Odd Future's (OFWGKTA) Tyler the Creator commonly uses homophobic slurs, such as "faggot," and rape fantasies in his group's songs, as well as his solo material. Perhaps the reason he uses these words so much is to get people talking about Odd Future, which seems to be the reason for anything they do rather than out of pure artistic intelligence.
Either way, it has gotten Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara quite wound up. In response to Tyler's behavior, she has penned a brilliant letter titled A Call for Change
. She raises questions like, "When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry?" and "When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offenses?" Sara also points out that the media and the music community of other artists have completely turned an ignorant blind eye towards the matter. Frankly, I think she has raised some very interesting and important points.
To nobody's surprise, Tyler the Creator had something to say
about this, and naturally it was quite sexist. He wrote on his Twitter (@fucktyler
), "If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!"
In a blog post, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) backed Quin, stating, "Tyler has said in interviews that he is not homophobic, yet his Twitter feed and rhymes are rampant with anti-gay slurs and references. His defense that 'people take things too seriously' or that he's 'just a kid' is inexcusable. Using hateful language, regardless of the context, is unacceptable and in fact, very serious. Tyler's attempts to be provocative as well as his indifference towards the consequences of his actions are irresponsible."
Should Sara Quin be taking the matter lightly? No, but she should probably consider who these slurs are coming from. Odd Future's "fuck everything" attitude needs to be taken into account. Tyler the Creator and his outspoken crew say these things all the time, but surely they can't be serious
. On his solo album Goblin
, which was released May 10 on XL
, plenty of lyrics lend support to his public persona as a helpless, dazed and confused 20-year-old who's hungry for attention...a lot of attention.
That's not to say that he shouldn't be taken seriously because of his age, but rather that he's at an age where expressing himself and making sure his voice is heard by others is very important. I'm not much older than him myself; then again, I'm not a musician, and I'm not choosing my words particularly carefully so as to appease or displease critics. I don't think there's any doubt that he doesn't write anything for the purpose of pleasing critics, though.
On the first track of his solo album, Tyler the Creator gives plenty of insight into his state of mind on the song "Goblin." He raps, "I'm a 19-year-old fucking emotional rollercoaster with pipe dreams," "My brain is an obscenity / I'm fucked in the head, I lost my mind with my virginity," "They wanna critique everything the Wolf Gang has ever released, but they don't get it 'cause it's not made for them," and lastly, "I'm not homophobic...faggot." Those lines speak for themselves.
On the track "Analog," fellow Odd Future rapper Hodgy Beats lays down a line in which he says, "I poke her face, her throat for taste, give me head like I'm on her mind." How lovely. And if you're wondering what Tyler the Creator's song "Bitch Suck Dick" is about, well, you guessed it. It's littered with misogynistic lyrics in which every other word refers to some chick as "bitch," and it's clearly overused and unnecessary. If this kid gets married in the next 10 years, I'll be shocked.
Like I said earlier, it's not that I don't think Tyler the Creator shouldn't be taken seriously as an artist, it's that his messages (as well as those of his rap group) are not to be taken so seriously. For goodness sake, the kid talks about speaking to a therapist on multiple tracks of Goblin
. The same way that Howard Stern does a great job as a shock jock, Tyler the Creator and his friends offer a fresh serving of potentially offensive rap lyrics, which is nothing new in the rap world anyway. I certainly award Odd Future points for creativity, but personally I don't think they're anything special. "Yonkers" blew me away the first time I listened to it
, but so have a thousand other rap songs. Anything that group writes is likely to be vicious, which is one of the only reasons that Sara Quin should not be taking this matter personally. It is, however, respectable that she has taken the matter into her own hands.
Will Tyler the Creator eventually grow up in general? Will the music industry begin to punish people for inexcusably using homophobic slurs like the NBA recently punished Kobe Bryant
and now possibly Joakim Noah as well
? Hopefully, both of those things will happen soon, but only time will tell. Tell us what your take is on this situation.