Tyler, The Creator is apparently banned from the UK

The hip hop world took sides recently, when Tyler, The Creator announced that he had to cancel his Australian tour following pressure from feminist group Collective Shout, led by Coralie Alison, who claimed that Tyler had “songs advocating rape and extreme violence against women”

Last week, Tyler had to cancel four UK appearances, including sets at Reading and Leeds festivals.

There was a niggling feeling about the reasons for these cancellations, so soon after those in Australia, and now it seems that the verdict has been made clear.

Tyler took to twitter to share the news that, although he was in the UK eight weeks ago, he’s now banned for three to five years. In fact as DJ Booth point out, Tyler has visited the UK more than 20 times in the last five years.

Christian Clancy, Tyler’s manager, posted the following message on Tumblr blog The Phuckery. He explains the situation – that he was contacted by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. Cited reasons included lyrics from 2010 and 2011 albums Bastard and Goblin, respectively, which promote violence and homophobia. He goes on to explain that Tyler’s old lyrics are not a reflection of Tyler as he is today:

tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom. 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… 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 NWA, eminem and rage against the machine, so its hard to me to fully wrap my head this thought process and its implications. 

to say that i am confused would be an understatement. can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18? 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.

more importantly, this is a broader issue of free speech, with new lines being drawn that include reaching back in time without acknowledging growth. in fact, punishing growth. what i do know is tyler is part of an argument that is counter to who he has become. how do you punish someone for growing up? since the letter acknowledged he was writing from an alter ego perspective does this then apply to book writers? 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? 

theres a lot to absorb and understand, but while he gets painted as some sort of anti christ i want to make sure people know the facts, which are that he hasn’t delved into those lyrics in years – he writes songs about cars and spreading your wings. he doesn’t drink or smoke, he owns his own businesses, he takes care of his family and friends, he’s honest, grateful, aware, fearless, intelligent, and inspiring. his shows serve as a release, not acts of aggression. 

is he perfect? absolutely not. he’s a human evolving like the rest of us, and evolution is a process, not a light switch.

im not defending his OLD lyrics. 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.