GLAAD | News | Tyler the Creator

MTV's 'Best New Artist' Tyler the Creator Says 'Faggot' 213 Times in Latest Album: REPORT


Last night, MTV awarded its 'Best New Artist' award to 20-year-old rapper Tyler the Creator.

GLAAD wants to make sure people know his background:

Much of the public was first introduced to Tyler the Creator during last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, after the  young rapper won an award for Best New Artist and danced onstage with Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and Seth Rogen.  What many of them will unfortunately learn if they now decide to pick up a copy of his album is that he also writes some of the most violently anti-gay and misogynistic music currently enjoying mainstream recognition.

NME reported, last June, that Tyler's album Goblin uses the word "faggot" 213 and its variants times.

It provoked Sara Quin of indie duo Tegan and Sara - pictured - to post a blog calling him out. She wrote: "While an artist who can barely get a sentence fragment out without using homophobic slurs is celebrated on the cover of every magazine, blog and newspaper, I'm disheartened that any self-respecting human being could stand in support with a message so vile."

Tyler responded to the singer by tweeting: "If Tegan and Sara need some hard dick, hit me up!"

Tyler told NME: "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."

Tyler also told MTV News, in response to the controversy: "Well, I have gay fans and they don't really take it offensive, so I don't know. If it offends you, it offends you...If you call me a n---a, I really don't care, but that's just me, personally. Some people might take it the other way; I personally don't give a sh--."

UPDATE from GLAAD: "GLAAD’s own internal review has found 10 occurrences of the exact word “fa**ot” in the album Goblin."

Last night's VMAs were the single most-watched telecast in MTV's history, with 12.4 million viewers.

Tyler the Creator's track "Yonkers" which won him Best New Artist, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. We need another Nathan Gale.

    Posted by: Steve Albini was right | Aug 29, 2011 8:36:57 PM

  2. Meh... he'll do a duet with Elton John in a year and everything will be forgiven.

    Posted by: Zak | Aug 29, 2011 8:37:22 PM

  3. "As a long time fan of Tyler AND a proud homosexual"

    You're about as filled with gay pride as Roy Cohn.

    You're nothing but a KAPO honey.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 29, 2011 8:40:51 PM

  4. If someone like Justin Temberlake sang a song like the one above. Everyone would say he is an idiot. They would say he was, frankly, stupid. This guy is no musical genius, he's just stupid, and yes, young people like stupid because it's not over their head.

    This is art? Well, yah, and so is pornography. Actually I don't see much difference between the two.

    You don't need a brain to do either one.

    Posted by: Steve Pardue | Aug 29, 2011 8:50:53 PM

  5. I don't care about the context in which he uses the f-word just as I don't care about the context in which anyone uses the n-word. Everybody knows the hatred and hurtfulness behind these words and anybody who chooses to use them to communicate anything that can be said in any other way does not deserve to be heard. Can we go back to not knowing or caring who this ignorant trash is now?

    Posted by: Hex | Aug 29, 2011 8:52:39 PM

  6. Funny how no one answered TREV's question...

    Posted by: calvin | Aug 29, 2011 8:53:48 PM

  7. What talentless trash.

    Posted by: Max | Aug 29, 2011 9:00:14 PM

  8. Calvin,

    I'll answer TREV's question...

    So it's OK to use the n-word as long as you don't mean it as a bad thing?

    First i think it was a rhetorical question because we all know the answer is NO!

    Need I say more? That's another rhetorical question.

    Posted by: Steve Pardue | Aug 29, 2011 9:03:48 PM

  9. Even though I keep up with as much current music as I can, I have left most of the hip hop artists behind in favor of indie (read: white) bands and neo-soul artists -- those of which who are interesting are fewer and far between. So I haven't bothered with this dude, and I watched the video (if you didn't, your comment should be deleted) and I get it, I think. I don't think I care, but I'm not really that offended.

    If I'm going to form a strong opinion I think I have to listen to/watch more of this guy's stuff, not just rely on some "fagg*t" count in his songs. I will admit I'm not hugely interested in investing that much time in it, so I will not freak out over it. But I think it's obvious that it's not "Boom Batty Boy Bye Bye" type of homicidal mania. Can you get the difference? The flip comment that this guy could be doing a duet with Elton John is no joke. Might happen. The simplicity of the criticism and the fairly easy racism that informs many of the comments is par for the course on this site (not meaning the site postings, but the comments).

    This guy seems more interesting than I thought, but yet I still find the whole enterprise rather simplistic and uninspired, which I think is what every generation says about the next, but seriously? Mostly this rates a whatevs.

    Posted by: So Left I'm Right | Aug 29, 2011 9:13:25 PM

  10. He's alright, not really what I'm into though. I just think people are drawn to it cause he's different and a lot of people are searching for an alternative to today's manufactured artists and market driven commercail hip hop. As far as using the word faggot, I agree that he, like a lot of hip hop artists, probably don't equate the word faggot with gay. But it's hard to get away from the fact that it was used to describe gay people before it was ever used to describe somebody weak. And the way that word has morphed so easily into being used to call someone weak to me means that, even if on an unconcious level, people who use it equate being gay with being weak.

    Posted by: Frank | Aug 29, 2011 9:17:02 PM

  11. @LATRELL TURNER: Not to beat a dead horse, but...

    I grew up in the 70s and 80s in the rural deep South. LOADS of white people in that place and era would disparage some person, thing or behavior that they thought was tacky/socially unacceptable/classless by using "niggery" or "niggerific" to describe whatever it was they wanted to demean. These words were never used to refer directly to race. Instead, they denigrated by linking the person/thing/behavior to an epithet for the African American race which they, in their bigoted minds, saw as inferior. (And these people would, almost without exception, deny that they were racist and would insist they had no problem with black people.)

    In the very same way, LOADS of straight people today denigrate someone (or some object/situation/etc...) by describing it as "gay". It rarely refers directly to sexual orientation. Instead, in the same way that 'niggery' and 'niggerific' disparaged by linking to a class of people deemed inferior, 'gay' denigrates by linking the person (object/situation/etc...) to a sexual orientation that they perceive as inferior or somehow unacceptable.

    Now, I know there are queer youth who, hearing their peers use the word, have fallen into the habit of using the word "gay". And, when called on it, these youth insist "No,'s okay because it doesn't mean homosexual." But you are missing the point. It doesn't (necessarily) refer to sexual orientation. But it DOES denigrate a person/object/situation by associating it with a word more commonly used to refer to homosexuality. In doing so it indirectly reinforces the idea that something is wrong with being homosexual.

    Describing something you think is somehow "not okay" by using the word 'gay' really is no different than the southern bigots who denigrated by using the words 'niggery' and 'niggerific'. They are all unacceptable in that context.

    p.s.--I've never heard the music of Tyler or Odd Future, so I won't weigh in on the merits of his music nor will I criticize his use of the words 'faggot' and 'gay' since I have no idea what his music is all about. I have friends who enjoy his music. Odd Future has been on my list of bands to check out for awhile now. Maybe with all this controversy I'll actually sit down and listen to it. And maybe that is exactly what Tyler intended. The question is, will his listeners be able to discern whether he is being satirical--or communicating that it is okay to hate gay people?

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 29, 2011 9:30:39 PM

  12. _Nig ger_!!

    Posted by: Ian | Aug 29, 2011 9:38:54 PM

  13. David Ehrenstein needs to get off his jew box.

    Posted by: Mark | Aug 29, 2011 9:45:44 PM

  14. Is Tyler just another fatherless child of the ghetto who has no sense of what it means to be a real man and so he strikes out at gay men and women? If so, he is nothing special. Jusy another in a long list of rap "musicians". People who buy his "music" and thus put money in his pocket are enablers. Everyone who deals with him should try to educate him. If that doesn't work, they should try to do everything in their power to ruin his career.

    Posted by: john leddy | Aug 29, 2011 9:48:14 PM

  15. Hey, Latrell: I'm asking this seriously---there are far worse things to call people than faggot, right? What are those many, far worse things, and why do YOU get to decide those are worse while faggot is okay? Just because you like the beat of his music?

    Homophobia is not just about being unable to be in the same room with a gay person without beating them to death.

    If you don't understand why him saying that "gay" means "stupid" is homophobic, you're gay. Really gay.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Aug 29, 2011 9:54:08 PM

  16. Right on, Matthew Rettenmund.

    Would someone really believe I wasn't racist if I used 'N*gger' but said I didn't mean 'black' by it, but 'idiot?' No way, no how. Frankly, it's disgusting to excuse his use of it - and at the very least show's one's own latent self-loathing by doing so.

    If anything, by the number of times he refers to gays one way or another, it sounds like he's obsessed with them.

    Posted by: Tonic | Aug 29, 2011 10:02:48 PM

  17. It's not talent. It might be culturally relevant to his demographic, it might be popular, the lyrics might revolutionary(probly not)... But as far as vocal talent goes, he has very little. At the end of the day this has to sink in, there are so many people out there that can sing, and this guy can't.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 29, 2011 10:04:07 PM

  18. He seems to be an equal opportunity offender. Sure he uses f, but he also uses n and refers to women as bitches.

    And while I'm not a fan, I do see how his rhymes are somehow brutal and engaging at the same time.

    There's a great New Yorker article about him that explains him in context of his group and a new "old school" rap scene. Even if you're not a fan, are offended, it's an interesting read.

    Posted by: dms | Aug 29, 2011 10:20:43 PM

  19. This video is not homophobic. It's racist. It features the hanging of an African-American man. Such imagery was taken off the South Park, Colorado, flag, and has no place in a civil society. He needs to go to the Museum of Tolerance.

    He's gay, right?

    Posted by: bravo | Aug 29, 2011 10:26:16 PM

  20. when i say _nig ger_ it actually means _nig ger_ in this case nothing else

    Posted by: Ian | Aug 29, 2011 10:30:14 PM

  21. Maybe he actually thinks believes that he thinks that, maybe (probably) he's just rationalizing, saying this is 'new lingo' us 'kids' use nowadays, but perhaps he should walk a day in the shoes of another, because every time these songs are shared to someone's facebook or played over the radio, gay teens hear it and feel hatred aimed at them. This puts them in the closet, makes them more likely to be depressed or feel persecuted, and when straight kids hear this, they're more likely to use the 'lingo' themselves -- exacerbating the problem.

    Posted by: Ryan | Aug 29, 2011 10:36:31 PM

  22. Latrell, a lot of people agree with you and appreciate what you're saying. Thank you for spending so much time and energy trying to tell these tired old queens about themselves. It's a lost cause, unfortch. I've been there.

    As usual, people who don't listen to hiphop and know nothing about it are just rehashing all the old, white, conservative talking points from the 80s about how it's just crap and ruining black America and society as a whole. Either listen to the music and learn something, or just go add your stupid opinion to the end of a different post.

    Ehrenstein, for a black culture expert, you sure are ignorant about black culture.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Aug 29, 2011 10:36:50 PM

  23. I'm amazed by the apologists that try to intellectualize it. There's nothing hidden here. Faggot means faggot. The dude means what he says.

    Posted by: James | Aug 29, 2011 10:44:31 PM

  24. Who actually gives a damn. No one is hollering about the use of n@@@a in songs. GET OVER IT!!

    Posted by: Scott | Aug 29, 2011 10:46:30 PM

  25. wow he's an ugly idiot

    Posted by: truthteller | Aug 29, 2011 10:56:24 PM

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