Maybe we’re old farts, but we had never heard of rapper Tyler the Creator before his appearance Sunday night on MTV’s Video Music Awards.
Turns out Tyler, who did an awkward on-stage dance with Seth Rogan, Will Ferrell and Jack Black—and nabbed the coveted Best New Artist Award—dropped the F-bomb (that’s “faggot,” FYI, not “fuck”) an impressive 213 times on his sophomore album, Goblin.
And people say rap isn’t eloquent.
GLAAD was on its shit and blasted the 20-year-old performer:
This isn’t a case of a few cursory anti-gay slurs over the course of a career… Compare[d] to Eminem’s debut album, The Marshall Mathers LP, which featured 13 total occurrences of the word… the sheer scale of Goblin’s anti-gay rhetoric is frankly staggering.
Rather than providing simply a larger platform, MTV and other networks should educate viewers about why anti-gay and misogynistic language has no place in the music industry today,” said Herndon Graddick, Senior Director of Programs at GLAAD. “Given Tyler’s history of such remarks, viewers and potential sponsors should refrain from honoring homophobia and in the future look to a more deserving artist.”
While the Best New Artist is chosen by viewers, not MTV, GLAAD did take the network to task for nominating Tyler (born Tyler Okonma) and asking him to perform. “We hope in the future they will think more carefully about the message they’re sending to their young audience before giving him another platform.”
We’re sure MTV will record an anti-bullying PSA or something equally lame. And that’ll fix everything.
Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara took to the Internets to voice her disgust with Tyler and the music industry and media that laud him:
In any other industry would I be expected to tolerate, overlook and find deeper meaning in this kid’s sickening rhetoric? Why should I care about this music or its “brilliance” when the message is so repulsive and irresponsible? There is much that upsets me in this world, and this certainly isn’t the first time I’ve drafted an open letter or complaint, but in the past I’ve found an opinion – some like-minded commentary – that let me rest assured that my outrage, my voice, had been accounted for. Not this time.
If any of the bands whose records are held in similar esteem as Goblin had lyrics littered with rape fantasies and slurs, would they be labeled hate mongers? I realize I could ask that question of DOZENS of other artists, but is Tyler exempt because people are afraid of the backlash? The inevitable claim that detractors are being racist, or the brush-off that not “getting it” would indicate that you’re “old” (or a faggot)? Because, the more I think about it, the more I think people don’t actually want to go up against this particular bully because he’s popular. Who sticks up for women and gay people now? It seems entirely uncool to do so in the indie rock world, and I’ll argue that point with ANYONE.
Tyler’s response? He tweeted, “If Tegan and Sara need some hard dick, hit me up!” Move over, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Tyler has addressed the F-bomb controversy before: He told England’s NME, “I’m not homophobic. I just think ‘faggot’ hits and hurts people. It hits. And ‘gay’ just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that shit. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic.” But he also told MTV News, “Well, I have gay fans and they don’t really take it offensive, so I don’t know. If it offends you, it offends you…I really don’t give a shit.”
We’re confused, Tyler—do you care if people think you’re a rabid homophobe or not?
Even notorious gay-slur champ Chris Brown has taken Tyler to task for his offensive lyrics. Earlier this summer, Brown and Tyler’s Odd Future Wolf Gang were engaged in a Twitter battle when Brown tweeted, “I never claim to be no saint but by no means am I trying to promote death, violence, and destruction with my music!”
Dude, if you’re getting called out for hateratin’ by Chris Brown, you know something’s fucked up.