Tyler, the Creator, the controversial leader of L.A. rap collective Odd Future, who’s already caught criticism for lyrics that promote homophobia and rape, is being called to task by Sara Quin, of Canadian rock act Tegan and Sara, who took issue with the rapper’s “sickening rhetoric” — and the media that have overlooked his “repulsive and irresponsible” lyrical content.
“When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry?” Quin asked May 13 on her blog. “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.”
Quin went on to wonder whether the media and fans of Odd Future are afraid to criticize the group for fear of being labeled racist. “If any of the bands whose records are held in similar esteem as [Tyler’s album] Goblin had lyrics littered with rape fantasies and slurs, would they be labeled hate mongers?” she wrote. “I realize I could ask that question of DOZENS of other artists, but is Tyler exempt because people are afraid of the backlash? The inevitable claim that detractors are being racist, or the brush-off that not ‘getting it’ would indicate that you’re ‘old” (or a faggot)? Because, the more I think about it, the more I think people don’t actually want to go up against this particular bully because he’s popular. Who sticks up for women and gay people now? It seems entirely uncool to do so in the indie rock world, and I’ll argue that point with ANYONE.”
Over the weekend, Tyler posted a response via Twitter: “If Tegan And Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!” he tweeted at the duo, who are both gay.
Odd Future and Tyler are no strangers to controversy. In the six short months since they’ve emerged as one of hip-hop’s hottest new groups, Tyler has had run-ins with police, ignited riots at autograph signings, and released unsettling, gross-out videos.
Tyler’s latest controversy comes just as misogyny and homophobia have re-emerged has hot-button topics in current rap music. SPIN contributor Brandon Soderberg has been covering the topic in his column; read more about the issue here.