Earlier this month, Tyler, the Creator cancelled the Australian leg of his tour. "We would much rather come to Australia when it isn't surrounded in controversy," the rapper wrote on Facebook. He bounced back quickly though, announcing a joint tour with A$AP Rocky.
Then a couple days ago, he cancelled four dates in the UK and Ireland at the last minute. At the time, he blamed the sudden cancellation on "circumstances." It appears that the "circumstances" are actually old lyrics. Today Tyler tweeted, "BASED ON LYRICS FROM 2009 I AM NOT ALLOWED IN THE UK FOR 3-5 YEARS."
His manager, Christian Clancy, added more details in a Tumblr post."Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom," Clancy wrote. "the letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums bastard and goblin—the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since… highlights from the letter include that his work 'encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality' and 'fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.'"
Clancy continues, "can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18?" He also wonders what role race plays in the decision, and how it squares with democratic principles like free speech. Read Clancy's full post here. (A request for comment to the UK's Home Department wasn't immediately returned.)
A publicist for Tyler told The FADER over email that Clancy's blogpost and Tyler's tweets (more below) “are the statements for now."
Update: A Home Office spokesperson has responded with a statement.
Though the UK's Home Office does not comment on individual cases, a spokesperson gave the following statement to The FADER via email:
“Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values.
“The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.”