Sara Quin of Canadian folk-rock-new wave duo Tegan & Sara posted a blog yesterday calling out rap sensation Tyler the Creator and the people who champion him.
When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry? When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offenses? While an artist who can barely get a sentence fragment out without using homophobic slurs is celebrated on the cover of every magazine, blog and newspaper, I’m disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile.
Misogynist and homophobic lyrics are nothing new in hip hop (or rock or pop or country for that matter) but Tyler and his Odd Future crew’s use of them is uniquely problematic. Nitsuh Abebe, one of the best music writers going, unpacked a lot of this earlier in the week at New Yorker Magazine
One time Tyler tweeted the following: “I Want To Scare The Fuck Out Of Old White People That Live In Middle Fucking America.” (He says the same about most everyone whose life he imagines is more comfortable than his.) I wonder if he realizes that several of his transgressive Yes I Said That misogynist-monster jokes — e.g., “Goddamn I love bitches / Especially when they only suck dick and wash dishes” — would actually fit in just fine among certain old white people in middle America? Sure, he is pretending to be a vampire when he drops that line. But he could just as easily pretend to be an old jerk at a random American bar, two decades before he was even born. Somehow his misfit mentality keeps leading him toward poses that fit in all too well.
Abebe further clarified some of his points on his Tumblr blog.
All I wanted to suggest was that Tyler, far from being some kind of complicated monster, is actually sort of a trite and typical teenage jerk! Which is sort of more pathetic and mundane than being a monster!
Even earlier in the week, at The Guardian‘s blog Alex Macpherson wrapped Tyler’s slurs around (heterosexual) rapper Lil B’s recent announcement that his next album will be titled I’m Gay. Says Macpherson:
What both Odd Future and Lil B are doing, at heart, is trolling their elders in the hope of provoking reaction. So why does Lil B seem so much more exciting? Perhaps because he understands that truly brave trailblazing entails trolling your own core demographic, not outsider strawmen who have no time for you anyway.