Tyler, the Creator is a marketing genius. Tyler, the Creator is misogynistic and homophobic. Tyler, the Creator is the next Hitler in the making and must be stopped.
These are all responses to Tyler Okonma’s, a.k.a. Tyler, the Creator, recent rise in the Hip Hop community, to the point where he has a cult-like following, and has literally caused riots.
Tyler got his start as part of the rap collective OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All). The collective has released numerous albums and gained minimal fame, gaining attention on blogs and the Internet. Tyler, the Creator gained the most fame when he released his first studio album, Bastard. This album gained a lot of attention and Pitchfork rated it 32 on their list of 50 greatest albums of 2010. Bastard set up his next album which gained a huge amount of hype. Goblin was released on May 10, 2011 and the praise and criticism began flowing in.
The album contains highly vulgar language, racial slurs, and paints grotesque images in the listener’s mind. Tyler talks about rape and drugs although he says he does not drink or take drugs. With this album, Tyler and OFWGKTA exploded on to the scene and completed a mini tour to sold-out shows in London and New York.
With this explosion, came the criticism. The most notable of the critics was Tegan & Sara (twin sisters who formed an indie band). Their remarks started off like this: “When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry? When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offenses? While an artist who can barely get a sentence fragment out without using homophobic slurs is celebrated on the cover of every magazine, blog and newspaper, I’m disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile.”
And to that, Tyler, the Creator simply responded, “If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard D***, Hit Me Up!” in a Twitter post.
Some may say that he is the next Hitler, or bin Laden, or the devil. Others may say he is a genius who became famous due to his talent. But does it really matter what he is? In reality he is just a twenty-year-old kid who “never wants to grow up.”
Whether you are for or against him, you can not debate the fact that the kid has talent and is a marketing genius. He came from being dirt poor to being an iconic figure through social networking and the Internet. He created an astounding image (whether it’s truly who he is or it’s all just an act, it doesn’t really matter does it?) and promoted this image to the point where he is nearly causing riots at simple autograph signings like the one in Boston on May 13. He uses the negative (if there is such a thing for Odd Future) press to make him more famous and uses controversial lyrics and acts to attract the fans.
Call him what you will, but Tyler, the Creator will have to prove himself to be truly talented if he wants to stay on top of the music business and not fade away like a fad.