If you knew of Tyler, the Creator before he nabbed the Best New Artist award at last night’s VMAs, his foul-mouthed acceptance speech wasn’t shocking at all.
“Yo, I’m excited as f— right now, yo,” said the rapper, clad in a tie-dye tee. “I wanted this sh– since I was nine. I’m about to cry. This is for my little brother Earl [Sweatshirt]. He’s not here right now. I really can’t believe I’m here right now. I didn’t write a thank you speech. I don’t know. F—. To all the kids watching, you can do this sh–. Thank you.”
Lovely, right? Well, not really. But what fans of him and his California hip-hop miscreant collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All love is just that: his defiant, “I don’t give a f—“ candor. Watch him accepting his prize last night:
Tyler, a 20-year-old with serious daddy issues, burst onto the scene in 2009 as Odd Future’s leading man after dropping a sinister self-produced mixtape called Bastard. It chronicled his hate for his absent father, grade school, and well, pretty much everything. His debut album Goblin, released earlier this year, took things a bit further.
Fantasies of rape, suicide, and destruction are set to whimsical production (he’s heavily influenced by The Neptunes). Though critics cry about how caustic his lyrics may be, it must be noted that he views his art as no more damaging than a horror movie. Tyler’s said time and time again that he has no intention of going through with any of the nutso things he says. He’s basically a 2011 version of a young Eminem. Tyler’s all about shock value, but in an earnest, almost endearing way.
But let’s get to why he won last night, beating out Big Sean “My Last,” Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci,” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”
Simply put, his “Yonkers” video is amazing. It’s simple, dark, and compelling. In the black and white clip Tyler eats a roach, tells Jesus to pipe down, pukes, and kills himself. None of those things sound like quality TV, but it is. It’s elegant and artfully done somehow:
And on top of that, he directed it. Its plays on Youtube crept to a million within days of release. Now it’s rocketed to nearly 20 million views. Yeah, it’s a big deal. True, Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” mollywops Tyler’s 20 mill. But the cute girls,/hot cars/ sunny day formula is cliché. Tyler’s is special.
So there you have it, Mixers. If you didn’t know Tyler, now you know. He’s twisted, quite damaged, and hella talented.