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Lil Wayne and my boy/serial pocket dialer* Rich Homie Quan are playing a show at Florida State next Friday, October 28th. To promote that show, a poster was made, as is tradition. That poster was Florida State themed. Specifically, it was Florida State Seminole themed. A rearing horse stood behind Weezy as he wielded FSU’s legendary feathered spear. You know, that spear a guy representing Osceola literally lights on fire before riding out to midfield on a spotted horse and spiking it into the ground in front of tens of thousands of people prior to every Florida State home game. That one.
Apparently, though, Florida State wasn’t cool with Weezy and Quan’s concert promoter using a version of the school’s both historically accurate (ha) and understated (lol) Seminole imagery to publicize the show. According to the promoter, after seeing Lil Wayne post the advertisement on social media, Florida State was all like, “Hey! You can’t portray the Seminole tribe as wild-eyed, spear-wielding badasses! Only we can do that. You doing it is offensive!” (There was no copyright issue that the school made anyone aware of.)
To be fair, Florida State does have permission from the Seminole tribes in both Florida and Oklahoma to use the name and imagery. They even worked closely with them to create an image the tribe(s?) found acceptable. Still, it seems a little odd to call that same imagery offensive when someone else mimics it — with no exaggerations — to portray the school that’s approved to use it, in the same way the school itself uses it. Look at the poster. It’s just Weezy, and the Seminole symbols they came up with. And yeah, Weezy isn’t a Native American, let alone a Seminole, but neither is Steven “Osceola” Jergensen of suburban Orlando, or whichever extremely not Seminole student they have tossing flaming weaponry into FSU’s 50 yard line any given year.
Of course, this is par for the course for Florida State, a school that once sent a cease and desist to this very company for selling shirts that said “Scalp ’em” over a spear, calling the term “extremely derogatory and offensive” despite also selling items in their official store with the words “Scalp ’em” on them. They still do! (There were no copyright infringements there either, by the way.)
The poster was hastily changed after the school threatened to cancel the show.
*We interviewed Rich Homie Quan for the Inside TFM podcast yesterday and he accidentally called my cell before he called the number he was supposed to. Then, throughout the rest of the afternoon, I kept getting pocket dials from Quan — who I assume already no longer knew nor cared whose number that was — because the dude apparently doesn’t believe in lock screens..