One year ago, acclaimed American hip-hop artist Dante Smith – stage name Mos Def – was set to tour Australia for the first time. Eleven shows were booked, including headline festival appearances at Soundscape in Hobart and The Hot Barbeque in Melbourne.
After failing to appear at his first scheduled performance in Adelaide, he went on to randomly skip four shows of the itinerary. Such was the ensuing confusion, that following the postponements, cancellations and sternly-worded press releases from the promoter, Peace Music, became something of a sport at The Vine.
What did those four cancellations mean for Peace Music, though? In late 2011, I contacted the company’s managing director, Sam Speaight, requesting an interview about the logistics of touring American hip-hop artists in Australia.
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