This year, Tyler the Creator has been refused entry into Australia and the U.K. on the grounds that some of his lyricism, released back in 2009, encourages misogyny and homophobia. These lyrics were initially exposed by Australian feminist organisation ‘Collective Shout’, who have ignited a fire that has more recently seen hip-hop artist Chris Brown incur a ban in light of his violent past.
Fuck It sees Tyler defending his character, explaining that ‘his freedom was breached… for shit [he] said when [he] was a virgin’. And, indeed, the rapper was merely 18 when he penned the lyrics that are now disallowing him to embark on two extensive tours.
Though the musician’s aforementioned lyrics do encompass images of extreme, irrational violence, Tyler has claimed that this does not represent him, but the alter-ego that he had crafted. In an interview with The Guardian, he pleaded with his opposition to ‘watch any interview and see [his] personality…[he] wouldn’t hurt a fly’.
We can’t deny that a lot of big names in the rap world use alter-egos to separate their musical identity from their personal identity, namely, Marshall Mather’s Slim Shady and Nicki Minaj’s Roman Zolanski. In the aforementioned interview, Tyler expressed that the ban is a hypocritical attack on free speech and will inevitably ‘open the door for other people to get banned’. Should the immigration board, in the same vein, ban Quentin Tarantio from entering Australia due to the violent content of his films?
Suffice to say that, for Tyler’s Aussie fan-base, it’s all looking pretty grim. In Fuck It, the rapper ‘tell[s] Australia that [he’s] sneaking in with a mic in [his] damn hand’, so who knows? Maybe he’s got a trick up his sleeve.
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