Sydney-based rapper Kerser has come out swinging against ARIA —AKA the Australian Recording Industry Association — after a mistake during the livestream of Wednesday’s ARIA Awards made it seem like he was there in attendance.
Kerser, who was nominated for the Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist, posted a call out on his Instagram after the award was announced. During the announcement, the camera panned to the nominees which included Genesis Owusu, Tkay Maidza, Flume, OneFour and Kahukx. But when Genesis Owusu was announced as the winner for his track “Strugger” a clip of Kahukx clapping was shown but labelled as Kerser.
Kerser was not impressed. He proceeded to post the clip to his Instagram Grid, tagging the ARIA Instagram account.
“ARIAS… they making out I’m attending the event when I wouldn’t be seen ANYWHERE near there,” he wrote.
“I said in 2017 that I would never attend an event run by the same industry figures who tried blocking me my whole career. They’re the same ones who hand-picked the winners of each award 😂😂😂.
“But man, they just put on air another artist at a table with a mask on with ‘Kerser’ under it acting like I’m there, and clapping along! wtfff.”
Kerser went on to congratulate Genesis Owusu, who shouted him out in his speech.
“ARIA would be burning,” he continued.
“Fuck all those industry puppets behind the scenes that tried blockin’ me since the start of my career. It couldn’t be done!”
Kerser also called ARIA out for including a picture of him in a compilation showing the impact of Aussie rap, while saying fellow Aussie rapper Illy‘s name.
He ended the post by saying: “FUCK THE ARIAS!”
Short and to the point, I love it.
After Kerser’s call out, an ARIA spokesperson issued an apology to the Sydney rapper and claimed that the fuck up was due to a “production issue”.
“A production issue in last night’s live broadcast, unfortunately, caused two cameras to be on one nominated artist, Kahuxx, during the presentation of Best Hip Hop / Rap Release,” the spokesperson said, per The Daily Telegraph.
“It was never ARIA’s intent to infer that Kerser was in attendance at last night’s Awards. We absolutely respect his position to not attend the Awards and apologise for an error that would imply otherwise.”
Despite the apology making total sense, Kerser wasn’t having it.
He then expanded on his perspective in yet another IG Grid post.
“Daily Telegraph and heaps of websites are now picking up how pathetic ARIA awards are for trying to make out like I was there cheering along,” he wrote.
“When will these presenters/industry people realise no matter how much they try to downplay Kers or take shots at me, I’m gonna make it work to my advantage and have the country laugh at how stupid they really are.”
While it’s not uncommon for live televised events to make errors, Kersers’ point about who industry bodies choose to elevate is a major issue. In his Instagram Stories, Kerser references how the awards are mainly chosen by music industry figures, rather than the public themselves.
“I can’t stand fake love,” he wrote.
“The industry hates Kers. The pressure from my fan base and me topping every chart with my latest album made them nominate me. If it went off the public votes and statistics instead of industry people, I would support it. But I can’t support an industry that tried to block my career since the start.”
PEDESTRIAN has reached out to Kerser for a comment.