I have been a HUGE fan of Tyler the Creator for years, even attending his music festival, Camp Flog Gnaw, in 2019. Despite his undeniable music talent, social advocacy for equality, and down-to-earth sense of humor, the artist is in fact not as perfect as we all may think him to be. Few rappers have lyrics so controversial that they are banned from countries, and Tyler the Creator falls on this short list for good reason.
Over the past decade, Tyler has been banned from the UK, Australia, and New Zealand for lyrics promoting violence and rape culture. Some include, but are not limited to, the following:
“Rape a pregnant b*tch and tell my friends I had a threesome”
“And you call this shit rape but I think that’s fun”
“Lure her with expensive dinners and a nice bracelet
Leave the b*tch breathless, what the b*tch don’t know is that
I’m a muthaf* ckin’ sellout and a rapist”
In 2015, Tyler was arrested for instigating a riot by telling people to “push push push” at a concert in Texas.
Many artists are guilty of having nasty lyrical contents. As a society, we are quick to dismiss these words as irrelevant and continue to listen to the songs anyways. Tyler the Creator has been an artist that I have admired for years, but as we see how the power of lyrics can perpetuate evil and criminality, we must expect more from our entertainers. It is not enough to say “oh, well it was one song.” We excuse it when it is on a minimal level, but I believe these are the easiest places to begin a shift towards better society.
To shift the conversation back to Tyler’s banning from various countries for what could be considered rather small incidents, do you think it is extreme? Or is there something we can learn from these countries? They do not tolerate this behavior or the emphasis on acting in various manners of malice. Is it valid to say that these countries seem to be acting on much more moral notions than Americans when it comes to musical lyrics and rape culture?