Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator: ‘I’m Not Homophobic’

Odd Future during SXSW 2011 - March 17, 2011. Photo: Brook Bobbins/Staff or Contracted

Odd Future raps about rape and uses homophobic slurs a lot. Some people say being provocative for the sake of being provocative is a fundamental part of a rapper's job description; others say listening to this kind of thing is morally indefensible. Here's Tyler, broaching the subject for the new issue of NME (while wearing a dress on the magazine's cover):

It hurts me when people can't see beyond the first layer. They don't listen to the word play, or the patterns we use in the song, or the vocabulary we use. They just look at the word 'sodomise,' or 'rape,' or 'bitch' or some shit, and just go like 'Oh my god, did you hear what he just said?' No, did you hear how he said it? The terms he used to say it?

A lot of people take stuff too seriously. So some of the time it's actually for them, my subconscious doing it on purpose, just to piss them off. I want people to take that stuff too seriously, especially shit like that. But, just, whatever. I try to preach be yourself and do what you want. It's not our fault if they're fucking dumb enough to believe this shit ... I just turned 20. I'm just living life and having as much fun as I can. I don't think about shit like that.

I'm not homophobic. I just think faggot hits and hurts people. It hits. And gay just means you're stupid. I don't know, we don't think about it, we're just kids. We don't think about that shit. But I don't hate gay people. I don't want anyone to think I'm homophobic. ([His friend] Jasper walks into the room) But he's a fucking faggot!

So! Familiar arguments, all, and with various levels of efficacy. The "duh, I'm trying to piss you off" angle is obvious, and while it's not great for the mystique for Tyler to explicitly say he's not actually psychotic, at the same time, it's nice to know that Tyler's not actually psychotic. Also heartening: hearing him say "I'm not homophobic." (Is Lil B influencing people already?) As Tyler points out, he's 20 years old; he will, hopefully, eventually grow out of the "gay just means you're stupid" phase. Of course, he has to end his answer with a bit of provocation; it is the OFWGKTA way.

Anyway: Thoughts?

The foul-mouthed wisdom of Tyler, The Creator [NME]
Odd Future Cover Story from NME's Royal Wedding issue [ONTD]