Last night, Gawker posted a timely story about Tyler, The Creator, who’s second commercially-available album, Wolf, was released today. In the piece, Gawker writer Rich Juzwiack deconstructs Tyler’s lyrics and partially presents him as a homophobe without necessarily defending or celebrating him, instead presenting a litany of out-of-context lyrics and quotes from previous interviews to construct a non-argument.
Juzwiack claims, “In the face of advancement [of his career], Tyler puts up his middle finger and says ‘fag’ or ‘faggot’ about a dozen times on Wolf (I counted 15 utterances in total, but a few come from guests like Domo Genesis). While once tossed-off or haphazardly provocative, coming from Tyler’s mouth the word feels more pointed than ever. It’s part of Tyler’s narrative.” A narrative that has led to a stance, according to the Gawker writer, that’s “mutated from apathy.” To call Tyler apathetic about homophobia or social/cultural norms would be short-sighted, though. If anything, he’s hyper-aware of the consequences of his quotes and lyrics, and is typically ready to defend them in interviews.
The writer is poignant about one thing, though, writing “…his wit is on the surface. This person is not yet a great thinker. Perhaps that’s never been more clear than in Tyler’s relationship to a word that he arguably does have some claim to reappropriate. With the same punkish attitude, he spits on Wolf‘s ‘Tamale,’ ‘Tell Spike Lee he’s a goddamn nigger.’ Lee is an outspoken opponent of that word, and as usual Tyler’s telling his potential adversary, ‘Fuck you for caring so much.’” His indifference for authority/being PC is obvious, and is scattered throughout the new album.
For more on Tyler, look for XXL’s review of Wolf, and check out the rest of the Gawker article here.