Sara Quin Gives a F*ck About Tyler the Creator’s ‘Sickening Rhetoric’

Tyler the Creator is taking over. His new album, Goblin has been called “one of the best rap albums ever made and he’s praised for being “preternaturally talented, honest, witty, smart,” but Sara Quin of Tegan & Sara has some choice words for the 20-year-old rapper:

“As journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate ‘Tyler, the Creator,’ I find it impossible not to comment. 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.”

Notorious for his shocking lyrics, Tyler takes not giving a fuck to a whole new level. Actually, he gives a lot of them in the sense that “fuck” appears to be his favorite word. Here you go, I made a word cloud for you of his twitter feed for the month of May so that you can observe his genius.

His songs are more than just dirty words being thrown around, though. One look at his lyrics makes it easy to see what pushed Sara over the edge. They span from terrifying and  misogynistic (I just wanna drag your lifeless body to the forest/And fornicate with it but that’s because I’m in love with you, cunt) to violent and immature (Kill people, burn shit, fuck school/Odd Future here to steer you to what the fuck’s cool/Fuck rules, skate life, rape, write, repeat twice) which, in truth, isn’t much of a range.

Tyler’s central motif is opposition. Though reviews have cited similarities between Tyler and Tupac or Odd Future (his collective) and groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, these comparisons are more hollow praise than meaningful observation. While those artists wanted to narrate and expose their gritty inner-city reality, Tyler’s negative energy is his alone, simultaneously directed at everyone and no one in particular. The Insane Clown Posse with their loyal band of juggalos emerge as a more apt comparison.

While Tupac had crack-era racial politics impacting his daily life, Tyler’s anger seems to stem from his father’s abandonment. Though experiencing pain from a personal tragedy rather than on communal level certainly doesn’t make an experience any less valid, it might be worth questioning when the therapeutic value of music becomes outweighed by its hateful ethos. Rather than discuss his reality, Tyler emphasizes the authenticity of his music by drawing attention to its emotion; “I usually just say what I’m feeling at the time, what I think is cool.

Spontaneity is neat, but a little self-reflexivity never hurt anyone. Especially when the product of your whims is projected to sell 45,000 copies during the first week of its release. Tyler the Creator is far from the first artist to use homophobic or misogynistic slurs in his music but, as Sara mentions, perhaps his accessibility has made the problem that much more conspicuous.

We at Autostraddle are big fans of Moff’s Law and are used to having someone telling us to stop caring so much, but it’s particularly weird to see an artist actively discourage discussion about their music. Syd da Kyd, Odd Future’s sound engineer, happens to be gay and a women and doesn’t seem to have a problem with the music either. “When I first started really fucking with Odd Future heavy, my dad was like, ‘Really? They talk about some crazy shit and as a female, you’re slapping a lot of women in the face.’ I’m like, ‘That’s what I do. I slap bitches.'” Tyler’s horror-soaked songs are aimed to attract and alienate and apparently, as long as she’s included in the party, everything’s alright.

 

Odd Future including Syd the Kid, an out lesbian

But being shut out is exactly where thousands of women and gay people, not to mention people of color, religious minorities, and people with disabilities find themselves. Sara acknowledges the uncomfortable position you take on when you stand up for something that you believe is right:

“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.”

So let’s not let her invitation to discussion go by unnoticed, let’s argue. How much do words matter?


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laura

Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

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282 Comments

  1. I’ve had a lot of conversations with people about OFWGKTA and most of them seem to hinge on one idealistic viewpoint: do offensive lyrics determine/affect the nature of the music? Just about everyone I know who likes OFWGKTA recognizes that their lyrics are offensive because Tyler is obvs a huge troll who writes lyrics with the purpose of offending people. However, a lot of people seem to qualify the inherent offensiveness of OFWGKTA lyrics by saying that the fact that the collective is so “talented” or “radical” or “punk” makes it such that the offensiveness doesn’t matter. Or, they sort of make this weird argument that I totally don’t buy where they say that OFWGKTA are creating social commentary through their use of offensive language, so the usage is justified.

    For me, all of those points are irrelevant. Music with hate speech that promotes misogyny, homophobia, and violence just isn’t okay with me. If any music has just absolutely dreadful lyrics that completely offend my sensibilities, the music itself becomes unbearable and actually painful for me to listen to.

    Also, fourfour had a really interesting take on Tyler/Goblin. I disagreed with a lot of it and I think that Rich gave Tyler too much credit, but Rich is a good writer and his POV is always interesting to me.

    • i believe in free speech, but hate speech is not protected. artists that think they can write lyrics with such inflamatory rhetoric are no better than the talking heads that kept repeating “Tiller, baby killer” and then looked all innocent and “who, me”? when they were pointed out after the doctor’s assassination.

      so the artist says that it’s funny that people “overanalyze” his lyrics. we’re not overanylyzing, we’re anylizying them period. it’s time to stop singing along to a catchy verse just because it’s got a good beat or hook. words matter. kids kill themselves because of words that they’re bombarded with everyday (from their classmates, let alone the mainstream radio, wtf). it’s yelling fire in a crowded theater – there’s responsibility attached to the art. if he wants to put it out there, he deals with the reaction/consequences/possibility that he influences people – and if he’s advocating violence/misogyny, etc, that’s not okay. free speech has limits. anything else is anarchy.

  2. When I have more time, I am sure that I will elaborate on this issue. Nonetheless, I love Tyler and Odd Future’s music and hopefully I wont get too much flack for this. Whether you agree or not, I actually plan on buying Goblins and I have other mixtapes from the Odd Future crew. I see all of this as young nihilism and the rush of living without thinking of consequences. I personally see many different themes and elements in the music and that is what attracts me to it. So to each their own.

    Free Earl!!! O.F!!!!!!!!!!!

      • The reason this new generation is ok with negative lyrics and media like this is because of imaturity and they were not the ones who had to pave the road to get the comforts we didnt have. Teens today have a place to go to get help. We created them because we didnt have that. They can talk about their feelings. They can beacuse we couldnt. They dont appriciate things the way we do. Everything comes too easy. They dont feel the hate we did. And if they do they can do something about it. Young people today are completely over indulged. But we made it that way from good intentions.

  3. “That’s what I do. I slap bitches.” Really? REALLY? I have no respect for any woman who makes statements like that about other women. Fuck, the internalized misogyny is strong in her.

  4. Syd da Kyd is the bigger disgrace in this case than Tyler the Creator. But this whole thing is shameful on many levels. We have the pass yet again being given for hate language against gays. We have the music critics so scared of being considered unhip that they reduce themselves to fawning over homophobic content – let alone lyrics that seem to be written with all the dexterity of a 6 year old. We have possibly the lamest excuse yet for hate language given by Tyler. The it is a just a word defense is up there with those who wear a swastika on their shirt and,in defense say, it is just a symbol and nothing is meant by it. What is truly sad are the lacking in integrity LGBT individuals who will support this because what does it matter that someone demeans them as long the music is cool. Talk about a complete lack of self esteem.

    Still this is a free country and his music should in now way be disallowed. I think what Quin is wondering is why is the free pass given and why is it that so many people show a lack of respect and concern when the people being attacked are gays. At a time when gay teen suicide is a hot topic, it takes an astonishing fool not to see the profound impact such words as the “F” word can have.

  5. Good for Sara for taking a public stand against this kind of BS in her profession. For my part, I’m going to ignore this Tyler person entirely. He seems like someone who’s desperate for attention, so I’m just not going to indulge him.

  6. Or really, he’s just a kid with little life experience, any real deep thoughts or opinions to rap about. That’s the problem with being talented at an art but not having shit to say. Art IS about saying something. If you don’t have shit to say, then you’re just a 5 year old finger painting in the corner.

    I have a friend who is a brilliant artist. But when we were kids she drew a lot of animals puking. Talent is wasted when you don’t have a meaningful subject.

    I recommend listening to the Flobots instead. They have a song called Superhero written from the point of view of a lesbian and a Palestinian woman although it is recited by men.

    • My other comment got deleted though. Which I find amusing because I’m not sure why I ought to have any deeper feelings than this group of artists are just a bunch of…asses. Am I allowed to say they’re asses?

      I pretty much feel that a woman who calls women bitches is herself projecting. I’ll call it internalized oppression. It sounds more intellectual than just calling her a bitch back.

      I suppose the call is to be better than the likes of Tyler the Creator, but do we also have to treat garbage better than it is, which is garbage? What is the point in giving respect to those who are basically shitting on you and laughing? It feeds their arrogance. Is there really something so unethical about saying “go fuck yourself” to someone who is fucking with you?

  7. i read Sara’s words regarding “Tyler the Creator’s” “music,” but i had not known who this kid was, so i looked up his lyrics, and happened to get the song, “Yonkers.”

    from this song, i concluded the only “brillance” this kid has is the fact that he can reference pop culture, societal mishappenings, sexual orientation and whatever else his brain musters up in a negative connotation using kennings in a obtrusive yet direct way.

    i believe Tyler is just another kid in the world who obviously has no regard for life and the work of others, and because of that, he does as he pleases without any sort of mind for repercussions.

    not a fan.

  8. I can’t stand the (music) industry that is supporting this guy, like him are anothers, and if he doesn’t even believe what he is singing, well, you know that there is a bigger problem behind this. I think Sara take him as an example of all this shit-industry. And no, I’m not against music, I’m just against people that want to get money from messages of hate in the music.
    Sara is an intelligent person and I’m glad she raised her voice, I’m totally supporting her idea, but I don’t think Tyler is the only one, and I’m not supporting a page against one person ’cause that is just the visible part of the iceberg and yous “attacking” one of them is not going to solve the problem.

  9. I definitely feel like a philistine for “not getting” Odd Future lyrically (I do really like Syd’s beats…just wish she’d shut up). The thing is, I have a 16 year old brother. I’ve pretty much had my fill of uncreative trolling.

  10. OFWGKTA are performing art. Tyler is a phenomenally gifted wordsmith and music maker with an obsession for the dark things in life. Hes also got a fantastic sense of humor, Check his Thurston Haley alter-ego on Youtube. Theres a degree of brilliance in a 20 year old kid with absentee father issues creating (and performing) the character of a golf obsessed 50 year old who boasts about how he doesn’t see his kids.

    Anyone who really has followed the kid can tell he’s a good, intelligent, fiercely loyal, wildly creative person working through his own dark feelings whilst making VERY good art.

    Its fun to say ‘fuck everything’ and more often than not its not an entirely nihilistic statement. Its about asserting your own liberty.

    • I think what everyone’s arguing here though, is that there’s a line between “art” and being “dark” and being unacceptable–that even if his hateful or violent rhetoric is in fact some sort of deliberate nihilist art (which I doubt, because this kid doesn’t seem overwhelmingly capable as an artist or intellectual) there can be very severe societal impacts of said “darkness” on listeners, particularly the more impressionable. While it may be laudable (or maybe not) if you can separate the inherent offensive nature of rape fantasies, mysogyny, violence, and homophobia from what is potentially deliberately constructed art, not everyone would approach it that way, and seemingly “socially approved” spewing of all of the aforementioned nastiness will only perpetuate its existence.

      • Why would you doubt that Tyler is incapable of deliberate nihilist art? Thats exactly what he makes, its deliberateness is obvious to anyone who follows them and its an area of art that has existed since the dawn of time. Why even bring it up? Your feelings are hurt by someone who you dont even know? You all sound like the kind of people who write letters to the TV guide complaining about the crude language in Family Guy.

        I doubt any of you would dismiss the artistic value of ‘A Clockwork Orange’ yet you all refuse to entertain the idea that a young skater kid can create art of a similar calibre. Very condescending and old fashioned. You all come across as a lot more close-minded and therefore bigoted than Tyler.

        Lastly. Faggots, dykes, niggas, bitches, crackers, chinks, kikes.. theyre all just words. You cant stop anyone from saying them and the more you try, the more the naughty kids in class will want to. It doesnt mean they are hateful it just means they are naughty.

        • Sorry to rant but I did forget to say: I LOVE Sarah Silverman and what she does is EXACTLY the same as what Tyler does, albeit with a more comedic bent obviously. Very few people here would really believe that Sarah hates blacks, jews, mexicans, gays etc.. If only you could give Tyler the same respect as an artist.

          • nihilistic art(ist) my ass. he can’t get attention or Create anything positive, so he wallows in the sewer for attention. *yawn*

          • Sarah Silverman is a bit of a stretch. What she does is hold up a mirror to people and tell them to laugh at themselves, like the majority of comics.
            Mr. The Creator’s art on the other hand is no better than poorly done modern shock art. Rendured mindlessly with the intent to make people flinch. His music reminds me of ejaculate on canvases in an art gallery (which I’ve seen before). Its interesting and a bit haunting, but not much lies beyond that. I see no depth in throwing around slurs and horrible phrases just to give off the impression that you’re dark and edgy. There are other more intriguing ways to do that without speaking of rape fantasies and speaking the F-word after everything you say. I dont’t see much that is unique about him or sets him apart from anyone else with similar methods of making music. And that is why I’m confused with all of the hype surronding him. Give him about two or three years and we’ll see where he stands. He’s taken an easy approach to success, by doing what will get him noticed the quickest, but it won’t last long.

  11. I called my friend out the other night for playing this weekend–his lyrics really make me feel physically sick. If this is the music that’s playing on college campuses, its no wonder there is so much women and gay hating going on. If our “celebrities” can have this kind of rhetoric, what is that telling their listeners? An endless cycle of hate will come from artists like this, I’m glad someone(Sara) is taking a stand.

  12. your quote by Syd the Kyd was taken out of context, she was talking about a conversation she had with her father … The way this quote is placed in the article is very misleading.

      • “I slap bitches” BAHAHAHAHAHAH LMAOOOOZZZ

        ok ::tears in eyes::

        hate me but I think that’s HUH larryy usss.
        here’s why:

        These THUG AG (some not all) chicks with their misogynistic bravado and and archaic unflinching views on stud/femme roles are the first ones to cry over a girl breaking their heart. It’s all a joke. I see it way too often. You got the cornrows and the fitted but you’re soft as a buttered roll.

        nothing wrong with tears or emotions, i cry during steel magnolias but it’s when you FRONT about feeling that way that it becomes something laughable.

        i want to stand in front of her and just laugh. dumb, young and full of stupid shit to say. syd the kyd, come to gabby’s school for the gay b*tches with special needs and lemme learn you a few things.

        you can be hard and roll with all these dudes and act like nothing matters but it DOES.

        you’re one of the boys because you don’t question their authority and because you think it’s cool “to roll hard with tons of n*ggas” and that’s fine and do you but you aint sh*t, just a scared chick who can’t claim her ovaries in front of her dudes.

        you slap bitches? come to the bx, let’s see how hard you are when we talk about your childhood and what keeps you up at nite and what it feels like to fall in love.

        don’t slap bitches, you fool. hug bitches. it’s soooo much nicer and then there’s boobies against your chest!

      • I thought it was a joke. I have to say, I laughed the first time I read it (which was not here). I think there’s a lot of vitriol towards her based on this quote since I don’t think she actually slaps bitches. Seems like it was a smartass response to someone pointing out the obvious…that women may not take too kindly to her working with the collective.

    • Direct quote from the article: “When I first started really fucking with Odd Future heavy, my dad was like, ‘Really? They talk about some crazy shit and as a female, you’re slapping a lot of women in the face.’ I’m like, ‘That’s what I do. I slap bitches.’”

      What precisely is out of context about that? The fact that her dad called her out on the misogyny of her colleagues is stated. She seems to be telling her dad that she’s misogynistic too. Am I wrong?

    • Yeah, that’s kinda what I thought when reading it. Her main point is totally right on. The misogyny and homophobia in the music industry needs to be challenged, openly and loudly, and yes women and LGBT folks are often outright hated in our society. But her race and class privilege are really showing through in this statement, and it makes me uncomfortable. I feel like somehow I should expect something better from her? But have no evidence to back up why I would feel this way.

      • That is quite the distortion. I guess it is easier to post support for a wild and baseless accusation of a person not being sensitive to race than it is to challenge a rap artist on the blatant homophobic and misogynist content of their lyrics.

        • Who says I cannot (or would not) do both? I also am not calling Sara Quin racist or classist, but I do think the conclusion to her argument implies that somehow because Tyler is a black performer, he is immune from criticism for his misogyny and homophobia, and that just doesn’t sit right with me. Perhaps I don’t have the right to feel that way about it, I don’t know.

          She writes “Maybe it’s because in this case I don’t think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message.” But earlier in the piece she says it’s because he is currently a popular artist? I just am unsure of what she is actually trying to get across with those statements. Does that mean it’s not worth examining, in addition to rightfully criticizing Tyler? I don’t think so. I think this piece is an opportunity to not only discuss the bigotry of one artist, but to look deeper into how artists’ lyrics and personas are critiqued by people on the Internet and the music media.

          • Zach, if you think he is not getting a pass for hate speech you aren’t paying attention. Check the reviews. They are patronizing to an extreme. Quin nails it. Review after review is he says offensive things but one must remember his situation. If anything is racist and elitist, it is the patronizing tone taken by music critics in deciding that there are special defenses allowed for him. I was abandoned by my father. That should not give me or anyone leeway to be praised who revels in hate. We can hide our heads in the sand or confront what is going on here. That the music world has embraced this homophobic rhetoric yet again is shameful and it must be asked why. Quin nailed it. We can act naive and pretend that what she accused the critics of does not exist. It may be more comfortable but it would not be realistic.

          • If someone says we should not expect anything more from someone like Tyler because he’s black, that would be racist. It doesn’t mean he’s getting a pass because he has some sort of black privilege. It means he’s getting a pass because expectations are lowered because of his race and class. This is the definition of stigma.

            Privilege and stigma are opposite poles of expectation. Privilege is when people expect more of you because of your class. Stigma is when people expect less of you because of your class. It’s not a compliment to expect someone to be a misogynist or a homophobe.

          • GrrrlRomeo has absolutely nailed it on the head. There are lowered expectations for (most) black hip-hop artists from mainstream critics because of racism and the fear of being perceived as racist.

            Music critics have a fear of being called out as racist or classist or out of touch, and this manifests in willfully ignoring or even celebrating homophobic or misogynistic lyrics and behaviour. The lyrics are ascribed to lower-class black American culture (which is a manifestation of racism itself), and so non-black, middle-class Americans are deeply uncomfortable directly criticizing them from a position of racial privilege.

            Artists who are not from a lower-class black background, however, become lightning rods for controversy over their lyrics and behaviour. See: Eminem, or Kanye (for Kanye, more for his behaviour than lyrics.) Eminem’s lyrics weren’t more objectionable than other rap artists at the time. He was white and he was safer to rip into for homophobia and misogyny (to a much lesser extent) by white Americans.

            There’s also a really informative comparison when you consider the more drastic anti-homophobic pressure people have put on Jamaican dancehall music – because it’s created outside of a US context.

            I also get Sara Quin’s position of being comfortable in speaking out. She’s not American, and she’s a successful artist herself, giving her both an outsider’s and an insider’s perspective on the US music industry.

          • Oh, but my own judgment on Tyler the Creator: it’s just like listening to 4chan set to a beat most of the time. I don’t have the patience for so much high school angst, daddy issues and random outbursts of testosterone.

            Obviously he’s a smart kid, he has flashes of clever lyrics, although obviously meant to offend. But his delivery sucks, and ultimately his songs are pretty boring.

            It’s really hard for me to give a f-ck about this, although I’m glad someone wants to talk about the homophobia and misogyny and how they’ve been so calmly accepted by music critics who are just trying to jump on a new thing like the little novelty vampires they are. To me, it’s kind of distasteful but not particularly controversial.

          • Sara doesn’t say anything that hasn’t been said before. People who criticize certain music (especially rap) have been accused of being classist, racist, or not “getting it” (which, in some circumstances, is an accusation of ageism, but that depends on who is supposed to “get it”). In some cases, the criticism is valid; in others, it’s a way to tear down the critic without making the artist actually defend themselves (which, btw, you’ll notice that Tyler doesn’t…he just says that he’s not homophobic but doesn’t take time to analyze himself). I think she was addressing the potential criticism she could get for taking her position.

      • someone tweeted at us today, in response to this article, I guess (I never understand why people comment to us on twitter instead of on the article, what if we don’t see it? I don’t get it) —“Do we really need a white woman lording her attempt at “commentary” over a young black man’s art?”

        I think that’s what Sara was talking about. Not that there’s race privilege happening, but that little white girls might be too scared of comments like that one to say anything at all. (I am!)

        What’s unfortunate is that there are so many examples of “white woman lording her attempt at “commentary” over a young black man’s art” in a racist/classist manner. But this isn’t one of them, and shouldn’t be automatically classified as such.

        • I see this in my nieghborhood everyday. Its almost reverse rascisim and its lowering the expectations of everyone and making them feel more like they cant achieve or justify if they dont want to. let me tell you i am a woman, native american, jewish, religious, black and a mother and i have been hurled every rascist and sexist slur in the book and i refuse to let that define my life. I am a human. And i have rights. I CHOOSE to take the oppertunities i have and take advantage of all my rights for my eventual success. Its called self respect. People think they have it but lowering peoples expectations of you based on race is not the deffinition of a person with a healthy pride. Its amazing to me how this is all confused. And i see it everyday. They would rather collect welfare and do nothing but sell drugs and claim the race card. But when their are oppertunities in the area such as a adult school recently built to provide them with free education to get a job they refuse. “the man” wants to push them to get a job like all the other misserable mother effers out there. And that is a quote from a nieghbor of mine mind you. Not a generalization. I know ive been ranting all over this page but i really just wish people would live out healthy lives a be happy and successful, not contribute to society in such a dreadful way. Theres too much pain in the world as it is. We are all one and effect everyone around us. We need to take that more seriously.

    • Black straight men have male privilege and heterosexual privilege. I’m a gay white woman, but I have white privilege.

      Privilege comes in a lot of forms. Just because one belongs to a minority doesn’t mean one does not have any privilege at all to exercise.

  13. It’s complex, no doubt, but the hypocrisy is more sickening than the music. Julie Goldman, who I think is funny as shit, talks about raping babies, or ripping their heads off and messing with their neckholes or something…and no one freaks out. Lesbians (not all) but tons of us love Sarah Silverman. Why? I defend all artists’ rights to say/do/perform/create what their art asks them to. But let’s not pick and choose who is should be allowed to have a pass and who shouldn’t.

    • But in Julie’s case, the intention is to make people laugh. Tyler is just trying to say something offensive for the sake of being offensive or cool. And their target audiences are different too. Julie’s audience would definitely know that she is isn’t gonna go out and rape a baby, but I can’t say the same about Tyler’s audience..And also, Tyler’s words reach a lot more people and the fact that he is using his platform to spread misogyny and hatred is not cool. And it’s awesome that Sara is using her platform to counter the hate he’s spreading.

      OH and also, the picture you guys are using is actually Tegan!

      • Yeah this.

        I don’t really think that those are viable comparisons because they’re completely different art forms and in this case it’s important. We know not to take Goldman or Silverman’s words at face value because they’re comedians. Whether or not you find them funny you know not to take every word out of their mouths seriously. While music uses metaphor and may not be saying something directly, a person would hope that the lyrics are genuine. Unless of course the artist advocates to “Fuck rules, skate life, rape, write, repeat twice.” I can’t imagine what “rape” would be using to symbolize in this context other than… rape?

      • I have nothing against Julie Goldman, and I have mixed feelings about Tyler, the Creator (yes, there is a comma in his name). But the presumption that “Julie’s audience would definitely know that she is isn’t gonna go out and rape a baby” but that Tyler’s wouldn’t is not only baseless but indicative of a misunderstanding of who OFWGTKA caters to and what their listeners take from the music.

        OFWGKTA is meant to be grotesque.They’re horrorcore, meaning that they make, well, dark fucked up shit. Horrorcore rap hasn’t seen a resurgence in a long time and most ‘indie’ rappers are getting old, so the fact that these young kids are coming out with something that is both really weird and really new is being feverishly welcomed in a rap scene that has grown stale. While I certainly do not endorse comparisons to Wu-Tang or Tupac, OFWGTKA are engrossing in their own albeit disturbing way and the hype was inevitable.

        Are they their for shock value? Fuck Yeah. But so are other people this website has been known to hype, even if these other women are lesbians, comedians or confined to the peripheries of pop culture.

    • ::chuckle:: When Julie Goldman mentions raping babies, she’s not trying to be dark but absurd–and perhaps ironic about the fact that gays are often accused of…well…wanting to rape babies. That’s pretty much the anti-gay argument in a nutshell…gays want to fuck your children.

      • Yeah i dont like them myself for whatever reason. But i do admit that could be because im a mom and have a connection with my children that people have not experienced yet who have no kids and so find that funny because they have no one at home to constantly protect. Who knows. It just seems over the top. I dont understand violence period. Ill just be honest.

    • There’s a world of difference between Tyler the Creator’s lyrics and Julie Goldman or Sarah Silverman’s stand-up. Sarah Silverman’s jokes about rape are ironic, they’re mocking the way that people like Tyler use it without even thinking about how it affects others. She’s hyper aware of the connotations of using rape and offensive slurs in her acts, and she wants her act to open up a dialogue about the way people use them. She talks about this all the time in interviews and in her book, where some people don’t get what she’s doing and laugh at the ugly part of the joke, she calls it something like “a mouth full of blood laughs”. This Tyler kid on the other hand, it’s obvious that he’s not trying to open up a dialogue of any kind. I even looked up interviews with him just to see if he might be doing the same thing Silverman is doing, but he seems to actively discourage this interpretation of his work. In the interview I saw on youtube, he says that he raps about the dark things that everybody thinks about when they’re alone, and he’s just getting criticized for saying it out loud. Duh, of course everyone fantasizes about raping pregnant people! How rebellious and brave of him for saying what everyone else is too scared to admit to! How about we stop trying to make excuses for his shit, and just listen to him when he says that he just raps about what he feels and what he “thinks is cool at the time”. It’s that simple with this douchebag, guys, just let it be.

    • I think it’s not just their professions as comedians that’s relevant, it’s that you can’t separate the words from who’s speaking them. Julie’s a butch lesbian lady and Sarah Silverman is a lady. Men can’t make rape-related jokes. Period. They just can’t. Men can’t make rape jokes. It’s not funny.

      In any event, anyone who finds those jokes offensive doesn’t have to like Julie or Sarah. I think the problem here is that Tyler has been praised so universally. Making jokes about raping babies has not propelled Julie to universal mainstream superstardom, at which point a person might be compelled to question the ubiquitous critical acclaim of baby-raping jokes. Not me, but someone. People have certainly questioned Sarah Silverman on her rape jokes as she’s gotten more famous.

      Sara isn’t complaining because he sings these lyrics — that’s fine, that’s his art or whatever — but because he sings these lyrics and everyone applauds them and praises them.

      (that being said i was worried about the baby-raping jokes and talked to j/b about it and whatever they said to ease my concern worked, though i can’t remember what it was)

  14. hipsters these days. the point of the music is rebel. dont follow the crowd, do your own thing. listen to inglorious, that’ll show you what hes really anout. or golden . his “meaningless” arent meaning less at all. you just cant see the symbolization in the lyrics. for exampole in yonkers when he eats t he cock cockroach he says swallow the cinnamon which stands for ” the sin of me” all of you just sound like a bunch of old hipsters who think the worlds a perfect place.

  15. Everyone seems to think that Tyler’s brilliance is in what he’s saying. What he’s saying though is just a bored teenagers over-dramatic, im ever-so-imporant commentary that really doesn’t have much weight. The lyrics accomplish what they’re set out to do. Which is to aggravate people and get his name around. Many popular artists today have trouble finding something to say but people will still consume it if the sound is fitting to their taste. Tyler is just saying a nothing that is more offensive and attention grabbing than anyone else around.

    His true brilliance comes from not what hes saying, but how he says it. His off-kilter flow is slower and allows for more articulation than other rappers out there whose voices seem to blend together into a wonderful cacophony of bland. He rhymes seemingly any word he choices by playing with their sound and rhythm creating a multitude of options. His beats are also far from conventional, as they are seemingly simple but are rather layered and dense upon closer inspection. Many have odd structures and small textures that add to them as a whole and should be appreciated above everything else in his repertoire.

    Even as everyone complains about Tyler’s lack of lyrical choices and criticizes him for the juvenile and perverse thoughts he spills. Yet you’re still giving him the recognition you fight so hard against. By acknowledging it’s there, saying you don’t think it deserves the attention, or calling it uninteresting aren’t you justifying his reasoning for using such content?

        • Here’s a little lesson. His beats are his music. It’s rap. Thank you for trying though, and Tyler’s “hate speech” is really just shock tactics that shouldn’t be taken at face value. Complaining about it isn’t going to do anything. All your doing is giving power and motive to him, which is in the end is just going to push him to more hate speech. If you really have a problem do the grown-up thing and ignore the troll or enjoy being the real troll here.

          • why do people feel the need to use “shock tactics” to get people’s attention? why can’t a smart message be used to get people’s attention? or raw talent. i mean, if this guy is really a good artist, he doesn’t need “shock tactics”.

          • also, its there. and its being praised by professionals. so not saying anything would be the equivalent of agreeing.

          • Because he wants to be famous, he’s said it many times, and a lot of talented people don’t become famous just for being talented. So he chose the obvious route. I can’t blame him, don’t believe I’d do the same thing, but he’s projected to sell 40-50k so i guess it worked out for him. Plus “professionals” loved Eminem back in the day and people hated him just as much as they hate Tyler now. Difference is the internet creates over-exposure and blows everything out of proportion. Including the increasing talk of his hateful lyrics when you should just take it or leave it. These professionals aren’t the law and music. It’s just their opinion, you have one to. Just depends if you want to put as much effort into listening to the music as they do.

          • I personally think, my opinion, that he is simply the once upon a time over popularized ciggarette. We just want a caution cancer lable on the package once and for all. We want accountability. Not people to simply push all the BS all the time about free will. You like him? Fine smoke him. So do many other people sick with cancer. Do i want my kids to come across the package or reviews or internet statistic or articles without knowing that hes held accountable for his cancer? Fuck no. I want there to be some serious doubt before the negativity perpetuates. Maybe thats too much to ask. But i have no problem listening to Imagine everyday and spending every dime or bit of energy i have in making this world a better place and i didnt even have hippies for parents. I am just grateful for life, My kids’ lives, and all the world around me. I want to give a little back god damnnit for the next generation. This kid simply does not care who he effects and how, and niether do the people that support him. Thats the point. People like that are dangerous even when they dont talk about serious acts of violence. Anyone with experience should know that. And as far as wanting attention? Everyone likes positive feedback sure. But as far as i know anyone talking about rape and murder and fucking dead people for attention would be sent to the laughing accademy for a serious therapy sesh and probabaly medicated. The fact that hes a celeberity now and has no accountability is ridiculous. The kid needs help. Not to be pushed into the public eye so more people who are fucked up can say hey maybe i AM normal. Ill just say and do what i feel like tyler does. Like the kid who murderd his little brother from watching dexter. He said he finally felt like he was normal and it was ok to do what he had always wanted to do and be happy. Whats wrong with a little censorship? Whats wrong with some god damn self control? Or is it really ok to rape and murder and pull someone’s body into the woods and fuck them? Cause i know theres a lot of sickos out there who would like to know. Maybe if enough people stopped throwing money at these people and said hey thats NOT cool you need help, or we wont support you, the world would be a less fucked up place. But thats not going to happen with complacency and greed without accountability.

  16. honestly i think that this sara chick is over reacting, honestly does she believe tyler is taking this seriously? He knows what hes doing is going to stir up talk so thats why he does it, and honestly i think its brilliant, why? not because i support what hes saying but because he knows what pushes peoples buttons. if you actually listen to his music you would understand that he is what he claims to be “a walking paradox.” both bastard and goblin having him battle with his crazy thoughts whether it be Tyler the creator or his sadistic alter ego wolf haley while having a session alongside his psychiatrist. If you ask me i think its a really interesting concept, but you see we take things to seriously, loosen up its not real. i can joke around and say something but it doesnt mean its true.

    • I got you. Us chicks need to loosen up. We need to realize that this album’s homophobic slurs are all good because Tyler has two sides – kind of like Garth Brooks and Chris Gaines. How deep! How edgy! Maybe that should be part of the “It gets better” campaign. I can see it now. The advertisement will show some kid being berated at school with the “f” word with the solution to the bullying being “loosen up”. I am sure all kids that are bullied with the “f” word know it is all a joke. They just “loosen up.”

      Don’t worry though – sexist sites as Pitchford have no problem seeing that using the “f” word is a sign of creative genius.

  17. I am a rape victim myself and I secretly *love* Tyler’s rape glorification lyrics because they let me laugh about my experience for the first time in my life. They’re always done in character and his characters are exaggeratedly pathetic. Why should all songs about rape be sad and depressing?

    Haven’t thought as much about the homophobic lyrics but my impression is that the members of Odd Future think that homophobia is a hilariously antiquated and conservative concept. Many of their lyrics seem to be designed to mock and shock a particular type of homophobe who is overtly frightened of or hateful towards gay people. I think they’re not unlike a lot of 19 year olds whose exposure to gay people and culture has been limited. Politically they are pro-gay without a second thought, but they lack the sensitivity to understand more nuanced forms of homophobia, eg the notion that a gay person might feel uncomfortable listening to their music. Right now they’re more obsessed with making the anti-gay person feel uncomfortable.

    • I think it’s telling that no one replied to your comment. I completely agree with all of your points. I would also like to add that, upthread, some people are saying that it’s totally okay for Julie Goldman and Sarah Silverman to be making jokes about rape while it’s totally not okay for Tyler to because they are comedians and are trying to be absurd. And, I think that they’re missing the point that this is what Tyler is doing as well.

      • To be specific, I am talking about the nonsense that Tyler’s aim is to attack anti-gay people. I mean you really wonder why no one replied to such nonsense. This is like saying Mel Gibson’s anti-semitic tirades are his way of defending Jewish people.

      • Tyler is also free to talk about rape and hate and faggots all he wants. Sara is critiquing the RESPONSE to his music, to the mainstream embrace and acceptance of these kinds of lyrics. Putting aside the extremely valid point that it is very different coming from comedians AND FROM WOMEN, people do criticize Sarah Silverman’s choice of those jokes and Julie Goldman is always getting in trouble for her jokes (which is one of the amazing things about her that i love) and if she becomes completely mainstream famous and every single newspaper is writing about that one baby-rape joke in an episode of IYBO as the Best Moment in Comedy Of All Time, someone is free to write an article critiquing that.

      • Echoing Riese, and myself again, Julie Goldman is a lesbian. Homophobes, seriously and not as a joke, label gays as pedophiles. Gay people have been oppressed, and I mean seriously fucking oppressed as in imprisoned and put to death due to this stigma that gays are all child molesters.

        The marginalized mocking the privileged is not the same as the privileged mocking the marginalized. The former is an attempt to take back some power while the latter is wielding the power. Context matters.

  18. Most put too much power in words. I find their use of all the so called bad words “refreshing” because it takes their power away. They are just words and they don’t mean anything. Its art and its shock and if you cant see through the shock you will never see the artistic flow these young fucks represent.

    • Actually it takes none of the power away. This lame excuse has no basis in reality and it never really has. There are persons that will be influenced by this crap and they will have no problem using these words or using these words more at school. People who don’t understand the massive pain of the “f” word live in a bubble of ignorance.

      • To say that anyone who uses the “f” word lives in a bubble of ignorance is your opinion and I’m going to disagree/challenge/push you a bit on this. Perhaps my privileged life in Jesus Land where this “f” word is routinely thrown out at me has desensitized me to it’s true ugly meaning, but one day I just stopped caring and in fact started taking pride in this word. You do allow words to mean something to YOU and I personally think that virtually anything you say to me is some badge of honor.

        The downfall of this is that a young teenager may not feel the same way and these words will still hurt. However, and this is a big however, if you are so upset and have your feelings hurt every time someone says the “f” word or calls you a homo, isn’t that action/feeling hurting the little gay kid just as much? They see someone who is openly gay but can’t handle being called some form of gay and they think there is something wrong with actually being gay. I’d personally rather teach people that being gay is something great and something to be proud of and that no one’s use of words is going to take that away from me.

        If we focus a little less on how past definitions have shaped these words and instead try to focus on teaching kids what they should stand up for (i.e. gay rights and NOT raping people) then this conversation might shift a little.

      • Somehow I failed to mention that I dislike Tyler’s music and have chosen not to listen to it. I’m not trying to justify what this young man does by any means. Sara is right on with the fact that the music industry is not talking about this enough. This conversation needs to take place! My point is simply that we often given more power to words (especially in the gay community) than we really need to.

    • ‘they are just words and they don’t mean anything’
      I have to disagree with that. Words mean everything. Words and communication are how we shape our reality.
      Also. You may be sophisticated enough to see through the misogyny and homophobia to the “artistic flow” but 8th grade kids aren’t, and they are the ones who are listening and repeating these lyrics.

      • Exactly! It’s one thing for an adult to listen to something and figure out what’s good and bad about it, but it’s something entirely different for a kid or teenager. I can listen to this guy’s music, hear his musicality beyond his hate speech (and yes, that’s what it is. Even if he’s clowning, even if other rappers are just as bad, it’s still hate. In fact, he has a song where he flat out says the line “I hate gays” so…), and still decide that what he’s saying is too effed up to justify. A kid might hear the same thing and not even think about what he’s saying until they’ve internalized it and oh, suddenly it’s okay to say those things out loud. The same applies to anyone who really isn’t focusing on lyrics/doesn’t know what the words they repeat mean, regardless of age.

        Tyler’s a young kid. He says a bunch of nonsense and claims he’s being funny, he’s joking, he’s trying to push people’s buttons. Think about it, though: if you said some of that stuff, as in take away the rhythm and beat and just say it, it’s just threats to kill and/or rape other human beings. He may not get it, but know who does? The folks who have this crap happen to them.

  19. This is absolutely horrible and ridiculous.

    On a side note, I looked at some of the words in the Twitter cloud that were very, very small: “Alot, Doo, Dat, WANG, and Moose” particularly entertained me. You can tell a lot about someone by what’s lurking in their subconscious (accurately represented by the littlest words in their Twitter cloud.)

  20. Check out Frank Ocean, Mellowhype (Hodgy Beats + Left Brain), and The Jet Age Of Tomorrow – they’re pretty much on the complete opposite end of Tyler (particularly Frank) and are still within the OF collective (making them my favourite wolves).

  21. (This turned out ridiculously long, sorry. This is what happens when you spend all day thinking about something and just keep it in your head without talking about it or anything.)
    I think a big problem is that people don’t understand the impact of words. They either say we need to stop being so serious or they acknowledged that his lyrics lack talent, but they ignore the fact that his lyrics contain a dangerous message. Yes, his lyrics definitely aren’t eloquent, but that’s not the point here. The point is that what people say matters, especially if that person is as famous as Tyler the Creator apparently is (somehow this is only my second time hearing about him). Words have a lot of power. When you repeatedly say that it’s okay to rape women, plenty of people people will think it’s okay to rape women. I looked up some of his lyrics and they made me feel physically sick. How am I supposed to lighten up when this guy is saying things like “I just wanna drag your lifeless body to the forest/And fornicate with it but that’s because I’m in love with you, cunt”?
    And while he probably does enjoy the attention and possibly did write the lyrics he did in order to gain attention, and it’s usually best to ignore people like that, that isn’t the case here. It’s important to talk about him and take a stand against his lyrics for a couple reasons. First off, he’s very popular, so he’s already going to be talked about anyway. In fact, his popularity makes it more important to talk about him because it means a lot of people are hearing his lyrics. Secondly, it’s important to talk about him because it seems like most people who do talk about him are supporting him. Those who disagree with what he’s doing need to speak up to show there are people who recognize that his lyrics are not okay.
    As for the people who argue that his lyrics are okay because he doesn’t actually mean it and he’s just doing it to get a reaction… no. Like I said, words are powerful. Even if he doesn’t actually want people to go out and rape women, his songs still contain a very hateful message and promote homophobia, misogyny, and violence. If words don’t matter then why do we have laws against hate speech? What about all the gay kids (or even just all kids) who commit suicide because of the awful things people said to them? Besides, if he’s so brilliant then why doesn’t he write something worth listening to? I honestly don’t understand how people can argue that words don’t have that much power. It’s like, have you paid any attention to the world at all?
    And all I have to say about Syd the Kid is this: seriously?

    • Sorry but did you actually listen to the song? It’s between two guys, Frank (the boyfriend) and Tyler (the assumed ex-boyfriend). Frank sings the first verse and the hook, describing how this incredibly lame and creepy guy (a ninja with “gold ninja stars and red Supreme nunchuks”) interrupts them during sex, and then slashes ineffectually with his sword causing no real harm.

      The song then shifts to Tyler’s perspective. At first, he’s embodies the cliche of the boy who is really in love, but doesn’t want his friends to tease him (“Don’t wanna seem like a punk pussy that sips on the punk pussy/See when I’m with my friends I just put on a front/But in the back of my top I’m writing songs about we”). But then you remember that he’s just sort of lame when he invites her to the lake to go skinny dipping with the not-so-romantic line “I wanna be Finn from Adventure in Time”.

      There’s a little more innocence with “One, two, you’re the girl that I want
      Three, four, five, six, seven, shit” but then suddenly he says “Eight is the bullets if you say no after all this”, another cliche (“And I just couldn’t take it, you’re so motherfuckin’ gorgeous”), and then drags her lifeless body to the forest. He says “I’m in love with you, cunt”, but since the song includes Frank’s normal boyfriend perspective, it’s obvious that Tyler is not being glorified, but rather, mocked and criticized.

      At the end we realize that Tyler isn’t a jealous ex-boyfriend. His entire relationship with the girl has been a fantasy: “I just wanna talk, and conversate/Cause I usually just stalk you and masturbate/And I finally got the courage to ask you on a date/So just say yes, let the future fall into place, cunt”.

      The song’s purpose is to mock the rapist and it’s one of the most hilarious and effective put-downs I’ve ever heard. It’s making fun of people who use the word cunt as a term of “endearment”, and describing how unrequited love is a pale and false substitute for the real thing. I suspect that there’s a little bit of Tyler, the Creator in Tyler, the Character, but if so there’s clearly a gallon of self-awareness to go along with that drop of puppy-dog jealousy.

      • I appreciate the amount of detail you have given about the song to put it in context. I still think this is an important topic to discuss in regard to him (and others) music. I still have a hard time seeing this as a break from other misogynistic rhetoric– even if this is a “character” for Tyler the Creator, I don’t think there is enough differentiation between the artist and his character to say that these are not views espoused by the artist. What I wonder also is, how is what he is doing in these lyrics transgressive? Eminem has written plenty of similarly violent and misogynistic things, as have many others. I don’t really see how Tyler the Creator can be removed from this existing framework of misogyny and homophobia. If he is using these as creative tools, he is implicit in endorsing them as available narratives.

        • He certainly participates in the existing framework of misogyny and homophobia. Even if he’s not nearly as terrible as his critics claim, he has obviously made a huge number of people too uncomfortable to appreciate his music. One of my favorite critics put it thusly: “For those who can bracket it and enjoy the many amazing things about the music, it’s one of the least interesting things about the group—misogyny and homophobia are everywhere, but music this vital is not, necessarily.”

          It truly is amazing music. If you don’t want to hear the lyrics, listen to this jazz trio’s instrumental cover of his 3 most famous songs:

          I think back on my own adolescence, and how even though I was the president of the Gay-Straight Alliance and professed to be “pansexual” and lobbied for allowing gay couples at prom, I still had in some ways a profoundly homophobic heart until I went to college, made gay friends, and realized I was gay. I’d be a hypocrite if I excoriated Tyler for being a kid and existing within his genre so instead I’m hoping the the massively amazing experiences he must be having now are changing him and that the next album will be better.

          • CL, so basically hate speech is okay if one is 19? Or it is okay if you exist withing “his genre”? Because you like an artist’s beat doesn’t mean you should give a pass to the destructiveness of derogatory slurs in the music.

      • CL, this may surprise you but there isn’t much need to have it explained that that word is not an endearment. By using the words he is okaying them and those words, in and of themselves, are homophobic and misogynistic.

  22. Wait, who called this guy “punk”? If you want music that has something to say, try Rise Against. Their latest album Endgame is so perfect and the song September’s Children is amazing.

    I can’t stand rap at the best of times, so my opinion is probably invalid, but to me, this Tyler guy is the epitome of everything that is wrong with modern music.

  23. He is an idiot. That’s it, there is no further discussion in my opinion.I don’t care if you are Chopin, or Mozart (and he is not) if you are a mysoginistic paranoid, your talent is totally pointless.

  24. i once saw tegan and srar live whilst waing for another band to start at a festival. it was probably the most flat uninspired hour of my life. im glad that this lame pseudo hipser does not like odd future

  25. I must say I find it quite interesting that individuals with perspectives that have been classically disadvantaged at the hands of the victorian male are calling for the suppression of a voice by appealing to the same standards that were once used against themselves.

    • I find it interesting that you have decided there were calls for censorship on this thread when in actuality there was not one call for it. Seems you are the person calling for censorship as you question the right to criticize the homophobic content of this guy’s cd and you question the right to criticize music critics giving him a pass out of racism and elitism.

  26. I agree with a lot of the comments here. His choice of lyrics are awful. Most people will take the songs at face value, they won’t try to see if he’s mocking something or not. People are just going to listen to him and hear the words he’s saying not the ‘meaning’ behind them.

  27. A pearl of wisdom from Tyler:

    “I’m not homophobic. I just say ‘faggot’ and use ‘gay’ as an adjective to describe stupid shit.”

    So following that logic, one could just as easily use the n-word to describe “stupid shit”. Because it’s just a word. A word steeped in several hundred years’ worth of bloodshed, mutual hostility, oppression, and cruelty, but HEY! it’s JUST a word! No biggie!

    • Here’s a quote from the Odd Future Talk forums discussing this very issue:
      “People are too caught by hollow words that don’t have any purpose or meaning behind them.
      Stop living in the past. Stop taking yourself so seriously. Imagine if every black that used the word “nigga” meant the racial slur and was purposefully adding to the hundreds of years of pain it brought. But me and other blacks don’t think that, “nigga” is just a word, not our life just like gays shouldn’t let some stupid letters arranged into syllables affect theirs. Petty worldly b.s.”

      Many posters have chimed in to agree with this post.

      • It’s true that the queer community does the same as the black community as far as reclaiming words in that way. I hear gay friends call each other dyke or lezzer or whatever all the time.

        That said though, Tyler should at some point realize that using those words as a form of “expression” in a popular medium on such a universal scale is damaging to any community he unintentionally targets with his use of slurs. Simply the circulation of these phrases makes it more of a cultural acceptability, but doesn’t make the impact of using these words any less harmful.

      • Oh wow, that’s totally changed my perspective. Tyler really is a brilliant, sensitive young man. Someone needs to book him for a speaking tour in highschools across North America where bullies are throwing around words like “faggot”, “bitch”, “homo”, etc. to deliberately hurt their targets. Ty’s gotta show the kids that words, the very things on which our society is based, have no meaning. The bullied just need to suck it up and chill, and the bullies can keep on sounding like classless inbreds.

        Thanks for clearing that up for me. Sorry about that. :)

      • Junko is right, the queer community has reclaimed some gay slurs just like the black community has reclaimed ‘nigga’. But that doesn’t mean I can go out and call a black person ‘nigga’. And it doesn’t mean a straight man can sing about faggots or cunts.

      • CL, again in trying to state something you further undermine your own argument. You reposted something that states “Imagine if every black that used the word…” when talking about the n word. So the argument there is that it is okay that a minority uses a derogatory slur used against them to take the power away from the word. That is a common argument. What do you notice about that and how does it differentiate from what Tyler, the Creator is doing? That is right. Tyler, the Creator is not gay. He is, in this case, the majority (straight male) using a derogatory slur aimed at a minority he is not a member of. So your example defending Tyler is the polar opposite of what Tyler is doing.

        The post you quote from specifically states “if every black”. You will notice it does not state “every person”. There is a reason. Now maybe ask yourself this since you decided to bring up that quote as a defense. If a white artist came out with an album tossing around the “N” word and defending it by saying to him it is just a word for stupid, would you be defending him? Would music critics defend him because somehow it is expected of him? Would that not be seen as batshit insane if music critics did defend the content as it is okay since he is white and his Dad abandoned him when he was young? So why exactly does this guy Tyler, a straight guy, get a pass on the homophobic content of his cd. This is what Quin nails.

    • ok following his argument that he’s using “just a word”, why doesn’t he use OTHER words, words that don’t specifically refer to a minority/disadvantaged group to describe the aforementioned “stupid shit”? if words are “just words” (and this coming from someone who makes a living from stringing together “just words”) then he can use other words to talk about whatever the hell it is he wants to talk about. but making a specific choice of gay/faggot over other words to describe things he considers “stupid shit”…well, anyone should be able to see how that’s offensive.

  28. I find it interesting that these calls of offensive language were curiously silent when ‘Born This Way’ was released. It seems you can use racial slurs in a song purporting to be a unifying anthem for the gay community as a cis white woman without major consequence.

    I completely understand why Tyler the Creator’s music is found to be offensive to many and that these people should not have to be subjected to music they find offensive. Personally I enjoy his music for the many reasons Damian listed in his comment.

    • I must have missed Lady Gaga’s use of the “N” word. Anyways, enjoy that hate speech filled music. Whatever floats one’s boat and to some, derogatory slurs towards gays happens to be the in thing. Maybe you and Damian can listen to the music together and high five each other every time this guy says the “F” word.

        • So you are comparing her one time misuse of one word (in a song preaching tolerance and acceptance) which she was called out on with nonstop derogatory slurs hurled at gays. That is an interesting comparison only in terms of how far you appear ready to go to defend your gay bashing hero.

          • alot of people (myself included) were not approving of her use of racial slurs. and yeah, go read the born this way thread, it was anything but silent.

    • There actually were/are many people who have issues with Lady Gaga’s word choices. I’m one of those people.

      I’m not defending Gaga, but I would assume that the criticism against the vocabulary she used in Born This Way was not as strong, because the message of the song is to love yourself regardless of your ethnic/sexual identity, to embrace those who are “different”. It’s a blatantly positive message.

      Based on the criticism Tyler has received, it would seem that his message is less clear. Satire’s a great means of getting a point across (whether he’s truly being satirical or not is up for debate), but many of the kids who are listening to his music don’t understand how satire works. All they hear are the words. They generally don’t consider any deeper meaning.

  29. As a female who happens to be gay,I personally find Tegan and Sara’s music offensive. But I fully support the right for them to create it and for others to enjoy it. Although the argument Sara has espoused surrounding Tyler the Creator’s lyrics is a somewhat valid one (albeit slightly flawed in part),the beauty of art in all of it’s forms is that it speaks to people on so many different levels in disparate ways and prompts discussions like these. Further, I would not label Syd Da Kid self hating and a hater of all women just because she says she slaps bitches. I can’t believe that she has enough time to embed such an activity into what is probably quite a busy schedule now that their popularity is growing. I would actually like to know how much time she devoted previously to these bitch slapping sessions? Does anyone know?

      • There is a trolling redflag in Seven’s comment. The person opens with “As a female who happens to be gay”. This is a common trolling technique. The troll thinks that by posting they are the minority, they will not be questioned when they rail against the said minority or defend hatred towards the minority. This trolling style is commonly used and transparent.

        • Fair enough, I’m just not use to trolls ’round these parts. As much as I like Tegan and Sara, I was kind of hoping for some deep, thought-provoking criticism from ‘Seven’. Next time, eh?

          • I find Tegan and Sara offensive because I once saw a video where they forced beer and Tylenol into the mouth of a unicorn – until it overdosed and died..they tried to revive it but were unsuccessful.
            I’m also offended my Sarah Croce, Haviland Stillwell, and Ashley Reed because they did not invite me to be in “Unicorn Plan-it” despite the fact I’m clearly qualified for the role/position.
            GOOD DAY!

          • I never knew they were guilty of manslaughter. And Sara has the bloody cheek to go on about institutionalised homophobia, misogyny and general fuckwittery? Shameful. Thanks for bringing it to light.

          • You’re welcome, she really is a different type of evil. She seems like your average Canadian Liberal on the surface. She wants rights for everyone, or so it seems, she never mentions the unicorns.
            It is uncertain of how many unicorns she and her equally-evil sister have actually killed, intentionally or otherwise.

  30. So does this mean that we should support the destruction of A. Serrando’s “Piss Christ”? Perhaps Paolo Schmidlin’s”Miss Kitty” or “Porno Queen” should be condemned because he takes real people ands his “kink” to them? Oh wait we should definitely not support Renee Cox’s “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” as it places a naked woman in place of Christ?
    I have no problem with any of those pieces or Tyler the Creator releasing anything he wants. I have no problem with Sara Quin’s comments about the artist. In fact she proves what art is about, starting dialog about how culture and society interact and influence how we live, how we view our world.
    Look at how many comments this piece has gotten. One can make an argument that without TTC releasing his work there would be no discussion on these issues that we confront in our daily lives. So through his art there is more progress than before. I have no problem with artist expressing themselves I do have a problem with “word/art police” who don’t realize that the issue is with our society not those creating within it.

    • Absolutely art should be about dialogue, but in my opinion, musicians need to be particularly careful when crafting their songs, just because impressionable people (ie. kids) have much easier access to them. A 13/14 year old is 99999999% more likely to listen to a TTC album than to see a picture of Piss Christ.

      I’m not suggesting that musicians censor themselves, but perhaps if there were some way for them to engage in thoughtful dialogue about the meaning and intent of their songs, we’d be less likely to write them off as misogynistic, dangerous homophobes who are brainwashing the public. If TTC is smart enough to write such ostensibly brilliant lyrics, if he’s smart enough to use satire, then let’s hear him talk about it. But such statements as “I use ‘faggot’ and ‘gay’ to describe stupid shit,” or “words are hollow” make him sound like an ignorant idiot, whose only mission is to shock people without any deeper meaning, and that’s obnoxious and dangerous. Visual artists support their works with an artist’s statement, so why shouldn’t songwriters do the same?

      • So musicians “need to be particularly careful”, but that’s not a request of censorship? Huh? Sure kids are more likely to hear this music, but kids are also bombarded with America’s Next Top Model, Miley Cyrus Corporate Crap etc, etc but it’s musicians that must watch what they sing about?
        I find Lady Gaga’s music to completely vapid crap. That’s my opinion, but I’m glad she’s out there doing her thing. I would be far more likely to spend my money on her than TTC but most likely I’ll buy music from neither of these artists.
        As for engaging the musicians I’m all for it. I hope after time if this guy is really talented that maybe he open’s himself to new viewpoints, ala The Bestie Boys. But to pick out one single artist and have so many comments about the negativity of this one guy is ridiculous. These are cultural issues much bigger than TTC, he’s one voice.
        Picasso debuted his sculpture in Daily Plaza, Chicago by making no statement, nor did he ever comment on many of his pieces. The artist statement is the art. John Lennon once said the Beatles were more popular than Christ. (I thought it was funny, off-cuff, but many thought him a total a-hole for it.) Is TTC a total moron? I have no idea, but if his music speaks to a large group of people then he’s tapping into something valid even if it’s something I totally oppose.

    • There is not one post that calls for censorship. Not one. I know it makes it easier for you to play wise sage when you take the stance you are protecting against censorship. Problem is that your post seems to have nothing to do with the comments here. Then you sink to a special low in stating how TTC has done a great service by calling attention to homophobic slurs. This may also surprise you but TTC is a part of our society and his voice spreading hate does have ramifications. That is not being the word police. That is being a realist. What this comes down to is the pass given by music critics to hate speech when that hate speech is at the LGBT community. Even more intriguing is that the pass seems to be given for patronizing reasons that themselves could be considered racist and elitist. No one is saying to censor this guy. Criticizing this guy’s hate speech is not censorship. It is criticism. There is a big difference. Maybe you should look up those differences before smugly presenting yourself as some grand defender against something, censorship, that not a single person has brought up.

      • Wait, what are you talking about? I personally do NOT advocate his use of homophobic slurs (see my comments upthread). There are several posts here in TTC’s defense saying that his lyrics satirize homophobia and misogyny. I don’t know whether this is true or not (personally, I don’t think it is true).

        What I’m saying is that if in fact he IS satirizing such things (perhaps I wasn’t clear), then let’s hear him talk about his lyrics and defend himself. Let’s see if he’s as brilliant as a lot of people seem to think he is. His OWN comments (which I posted just above) regarding homophobic slurs however, to me, don’t seem to jive with someone who is supposedly using satire to call attention to these things. I am not by any means saying that he is calling attention to homophobic slurs through satire.

        My comment was posted in response to the one by pinkunicorn, who asks why we don’t condemn art works such as Piss Christ when we rail against TTC. It’s a good question, but I say that many works of art are not as likely to be familiar to impressionable people as music by TTC. The ramifications of TTC’s lyrics are going to affect kids a LOT more than A. Serrano’s work. Furthermore, many producers of “shocking” art back their work up with well-crafted, articulate statements explaining the motive behind their work. I’d be curious to see TTC try to back himself up with a such a statement. I’m curious to see if he is in fact being satirical, and bringing attention to such language in our society, or if he’s just throwing around as many nasty words as he can to get attention. Call me a skeptical old bat, but I’m going with the latter.

        • Nina, my reply was to Pink Unicorn’s post also. It was not directed at yours. If the post is directly under your post with the columns matching it is not a reply to your post but a reply to the one above it where the columns don’t match.

      • Chris H.D, No no one here has written to “censor” TTC, including me. I said many posters believed that some words needed policing. Some said it was ok for other gays to use certain words, some disagreed and said no one should use them. Um, that’s policing words.
        The post’s question was “Do words matter?” I believe they do. But I also believe that just because that’s my viewpoint that’s the only viewpoint that is valid. It’s clear that TTC believe’s words don’t really matter that much. In a society that has Presidents saying, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”-lie, every movie review saying “Best ever…”-lie, Donald Trump and the crap that he spews-loads of lies, isn’t it possible that “words don’t matter” it’s really actions that matter?
        And why so emotional? “..stating how TTC has done a great service by calling attention to homophobic slurs”. Um, maybe you need to read my post, as I never “stated” what you said I did. What I wrote is that without his art out there, would we really be talking about this? I just don’t believe one artist’s words “spread the hate” like some wildfire. It implies people can’t actually think for themselves. I believe the hate out there or not is reflected in an artists work. As I type this there are 158 responses, being such a “realist” that you claim to be, do you really this article would even exist without TTC? How is all this “criticism” bad? I think it’s good. I never gave credit to his message, I gave credit to how art can engage dialog, and yes criticism, which can create change culture. You’re so eager to pounce on me for defending what he’s saying, without really taking into my point which is valid art causes engagement.
        I don’t believe I “gave a pass” to TTC I pointed out that other artists do “get a pass”, the Piss Christ is a CRUCIFIX IN PISS!! Miss Kitty is the current pope in drag. I was asking isn’t this the same thing? How can we ask TTC to restrict his words without being total hypocrites when Religious groups call this art “hate speech”? Do I think it is no, maybe, who cares. All these pieces including TTC has caused the public to engage and think. And by the way, many people on these posts have been writing that hateful words should not be tolerated in our society. That is “policing words”. Sorry you get so emotional. Next time try reading my post without making a big assumption that I agree with what he is rapping about.
        ps. Nina’s posts rock. If you bothered reading hers you’d see that she understood my argument and gave an interesting response.

        • There’s nothing wrong with asking people to not be rude. There’s nothing wrong with asking people to respect you by not calling you a faggot. Defining what is polite or respectful or ethical is policing behavior. And we can argue about this, that’s fine. I believe humanity makes it’s own morality.

          People are actually free to be rude and disrespectful to people. And my reaction to Tyler’s lyrics is really, fuck him. Does that make me hypocritical because I’m disrespecting someone who’s disrespecting me? No, it’s standing up for myself.

          A lot of people have strong feelings against the Church because it has oppressed people. If someone has strong feelings against gays, I’m obliged to ask why since gays as a group don’t have political power on their own. To say the oppressor is different than the oppressed is not hypocrisy.

          • “People are actually free to be rude and disrespectful to people” I totally agree, so why shouldn’t TTC be able to be rude and disrespectful to you? Again I really couldn’t give a f*ck about TTC, I do think people are quick to collapse on some artists while giving a pass to others. My issue is with those that think there is a need to require that certain words should be labeled “hate-speech” and that the artist alone is to blame for homophobia. People it’s way bigger issue in society than in a rap song.

            “..because it(Church) has oppressed people”. The people who have issue with this art truly feel these artworks are “hate speech.” These are not the Popes and higher up clergy responsible for “oppression”. These are everyday people who deeply believe this. I think they are bat-shit cray-cray, but when people argue for labeling words as Ok and not Ok that worries me, and seems hypocritical . And seeing how your profile pic reads “Beware of Dyke” it should worry you to, I’m sure some people deem it as one of those “hate words” – that may or may not be ok for lesbians, trans-poeople and some cool gay guys to use. Oh, crap I forgot what the rules are. Who is aloud to say “dyke” again??? but no, no hypocrisy here.

  31. Ugh this brings up a lot of bad Eminem memories for me.

    Isn’t Sara trying to say that other musicians and critics should speak out about the homophobia/misogyny? I don’t think she’s advocating censorship.

    I agree with whoever said upthread that words have meaning to bullied queer kids in small-town high schools across the U.S. Should we really be telling them to “get over it” when they’re called faggot everyday?

    It’s been over 10 years since I was in HS but I can still feel in my body they way I felt when I heard other kids say “faggot” or “that’s gay” and they weren’t even saying it directly to me. I’ve grown up a lot since then and through massive amounts of therapy and soul-searching have dealt with my own homophobia. Maybe now it wouldn’t hurt me as much as it did then. But god did it hurt then.

    I think about those kids like me when controversies like this erupt. I thought about them when the Eminem controversy erupted. I think Sara is thinking about them too. One can find flaws in any argument, and I’m sure Sara has read what she wrote a million times and thought of better ways to express it. But if this particular artist can throw around “faggot” without hesitation then why should Sara be held to a different standard?

    I much prefer positivity and light to negativity and darkness. I much prefer passion to apathy. These are my personal choices and I would never take away anyone else’s right to have theirs.

    We need a call to action for more artists to make music with positive/uplifting messages for all kids, especially the queer kids in small-town high schools.

    • This. This this this THIS. I am a kid in a small-town high school (not for much longer, thank fuck.) I hear “that’s gay” and “faggot” on a regular basis, and I’m out, and my friends are fine with it, and none of them are even phased by this. I really dislike my sexual orientation being a synonym for “wrong.” If that’s how it’s used, I really, really dislike it.

  32. reading these comments on both sides of the argument has been so disheartening. and sad. there really needs to be more posts on this site by people of color/about how to talk about these issues and not say veiled racist things. a lot of the responses seem to draw this line between the POC mysogynist queer-haters and pro-gay gaga T+S loving white feminists. didjaknow you can be against all forms of oppression At The Same Time?
    whether you’re a white gay woman or a straight black man or on a song or on the internet, you can be practicing what you preach. more hate-filled propaganda parading around as art has been thrown our way (what’s new?) hopefully this can inspire us to take a good look at ourselves and how these systems of privelege affect us so that we don’t do the same.

    • Bani, I hate to say it but your post is indicative of a problem. People should not feel that they cannot criticize an artist without being called a racist. The racism comes from those people who decide that somehow Tyler the Creator should not be questioned on the words of hate he spews because it is expected of him due to the color of his skin or the environment he was raised in. To feel that ignorance can be excused due to those reasons is racism and classism at it’s core. I have seen no veiled or unveiled racism here. Even here the defenders of Tyler, the Creator are staying away from the extremely troubling bigotry is to be expected routine.

    • Hi, Bani, thanks for this

      I can’t even construct an adequate response to the debate because of the amount of privilege (ALL KINDS OF IT) I feel like I’m wading through in this comment thread

      • So when Jews call out Christians on anti-semitism or blacks call out whites on racist rhetoric, do you whine about privilege. Bigotry is bigotry and while you apparently disagree, gay bashing doesn’t deserve exemptions based on the person doing the bashing being of a different minority (as you seem to be saying).

        • Your assumption that the kind of privilege I was implying was white privilege speaks volumes. Your assumption that bringing up the issue of privilege at all implies whining on my part , and as you are implying, the part of POCs, also speaks volumes.

          “why are (black/hispanic/asian/poor/queer/etc) people always *whining* about (white/class) privilege?” is a question I’m really tired of hearing.

          Riese just made a post about the microaggressions book. All i’m saying is that i’m feeling some microaggressions in some of the responses to this post.

          Also: I intentionally said nothing. I’m not jumping on the hate bandwagon, but i didn’t attempt to defend the lyrics. mob mentality helps no one.

          tl; dr, thanks for projecting all over my comment and putting words in my mouth :)

          p.s. sorry for being an uppity queer POC!

        • Chris, obviously I’m writing this from and there’re a lot of people commenting from position of privilege. No one’s whining [and, as C points out, using this kind of language is helping no one], it’s a thing and it’s more than worthwhile to point out. Privilege doesn’t mean that you don’t get to join the conversation. It means you have to be aware of it and willing to listen when someone disagrees. Not because it’s the job of people who belong to minorities to educate you [it’s not], but because your experience is not everyone’s experience and there’s only so much one person can know.

  33. I was cool with everything Sara had to say up until this point:

    “Maybe it’s because in this case I don’t think race or class actually has anything to do with his hateful message but has EVERYTHING to do with why everyone refuses to admonish him for that message.”

    That part made me cringe a little bit.

    Critics have praised, and continue to praise Eminem despite his homophobic and sexist lyrics. So, I don’t buy that critics are giving Tyler a free pass because he’s black. If people like the music, then a lot of the time they’re going to find excuses to sugarcoat the problematic details of it regardless of the race of the person behind the music. You see people do it all the time in many different contexts. Maybe one day people will learn that just because they like an artist’s music that it doesn’t mean they have to defend everything about that artist or everything in the music. I will say, I’m kind of an Odd Future fan, but I’m not going to defend the slurs and the rape references.

    • Eminem came under terrific scrutiny and that was in a time, a decade ago, where anti-gay hate received a pass on a constant basis for everyone. This is 2011 and this guy has come under no real scrutiny. Big difference.

      I’m sorry reality makes you cringe. But Quin’s statement is dead on. Maybe you should be cringing at the music critics who basically state it is okay that Tyler, the Creator revel in hate language because it is to be expected. That is ugly racism. But to state you are cringing at Quin’s comment shows is hilarious.

      • If I recall correctly Eminem didn’t come under extreme scrutiny until after he was on TRL every day and had a certain level of exposure to the general public. Keep in mind, the majority of that scrutiny was still not coming from music critics. Odd Future are no where near that level of exposure yet.

        And, well, both Sara’s statement and the music critics make me cringe. So, there’s that. If the critics had ripped Eminem apart for his homophobia and sexism then I think your argument would hold some more weight, but they didn’t. They gave him a free pass just like they’re giving Tyler a free pass.

          • I didn’t ignore the past decade. Criticism of Eminem’s homophobia and sexism has only lessened in the past 11 years. It hasn’t grown. He’s one of the most respected artists in the genre. Him and Jay-Z are tied with having won the second most amount of Grammys as Hip-Hop artists.

            Isaiah Washington, Kobe Bryant, Tim Hardaway, 50 cent, etc. are all black men who have come under scrutiny for homophobic things they have said in the past decade. The media didn’t turn a blind eye to that.

            El-P is a white underground hip-hop artist and critical darling (most of the time). He has said some homophobic things on previous records, and that didn’t stop critics from praising those albums.

            I dunno, it seems to me that music critics have never been big on criticizing homophobia in music regardless of the race of the artist.

            We’ll see what happens when/if Tyler becomes a household name. I’m sure if he does, he’ll be met with a lot more scrutiny and I’m also sure most music critics will continue giving him a free-pass just like they have with everyone else. Which is a shame. It shouldn’t be that way, and I’m sure one day it won’t be. But to simplify this down to “oh, i’m sure they would be laying into him about the homophobia if he were white”, well, that’s being a bit too optimistic unfortunately.

          • It could be that you and I have had different experiences that have just lead us to different conclusions. The fact that you and I don’t agree doesn’t have to mean that one of us is in denial.

            Besides, you have yet to show me how I’m wrong. Telling me that I have my head in the sand doesn’t really give me much. I’m open to being wrong, I know I have been many times in the past.

  34. I really hate how people think that if one person who whatever minority (here, lesbians and blacks) think the words and sentiments are okay, that is actually IS. I mean, he’s black and says nigga. That might even be worse than being straight and saying fag or cunt.

  35. It’s fiction and Tyler says that exactly in his new album. You’re mad. Go attack fictional authors, too, while you’re at it. They write some crazy stuff, too!

  36. I’M SO GLAD SOMEONE’S TALKING ABOUT THIS. Sara, thanks for voicing this sentiment. And Tyler, thanks for bringing a lot of things to light.
    I find it weirdest/most uncomfortable how young these guys are, it makes me feel some kind of responsibility on my part to properly think about what they’re doing. I’m so used to thinking of artists like Odd Future as a generation up, in a way, and feeling like it’s all gonna change by the time MY generation is making music/noise. This whole discussion’s just brought to light that these people are my age, and if I feel I want to change anything about my generation, I have to actually do it, i.e. voice an opinion.
    But as for the actual discussion, I’m sitting on the fence. I mean, I’ve only listened to one song and I hardly know anything about this guy.

  37. Thank, thank you, thank you. Thank you, Laura, for writing this article. Thank you, Sara, for saying what needed to be said. I am so SICK of hearing about how brilliant Tyler the Creator is. Why? Because he’s offensive in a clever way? The hell kind of message are these critics sending when they praise a dude who has lyrics like, “Rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome?” Really? That’s okay, now? I know women are still second-class citizens, but damn, it’s this bad?

    Someone already did a “concept” album like this: his name is Eminem and that album was “Relapse.” That album and the critical acclaim that it received was offensive too, but “Goblin” takes it to another level, completely. Saying anything and hiding behind the “It’s not really me, it’s a fake persona!” excuse is crap and just that: an excuse. If I wrote a book under a pseudonym, and my thesis was that we should bring slavery back because it was a great economic system and morally acceptable, what then? No doubt, I would come under fire. But what if I said, “Yo, everybody chill, that was my alter ego writing that,” am I to believe that that would be okay? Would that make it ACCEPTABLE? I should hope not. I’m all for being open-minded and testing the boundaries of art, but there has to be a line. I think it’s dangerous when we’re ready to accept anything simply because a label of “ART” has been slapped on it.

    I apologize for this rant, but I am completely disgusted by this kid and the fact that everyone wants to be on top of what’s cool and what’s hip so much that they rush to endorse crap like this. In my opinion, Childish Gambino should be receiving this kind of laudatory attention. Tyler should only be a blip on the radar as an example of what NOT to do.

  38. Generalizations everywhere…
    HE’S A TROLL. He’s not advocating anything especially the one thing opposed people are focused on about his music; sentences most likely made up by freestyle in the game of rhyming. He’s a rapper. He’s not on any tangent of hate towards anyone but the pop culture of our society(refer to yonkers). But if someone WERE TO WRITE A BOOK ABOUT BRINGING BACK SLAVERY, that’s a persuasive piece of writing even if the writer were to say their “alter-ego wrote it.” Not a good comparison, yo.
    Y’all should stop your butthurt and put energy towards real problems. There’s your way, my way, but the right way doesn’t exist in this POS world. Attacking this dude won’t stop gay hate and disrespect towards women. Maybe the Catholic church? That’s a pretty intolerant establishment. Find something tangible, please.

    • gaaaaaaraga, it appears that you misunderstood me. I never said that Tyler was advocating anything. My point was that the people who are praising him are the ones advocating his bullshit. Although, I do agree with you about him being a troll. His work is…I don’t even have words for what it is; I know what it attempts to be. What’s maddening to me is that people are praising this kid. People whom I expect to know better.

      As far as my example about the book on slavery, I don’t see your point at all. You mentioned it, you categorized it, and then you said it wasn’t a good example.

      Just to really clarify my point, lest there be any future misunderstandings, my problem is not with Tyler. Yes, I find his work detestable, but the kid (and make no mistake about it, he IS a kid) is doing what he wants and making money. The critics and journalists who support him are the real pieces of work because without them, we wouldn’t be having this exchange. Anyone can say or do anything that they want to, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing. Unless they have support.

  39. I appreciate Sara’s letter, but she doesn’t offer up any kind of ‘fix’ to what she’s griping about.

    While I also understand her reasoning for being offended, I have to use the quote attributed (correctly or not) to Voltaire, which states, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    • Actually she does. She specifically calls out music critics who seem to have decided that while some bigotry is wrong, other bigotry is okay. If a white artist went on an “n” word tirade in their songs and defended it saying the “n” word just means stupid and has no deeper impact, the same music critics would go ballistic. What she understands all too well is that this is double standard is a nonsensical approach. Sadly not only do music critics let it pass but so do many lgbt individuals whether it be out of self-loathing or a sort of conditioning to believing certain hate speech is more sickening than other hate speech. When people talk about liberal guilt it is exactly this type of junk they are talking about. Bigotry is bigotry is bigotry. If one gets pissed off at bigotry against one minority but lets it pass if it is another minority, it is sickening.

      • Yogi, so true. But Cleveland Brown’s post is indicative of many here – confusing criticism, which Quin is doing, with censorship, which no one here is advocating. I think it is purposefully done this way so persons defending this hate music can see themselves as on some pedestal that they are fighting for freedom of speech. It would be a clever strategy if it wasn’t so darn obvious and without merit.

    • How? How is this convo out of line or do I need to got back to my (internet) etiquette class? I find this to be a picnic at the park or I just happen to hang with peeps with really strong opinions and didn’t notice…oh well.

      I feel like whenever we have a similar conversations I tend to agree with all sides in different degrees. How is this possible? I tell you why *I* think it is possible:

      Agency!

      People are going to be assholes in whatever medium of art or expression, BUT if a person has a sense of agency, power to not let it fuck them up, really what is the issue/offense? They are in the end different ways of expressing an opinion (which you may agree or may not agree with). I honestly feel/think that if people had the means of agency/power regardless of what asshole is saying, THIS WHOLE THING WOULD NOT BE A *THING*. And By this *thing* I mean privilege (which can help and hamper anything in regards to social justice) talk. In *my* experience this allowed the most condescending conversations of “liberal/white guilt” I ever had and I can’t help to also agree with the person who explained the differences between privilege and stigma (I think it was Chris H.D.).

      I have known people to break down feel powerless because of what Tyler and people who say “faggot” and “dyke.” The context does not matter, it hurts. I, speaking for myself feel differently,I can say FUCK YOOOOOOOU if some fool tries to tell me that I am less than because of what identity I belong to or what it assumed that I belong to.

      I feel that in the end of Sara’s comment was that SHE FINDS THE LYRICS TO BE *VERY* PROBLEMATIC. It’s an opinion. *sparkle sparkle, glitter glitter*

  40. Hahaha they’re like a lot of stupid comments here, yet funny, the unicorn thing, hahahaha XD I don’t know if it was for real, but it was funny as hell, and well, I can see a lot of people that don’t get the point of the letter, kinda sad, tho’….

  41. I always want to comment on this site, but there are always to many things to say and respond to so I usually just don’t but here it goes:

    It infuriates me when people trivialize the struggles and words used to keep people in the minority down. It’s fucking annoying when you know something is wrong and hateful and your anger is brushed off with ” its not that serious” “its just *insert medium*” “it doesn’t mean anything” because guess what asshole words DO mean something that’s why we fucking use them because they help us articulate what we MEAN. For you to say things flippantly especially violent and hateful things saying they have no meaning is just stupid and irresponsible as sara said. These words are being used in a typically offensive way giving them a negative connotation whether you acknowledge their meaning or not .The very way in which they are used implies their meaning. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for reclaiming words but how are you reclaiming a negative word or taking away its meaning if you still use it in the usual negative context. That’s why I think none of us are hardcore bitching about Gaga (some are,because slurs are offensive…) because the message of her song is POSITVE as someone earlier stated. Its not hateful…ignorant and insensitive but not hateful.

  42. My f’n phone is blowing up with responses you weirdos are throwing around the internet so I felt the need to respond.

    New york interview :

    To his critics, Tyler responded, “They don’t know me; they don’t get it. Weren’t they 18 years old at some point, just having fun?”

    You guys are spending your whole day getting flustered about something that doesn’t need this much time spent on it. I think our parents or grandparents should have spent this much time on these subjects because they created the hate our generation has fought so much to break down. Its only hateful if its meant to be hateful. These are just kids that are just having fun like we ALL did. And if your kids or don’t understand the difference between fantasy and reality then you have failed as a parent, plain and simple. You are making your lives way too self important and you need hobbies….seriously.

    BTW Tyler thanks for pissing off the Canadians now too lol

    • I can tell you saying words as an idiot has nothing to do with being young, or whatever, just because of that belief people think we, the young people, are idiot, and don’t wanna do anything but have sex or smoke pot….But, well,… if you have problems with your phone just change the configuration and make sure you do thatright (:

    • Ah, yes, I remember being 19 and totally calling people racist, sexist, and homophobic things for fun! If we were feeling especially youthful, we’d actually go hurt someone. Hate: The epitome of being young! *sigh*

      /sarcasm

  43. OMG I just realized this was a “cause” site. No wonder you guys are all heated. Instead of trying to save the millions of people killed everyday around the globe your here bitching about your rights and how much your lives suck. NM my last post because its not going to get through to someone who enjoys showing off how different they really are.

    Free Earl.

    • What a flawed argument. So basically you believe in the first amendment unless the first amendment protects those who criticize your hero. We will discuss what we like or dislike whether the hell you like it or not.

  44. damn, why are so many outsider trolls commenting on this article?
    i think that words can be a powerful thing. even if this guy does not necessary “mean” what he’s rapping about, that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of younger kids are gonna hear the lyrics at face value. as a kid, i remember all of the homophobic attitudes i was surrounded by. at that age, i learned to be homophobic before i even understood what homosexuality was. although words can seem insignificant on the surface, they have the capacity to play a huge role in “normalizing” homophobia and thus allowing it to become the hegemonic ideology.

  45. well, you are like the one who wants to represent that in this web,ok….so…you are wolverine?//

    ripper: I don’t even listen his music,… and (fyi) no one cares if you say that no one cares if I don’t like his music

  46. Ok so now that I “came out” as a fan my words don’t mean as much? So as long I was a person who loved whoever I chose or a female my comments before were for the most part overlooked but now I’m an Idiot? Hypocrite.

  47. Never heard of this rapper. When he produces something on the magnitude of “Live from Folsom Prison,” let me know, and I’ll stop my usual music listening habits to give him a listen. Until then, zzzzzzzzzzz.

  48. I listened to some of Tyler, the Creator’s songs after reading this article, and I’ve reached this point of view. Not entirely sure how popular it’ll be:
    While I really don’t approve of the hateful messages these songs contain, I have to say that I do appreciate the music, mostly for the originality and shock value that it holds. This guys does seem to be a stream-of-consciousness-type of artist (do I believe that all art contains some sort of intrinsic purpose? — no, I don’t), and while the content of this aptly-named stream of consciousness is quite horrific, it spurs strong reactions, which is always better than no reactions.
    Again, not saying that I “like” the music, per se, but that I appreciate it, and that I support freedom of expression. I mean, you’ve got to admit, it’s interesting stuff. I’ve never heard rap/seen music videos quite like it before.

  49. All you gay Fags shut the fuck up if you don’t like Tyler the creator just don’t listen to his music you dumb ass munchers you don’t see me trashing those dyke sister tegan and Sara so shut the fuck up cause the more you diss Tyler the creator the more attenion he’ll get so go back to eating each others assholes and if you don’t like him just don’t listen to him and god bless Tyler the creator his the only person that makes real music now.

  50. like i said i don’t agree with what he says, i said the whole concept of pissing people off is brilliant. If this was to be shown in a film you guys would eat this shit up, but its not. this is exactly what he wants cause your obviously paying attention to his shit. its fucking funny that people talk shit about shit they dislike and don’t believe in on a daily basis but when it comes to their beliefs they are outraged. Yes i said honestly a lot but your opinion is also subjective because all opinions are subjective. Death metal has the same shock value if not worse, but its not receiving mainstream attention so we ignore it? oh thats what it is tyler is receiving all this press so i guess kids are gonna do whatever he says, thats fucking stupid. I love shit that pisses people off, remember shock value brings press whether its good or bad you are still paying attention to it. You people talk shit about fox news but you guys react the same just because it offends you. im glad I’ve got no values hahahaha this is too funny

  51. “Im offended by Tylers music.” hahaha. “Catch me with a bunch of fucking Mexicans crossing the border. I’ll be the only wetback who ain’t really touched the water.Cause I’ll be too fucking busy trying to flirt with Jesus’ daughter(Fuck Mary).” Im mexican and my parents crossed the border i dont find it offensive, if anything its clever and comedic.

  52. Looks like everyone is done making their points. Any discussion about whether or not the guy was a homophobe ended around the time he made his tweet which showed for the world that there is no defense for this scum. Only the homophobic teen’s worshippers seem to be still posting and their inept rants are about as intriguing as the homophobe’s music.

  53. so if we don’t agree with your opinion we are then labeled as homophobes? me myself am not a homophobe i can care less what your sexual preference is, what im saying is that there is no such thing as objective opinions all of them are subjective. like i said “You people talk shit about fox news but you guys react the same just because it offends you.” how is tyler a homophobe if syd the kid is a lesbian? cause tylers music is a paradox.

    • It’s not a question of whether Tyler is a homophobe it’s whether his use of words can incite homophobia. Yes kids will listen to Tyler, no not all of them will think it’s okay to say the things Tyler says either in his songs or via his twitter – because both are pretty fucking horrific – but some will.
      Saying that Tyler couldn’t possibly be a homophobe because of Syd is also ridiculous, the fact that he just tweeted “If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!” pretty much proves his disrespect for women – and orientation. If I said something undeniably racist and then said “oh no, no here’s my black friend, so I’m totally not a racist” would you believe it? I wouldn’t – it’s the same principle.
      I’d bet he thinks he’s the “cure” for lesbianism too? In truth I don’t know whether Tyler’s a homophobe, a misogynist, an idiot? – Well he’s definitely an idiot.

  54. its like arguing with a religious person about god, our opinions don’t matter, he has the right to say or do as he wants whether its just fictional. just like you have the right to choose what you want to be and say what you want to say. i’m out this shit is lame anyway arguing about meaningless shit, about he said this and that he does this and that. im glad i don’t get pissed when they challenge my ideals or way of life, if anything i like when people do it. Miguel Angel Ruiz a Mexican author once said “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” that’s how i live my life i invite you to do so as well, i myself have been put on the spot for being a minority whether it be that i don’t follow a religion or being a Hispanic, but its made me who i am, i am thankful for shit like that because if it didn’t get to me then it definitely made me more immune to it.

  55. Okay, I just got an “Internal Server Error” message, and I don’t know if it’s because AS is getting so much traffic from this article, but if it is, I’m doubly angry at the invasion of homophobes. I can ignore comments, but really, if it’s ruining my ASS experience, I’m sad.

  56. THANK GOD FOR SARA QUIN. (and for youy, you know, for writing this.)

    I’ve been meaning to write something about this forever. It drives me crazy how many Smithies I see supporting this music despit (/because of?!) its horrible horrible lyrical content

  57. hahahahaha I’m only laughing because I recently downloaded the zipfile for The Goblin, but have yet to unzip it and I remember my friend calling me last week to say “OMG, have you listened yet!? The beats are sick [good] and his flow is sick [good], the composition is sick [good] but omg he’s so effing sick [bad]. And not the good kind. He’s twisted. Girl… he scared me. The CD literally scared me. Don’t unzip!”

    I thought she was exaggerating. I still think she is. But now I have to listen to hear what sadistic ish he’s rapping. I’m more afraid that I might like the album overall and be considered misogynistic. Conundrum.

  58. The problem with Tyler’s potty mouth is that his new album isn’t very good. Bastard was so good that he got away with it, but if you’re gonna go all ‘extreme’ with the naughty words you gotta back it up with good tunes else it’s just bullshit.

    Otherwise, I really feel like he should be able to say whatever he wants regardless of who gets offended. Got a problem? Deal with it. Either ignore him, or don’t ignore him and call him out like Sara Quin did.

    As far as the reaction from this particular corner of the internet, I understand it and accept it but I think it’s really stupid. Is this really the way you guys handle “up and coming teenaged underground rap artist says mean things?” Okay.

    I guess I also want to say that there are definitely brilliant aspects to Tyler’s music. Goblin not so much, but a lot of his previous material for sure. Obviously the “i just youtubed one of his songs and this guy is soooo untalented” numbskulls are a lost cause in general. But he really showed immense promise and the edgy language was only one small part of his arsenal, and absolutely not the focal point.

  59. Tyler the Creator is a new age Johnathan Swift. I think he says things to get a rise out of people, make them think. I love “Yonkers,” think it’s pretty fucking brilliant. Could he make the same points with his music using less derogatory terms? Well, the answer is a resounding “yes”. However, would we be talking about him right now if he didn’t? Hell no.

    I don’t think I’ll be eating any babies after listening to his new album.

  60. What would be the point in fighting for the freedom to speak and say what you think if words were truly meaningless?

    A challenge to anyone who think words are meaningless:
    Approach a group of strangers and start a conversation involving some sort of statement promoting an act of violence, misogyny, or bigotry. Perhaps you could try using the words cunt, rape, faggot and nigger.

    “Art” is the most misrepresented word in entertainment. And only in the creation of “Art” will seemingly intelligent people excuse, promote and praise the imagery and use of such hateful words.

    Like a restaurant who serves decomposing meat and rotted produce to manufacture sustenance, hate speech is the nourishment of hate.

  61. Okay so Tyler likes to say things that he thinks is “cool” so apparently he thinks raping people is cool. Even if he wouldn’t actually do it in real life, there are still impressionable people out there who would take his lyrics to heart. I see so many young boys walking around here not giving a fuck about anything and do or would do all of the crazy shit he’s talking about in his lyrics. If you’re one of his fans, sitting there really listening to and enjoying his music then you agree with what he’s saying. If you say that you don’t you’re just a passive listener and probably an idiot.

    The first time I came across his music was when he performed on Jimmy Fallon and at first I thought it was cool because I liked the performance, his “flow” and the beat but then when I looked up the lyrics to the song I was like “WTF?”. Then when I looked up other stuff I was like this shit is not cool. I would continued to like his shit if I continued being a PASSIVE listener.

    Basically people like him because he’s a “good” lyricist (and I mean by his flow mainly), the fact that he’s offensive, and he dresses like a hipster. He reminds me of one of those obnoxious tumblr kids.

    Anyway, people like things that are different and that could put them in this “different” category. OFWGKTA and Tyler exclusively, easily feed into this so whoever likes them feels like their on some “exclusive shit” and think they are cool.

  62. I am so happy we should not “over annylize the shit” and “nigga its not that serious” what a relief because here I was thinking about all the children in my nieghborhood who constantly have their innocent minds flooded with that “shit” and take it seriously because their fucked up parents know “nigga its not that serious” and frequently blast it while their four year old girls play dolls in the playground of my apartment complex. And statistics show in my nieghborhood it is very likely they will wind up pregnant, on drugs, or murdered and raped like the music’s “cool” lyrics push on their developing minds. People seriously! Your dealing with a textbook narssisist! NPD Look it up! He is unable to see what he is doing because he has blinders on and cares not what impact he has on the world. Like most celebrities it’s all about self presservation. And fuck the world. Why anyone would support people like that is beyond me! They have to be more ignorant than he is! Or narssisists themselves! If we had more people in school getting good educations no one would waste time on this assclown. And those little girls would grow up and have a fucking chance. Not be someones Bitch! Come to MY neighborhood and see what kind of influence people like that have. See the eight yr olds reciting that shit and calling their sisters and girls in the complex whores, bitches, sluts, cunts. See the little girls playing “house” talking about how they can’t wait till they reach 15 so they can have a baby like their mama did. Its not a joke I’VE SEEN IT. This is a fucking epidemic people! Girls get killed and drug into the woods and raped on the Ortega HWY in my area all the time! And all over the US let alone the world! This kind of lyric and constant noise does nothing but perpetuate it and make it the “norm” make it “a part of everyday life”. Just google ANY of the acts of violnce rappers talk about today and see what comes up in poor areas across the US. READ a fucking statistic. Influence like this gives these people an excuse to not try, to not achieve anything but what they see and hear in the media they surround themselves with. Words inspire plain and simple. Its scary what’s inspiring the next generation. I can’t even express to you in words how heartbreaking this all is. Its about accountability people. Its about time this generation got some.

    Im sorry for my heated ranting and foul language. Obviously the things people rap, write, or film about is not just a cool story or a metaphor. Its reality to alot of people. And shouldnt be taken lightly. Like i said knowledge and accountability. Educate yourselves. There are no excuses now a days.

  63. “Rap” as a genre is dying. Those who are trying to eek out a few dollas before the ugly lights come up are taking two tracks: one is the popification of rap with songs that create dances and party tracks. The other is this shock value, press generating hatefulness. I hope syd the “very much an immature” kyd gets more than 30 pieces of silver for her ride on this gravy train.

  64. I understand Sara’s point of view about how we shouldn’t praise Tyler, The Creator because in this day and age, us kids are what we listen to. I know when I was in middle school, if you listened to rock, then you protrayed and acted like a “rocker”, if you listened to rap, then you were a “thug” or a “gangsta” and they would try and throw themselves in that lifestyle. I saw it happen right in front of me.

    Heres my example: My oldest brother loved TMNT and he begged my mom to put him in karate. When he entered middle school, his preferences changed. He chose to try and live his life like the rappers were rapping about. My brother then went through different genres that fit the tone of life. Moral of the story is that regardless of how you’re raised, you become what you’re putting in your head as to fit in these stereotypes that we have made. I’m interpreting Sara’s comment to be towards how in this day and age, any kid with access to the internet can listen to this, jam to the beat without looking up what’s being said and soon become influenced and want to personify the music. A parental advisory label on a album doesnt mean anything on the internet. I think that’s the main issue.

    And to me, a genre can’t die. A genre is like a tumor. Some have a higher priority than others depending on the severity, but regardless of this fact, they’ll still have a negative reaction whether or not it can bring about an understanding about the tumor. You can try to remove it from society, but it’ll always be benign somewhere, waiting for a chance to become malignant again.

    I hope I’m not being an ignorant 18 year old that doesnt know what she’s saying and I’m sorry if there are any grammatical errors. :/

  65. im sorry i cant take tyler serious! im just laughin about his lyrics! i cant just cant take him serious with this ofwgkaybnmejkajhfo whatever! i mean he just uses his lyrics to hide his personalitiy and get attention! im ignoring him.

    about what sara quin said- im fucking behind her! there you can see where smartness comes from!and of course its not right to use words like faggot etc. hes just lame and thinks he can hurt everyone with such lyrics. never heard his music actually but this post here just confirms how ignorant he is.

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  67. Kinda late to the party but if you hear me out you will learn that the lyrics are justified. Goblin is the second album in the WOLF trilogy. In wolf the albumn which came out after goblin tyler describes how he is betrayed and desends into madness. After many haneous acts carried out by his schizophrenia and other mental health issues he is sent to dr. TC his therapist which he talks to throughout the mixtape bastard and in the infamous goblin albumn. After his rehabilitation which kills all the voices in his heads which are characters in his narrative he creates cherry bomb which his first sane albumn as just tyler. It is very positive and uplifting but still a little foul mouthed, but what do you expect he’s a rapper. Also the line from radicals is out of context. The song states that he does not want people to go out and do “stupid shit” but express themselves and do what makes them happy. If you can manage not getting triggered for a few hours I would recommend listening to the album a and listening for the story. OF for life.

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