.
Scott says Ludacris uses racial slurs in his songs, glorifies violence and sings about illegal drugs. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is also scheduled to play.
Ludacris and Lamar have censored versions that play on the radio, but Scott shared uncensored lyrics in his emails that contain numerous vulgarities, including derivatives of the N-word that “glamorize racial slurs.”
Scott asked his legal department whether he could decline requests for off-duty deputies to work security detail, as it did for a Girls Gone Wild request, or if it could bill the university for an enormous manpower demand by citing “the pattern of local and national trends for heightened violence at these hip-hop shows.” Scott also recommended that Lee County government deny an event permit for the concert, which is slated for Nov. 24 at JetBlue Park.
Bradshaw emailed Scott on Monday saying students had the final say about the talent. Bradshaw also assured the sheriff the school would hire off-duty officers for the event and everyone will be screened by metal detectors.
He declined to comment on issues related to race.
“As a university president — black or white — periodically there are expressed views related to students and faculty that the president doesn’t personally or professionally sanction or share,” Bradshaw wrote. “In this case, our students indicated a strong interest in inviting these performers to Eaglepalooza, and our staff assures me they are doing everything possible to ensure a safe and enjoyable event for the attendees.”
Past Eaglepalooza performers include Pitbull, Flo Rida, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul and LMFAO. This year’s Eaglepalooza budget is $250,000, according to Mike Rollo, vice president for student affairs. The money comes from a student activities fee and ticket sales.