Tyler, the Creator Speaks on Getting Banned From the UK

INDIO, CA - APRIL 11:  Rapper Tyler, The Creator performs onstage during day 2 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 11, 2015 in Indio, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Tyler, the Creator Speaks on Getting Banned From the UK

The rapper tells his side of the story.

Published September 1, 2015

Last week, Tyler, the Creator was banned from the UK for some old lyrics from his first two albums, Bastard and Goblin. While his manager Christian Clancy has posted a statement on Tumblr, the 24-year-old rapper has addressed the issue in a new interview with The Guardian.

Tyler is not allowed to enter the UK for three to five years, which was instated by home secretary Theresa May. Government papers cite lyrics that are unacceptable behaviors in the UK and believed he made statements that may “foster hatred, which might lead to intercommunity violence in the UK.” They further added in their statement, “Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values.”  

Despite being in the UK eight weeks ago, Tyler is perplexed at the UK government for doing such a thing and feels it’s only going to make matters worse. He was also recently banned from entering Australia and had to cancel his tour there too amid lyric controversy.

On canceling his tour in Australia:

"Now [the U.K. government] are just followers. Everyone is a follower, just following what other countries are doing. Now I’m getting treated like a terrorist. I’m bummed out because it’s like, dude, I’m not homophobic. I’ve said this since the beginning. The “hating women” thing – it’s so nuts. It’s based on things I made when I was super-young, when no one was listening [to my music]. Like, I wrote 'Blow' when I was reading about different people in American history. One of the people happened to be [the serial killer] Ted Bundy, and I wrote a song from his point of view."

The thing that irks me about it is that the paper saying I am denied entry to the UK clearly states that these songs were written from [the perspective of] an alter ego — which means they obviously did some research on these songs that they’re detaining me for. So the argument is right there! This song is written from an alter ego — I’m not like this! You could watch any interview and see my personality, see the guy I am. I wouldn’t hurt a fly.

On censorship:

What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned? Why don’t they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them? There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bulls**t song, but you got motherf**kers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?

On what will happen next:

This is only gonna open a door for other people to get banned. And then they’re gonna go after video games, and then they’re gonna go after movies, and we’re gonna live in such a sensitive world. It’s like the world is scared of everything. I feel like everyone is so sensitive to everything, and if they don’t like something it’s like: “Oh my God, I don’t like the color yellow — let’s get yellow banned from every country, let’s sign a petition — let’s start a hashtag to make sure this colour is never seen, because I don’t like it and I don’t understand it.”

Read the full interview here.

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(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Written by Eric Diep


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