Tyler, The Creator: What Is Inspirational About An Overly Offensive Rapper?
Tyler, The Creator is talented, passionate, creative, and the number one supporter of being your self despite what anyone has to say about it. He has so much passion and happiness that never shines because of his out there, aggressive, and disrespectful personality. His lyrics are more than just obscene and he has no issue using homophobic slurs or degrading women in his music and in public settings. He has no boundaries, and he wants to shock people. After all there is a reason he has been banned from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia within the last four years.
Since the beginning of his career he and his friends have been far from afraid to push the limits. They called themselves Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or OFWGKTA for short. Members included current talents like Frank Ocean, Syd Tha Kyd, Earl Sweatshirt and his two forever side kicks Jasper and Taco.
Tyler has had Jasper and Taco close by his side and intends to always keep them there. In 2011, when their fame was beginning to build the trio released this strange indie hip hop rap song and music video, titled Bitch Suck Dick.
The song on its own sounds loud and tacky. It’s my favorite song to show people to get a reaction out of them, it is in your face and the lyrics make me want to burst out laughing and punch someone at the same time. The video itself is hilarious. The way the boys are acting makes it a chaotic parody of basic cable television. The lyrics are not what I want in hip hop. It’s more than rude to women, it’s offensive and it’s unoriginal. But it also isn’t really good. The lyrics are a extremely basic, cut to the point version of hip hop songs, especially the repetitive chorus of “my bitch suck dick like she suck dick.” It isn’t as creative as it is lazy, especially compared to other work from OFWGKTA. For example “I ain’t never cold, but I’m icy bitch” is probably the best play on words in the whole song. As awfully degrading as this song sounds, it’s probably the least concerning track by the rappers because it is more of a joke than an actual real piece of hip hop.
However in 2010, Tyler had a much more haunting idea. His song and video, VCR is about how the idea and desire to rape a women excites him. He raps the lines “the thoughts to rape you really turn me on” in the intro of the song. Unlike the previously jokey tune, this tune is seriously dark. There are quick shots of him in the dark looking intense and out of control as well as him making out and cuddling with a blow up doll while his deep but quiet voice raps over a slow beat. At the end a woman comes looking for him, she goes into his secret room, turns the light on and he pops up behind her, then the video ends.
It is beyond terrifying and reminds women of the very reason they are slightly fearful of male encounters. I can’t find a way to justify this video or this song, so I don’t. This is one of the videos that began receiving attention for him though, his travel to fame might have been different had he not created this. How can I be a fan of someone that created a piece of work like this? There is more to him, obviously, than just this song and video, but is supporting him simultaneously supporting this video even though that is not my intention?
His lyrics go beyond problematic, from his first album, Bastard, to his most recent one, Cherry Bomb. Off of the first album, “Um as you can probably tell from listening to this record I was/ I was probably angry / probably on my period um/ I didn’t mean to offend anyone/ Alright I’m lying” ends the first track Seven off of Bastard, just to remind everyone how much of a fuck he doesn’t give. Using the idea of menstruation as an excuse for overreacting, a classic unoriginal move made by men who think it is funny to joke about a natural and normal part of womanhood. This lyric encompasses the idea he holds near and dear to his heart, he did mean to offend everyone.
In the very song that he received the most attention and recognition from, Yonkers, he raps about current top pop artists Hayley Williams, B.o.B and Bruno Mars. “(What you think of Hayley Williams?) Fuck her, Wolf Haley robbing ’em/I’ll crash that fucking airplane that that f — -t n — — B.o.B is in/And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus/And won’t stop until the cops come in” It’s safe to say he doesn’t have any love for the song Airplanes or Bruno Mars. When asked about his obvious hate for Bruno Mars he has been known to avoid the question with phrases like I didn’t write that or it’s just a lyric.
Lines like, “Pulling down my zipper and she quick to say she doesn’t suck/Bitch, cut the crap like dyke booty when they scissor” From Parking Lot off of Wolf, are the typical rap lines that he throws out. A line from Tron Cat off of Goblin, is another short line that leaves a mark after it is said out loud, “rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a three sum.” He goes for the shock factor, nothing about him is subtle, but too far is too far no matter how much fame or creativity an individual has.
I want to be able to defend him because I see so much creativity and real careful effort into some of the music / videos he has been a part of. Like the video of him dressed in all yellow, dancing around to his remixed version of Pillow Talk. I see just creativity and pure joy for music, I don’t see the offensive and hateful rapper that is portrayed through other pieces of art. The real joy is less easy to discover in musicians now, most musicians love music but it also becomes their work and once something is work it is less of a passion. For Tyler I see music as a pure passion that he purses, rather than pursuing money and fame that comes along with being a successful musician.
He is true to himself, no matter what company is around. In a Rolling Stone interview, Ernest Baker spent two days with him and his tour group for the Asap and Tyler tour. Baker writes about how Tyler was on a daily basis, and it is exactly what one would expect from such a character.
“Over the next two days, I'll see him pretend to fuck a beer bottle, encourage drug dabblers to "stop being a bitch" and "shoot heroin up," and, no less than twice, scream, "The molly's kicking in," while having a fake seizure on the floor. He's the type of guy who picks his nose in public without a care in the world.” — Ernest Baker
He is much past picking his nose in public without caring, but doing almost anything without giving the slightest amount of care. As absurd as he is, as his actions are, his point is that he is himself and he truly believes no one should be afraid to be themselves. In an Arseino Hall interview after being asked why he is so passionate about encouraging kids to think for themselves, he said, “We live in a society where a lot of people are followers and they can’t you know make their own opinions. Like I have friends going to college for stuff that their parents want them to go for and they’re not even happy or anything.” He wants to be happy, he wants other people to do what makes them happy. This is a side to Tyler that isn’t often talked about, and within the world of hip hop it isn’t fair to just focus on the bad vs the good. He, in his own way, represents both sides and all the areas in between.