(PR) Madchild, from Vancouver based hip-hop group Swollen Members, has been denied entry to the United States by US custom officials.
The Canadian based emcee is currently unable to enter the United States to tour or record until the matter has been resolved with US customs.
Madchild has released the following statement about the incident: "I was on my way to meet my brothers in Swollen Members to perform some shows in the United States. I went to go through customs at the Vancouver Airport, and I was pulled into the Customs waiting room. I must have sat there for three hours before I was even called up to the desk, which was odd considering there was hardly anybody else in there waiting. When I was finally called up, the agent started questioning me about being a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club and when I replied, 'No', he just continued to repeat the question over and over again. After five more hours of waiting, watching him go back and forth, looking on the internet and asking me the same questions over and over again, I was finally called to the front desk. He asked me another series of questions and after a total of eight and a half hours of questioning I was told that I was officially banned from entering the United States."
"The thing that is frustrating to me is that I am being judged for the people I associated with and for some trouble I had back when I was a minor over sixteen years ago. In the last year I've managed to defeat my drug addiction and really worked on changing my life to become a better person. I've even started speaking at high schools here in Canada to talk to kids about the perils of drug addiction and hopefully use my journey to inspire the youth to avoid the pitfalls that I fell into. It's extremely disheartening to me to know that after turning my life around, it feels like a second chance is evading me. Unfortunately when entering the United States, I'm not judged on the person I am today, but rather on my appearance and whoever the customs officials perceive me to be, which is discrimination."
Swollen Members' upcoming new album "Dagger Mouth" is scheduled for a March 15th , 2011 release through Battle Axe/Suburban Noize Records.