Tyler, the Creator has opened up in a candid new interview with The Guardian. Tyler, usually a fairly coy interview subject, spoke in depth with The Guardian’s Rebecca Nicholson about his recent UK ban, how early accusations of homophobia against him affected him, and Eminem’s use of homophobic slurs when dissing him on Kamikaze. “I got treated like a terrorist,” Tyler explained in regards to his UK ban over the alleged homophobia in his lyrics. “I got treated like I was a murderer … It was kind of stupid, and after a while I was like: I don’t even want to come back. But it was more the principle of ‘Y’all really did this, over this? In comparison to other shit people do that y’all let in?’ … [The length of the ban] surprised me. But then I remembered — I’m dark skinned, so, ahh, all right, I get it.”
Later on, Tyler discusses his sexuality and the fact that he had to come out over and over in order for people to believe him, likening the situation to a scene in Scary Movie 2. “[It’s] one of my favourite movies. She gets stabbed onstage, but it’s acting, in a beauty pageant, so they’re like ‘Oh my God, she’s so good.”
This reluctance to accept Tyler’s sexuality from fans and the public, he explains, led to some annoyance when he was criticised for homophobia. “That’s the thing, bro,” Tyler explained to Nicholson. People knew I wasn’t [homophobic]. People knew the intent! That tree over there could be a faggot! Who hasn’t played Call Of Duty online and heard some 11-year-old call you that because you killed him? You knew the intent behind it and then people were faking, like, he’s homophobic? That was pissing me off.”
Later in the piece, Tyler notes that while there was controversy around Eminem’s use of a homophobic slur to describe him on the diss track “Fall,” he didn’t care as much as others did. “Did you ever hear me publicly say anything about that?” he said. “Because I knew what the intent was. He felt pressured because people got offended for me. Don’t get offended for me. We were playing Grand Theft Auto when we heard that. We rewound it and were like “Oh.” And then kept playing.” Read the full Guardian interview here.
Tyler recently released a Channel Tres remix of “EARFQUAKE,” marking the first officially sanctioned remix of one of his songs. He’s currently embarking on a tour in support of his 2019 record IGOR.