Earlier this week Tyler, the Creator announced that his U.K. tour was canceled over unknown circumstances, and we now know why the shows were pulled. Tyler is banned from entering the U.K. because of some of his old lyrics.
“Tyler has been banned from entering the U.K. for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom,” reads a Tumblr statement from his manageer, Christian Clancy.
“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," she notes. "Highlights from the letter include that his work ‘encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality’ and ‘fosters hatred with views thats seek to provoke others to terrorist acts…’ I grew up on N.W.A, Eminem and rage against the machine, so it’s hard to me to fully wrap my head this thought process and its implications.”
Clancy, points out that Tyler was just in the U.K. and has visited on several other occasions. “Tyler has been to the UK over 20x in the last 5 years without incident (shows, in stores, meet and greets). We rented out a movie theatre last month in London for a private showing of napoleon dynamite for his fans. Literally last month."
She determined that banning the 24-year-old rapper relates to a “broader issue of free speech,” and that he should be given another chance. “The fact that he has evolved into someone who has acknowledged and grown out of that is simply lost in the narrative. is he not worthy of the pat on the back for becoming aware and making changes? What message does that send? is race a conscious or subconscious factor at all?”
Lastly, Clancy set the record straight for anyone believing Tyler is the “anti-Christ,” while reiterating that he's evolved over the years. “I’m not defending his OLD lyrics,” she clarifies. “To be honest they make me cringe, but I stand beside him because of who he actually IS. Our 8 year old daughter, who is constantly inspired by him, said it best; 'Why would they ban Tyler? that makes no sense.'"
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(Photo: Karl Walter/Getty Images for Coachella)