Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Kirsten West-Savali: Tyler the Creator Has Become an Ignorant “Young Nigga”

By: Kirsten West Savali, Your Black World

When Tyler the Creator, 20, stepped onto MTV’s VMA stage to accept his Moonman for Best New Artist in August, he delivered an acceptance speech reflective of both his questionable intellect and contagious effervescence:

"Yo, I'm excited as f--- right now, yo," he said. "I wanted this sh-- since I was 9. I'm about to cry. This is for my little brother Earl. He's not here right now. I really can't believe I'm here right now. I didn't write a thank you speech. I don't know. F---. To all the kids watching, you can do this sh--. Thank you."

As his tearful mother beamed with pride, crying and jumping in the air, the mastermind behind the latest Hip-Hop group to diminish the value of the culture, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA), bounced off the stage with his “entourage” --- a flurry of skinny jeans and misguided potential.

In watching a replay of the emotional moment, I’m left wondering if Mom realized that a month later her son, born Tyler Okonma, would be a “young nigga’?

Known for the intrinsic paradox of his misogynist, homophobic and humorous lyrics, Tyler has joined with major label Sony/REDto cause potentially irreparable damage to the psyches of Black youth living in America and around the globe --- electing to rap as his alter ego, “Young Nigga.”

Delighted by the media attention, and content with whoring out a young boy’s ignorance, a statement on the label's website reads:

“While our original intent was not to sign anyone to the label we simply could not pass up the opportunity to sign somebody this talented. Young Nigga embodies the DIY ethic and persona of Odd Future along with a commercial appeal that transcends demographics.”

In other words, “Go out there, shuck and jive and step'n fetchit, ‘nigga.’ The world is watching.”

In an interview with NTE, Tyler was asked about the damaging nature of his lyrics, to which he responded just as society has come to expect from a “young nigga”:

“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 s--t. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic.”

He continued to prove his elementary understanding of complex issues in an interview with MTV, saying that “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 nigga, 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—.”

The words of a “young nigga.”

Let’s be clear: Tyler the Creator is sick on the mic --- both figuratively and literally. His wordplay is on par with a young Marshall Mathers before the suicide attempts and rehab, blended with the urban, dark horror-core of Flint, Michigan’s Dayton Family.

It’s profoundly perverse and brilliant in its honesty --- with all the guilty magnetism of a fatal car crash. The unrepentant testosterone laced lyrics speak to the alpha-male who beats his chest with the rest of his unevolved pack in marijuana-clouded ciphers around the world, repeating lyrics of violence against women and homosexuals too politically incorrect to say once they re-emerge into polite society. This “young nigga’s” persona allows young white Americans entree into a New Teen Order, where little Black children and little white children come together in a gumbo pot of racial and sexual intolerance, guided by their skateboards and unchecked hormonal imbalances.

Let’s call it Dr. King’s Nightmare.

Boisterous and intense, Tyler’s music speaks to the nature of what Jean Jacques Rousseau called “the noble savage,” and if left to proliferate, will grow like poisonous weeds, choking out any remnants of possibility this generation has to elevate above its parental and societal-prescribed mediocrity.

With lyrics such as, “Rape a pregnant b---h and tell my friends I had a threesome,” and the mind-numbing verbal dexterity of, “I got n-ts to bust, and butts to f--k, and ups to shut, and sluts to f---ing uppercut,” the Tyler the Creator led band of misfits cautions:

“It's OF, buttercup, go ahead, f--k with us.”

No, I’ll pass; thank you. I’ll leave that to police officers, potential employers and society to do since you insist on wearing a sign that screams “Profile Me” around your neck.

Undoubtedly, if this article ever reaches the eyes of Tyler he will take it as a compliment --- another out of touch old lady (in her 30s) being hyper-critical of the metamorphosis of Hip-Hop and its new generation of heroes.  He will complain and curse about it on Twitter, and his legions of fan will regurgitate whatever profanity infused vitriol he hurls into cyberspace, eager to protect their favorite “young nigga.”

Ask me if I care.

Acceptance of destructive garbage disguised as art will lead our children into mistaking it as an acceptable social-political position.  “Fag” becomes just a generic  insult, “slut” becomes just what girls are, and “nigga” becomes just cool slang.

Is this the world we want for our children? Have we become so eager to be seen as tolerant and hip and post-racial that timeless values and historical implications have become archaic concepts?

There is a vast difference between freedom of expression and the imprisonment of ideals, and Tyler the Creator has willingly thrown himself into a filthy media-secured jail cell, where a voyeuristic society --- eager to understand the innermost thoughts of a “young nigga” --- come by to gawk at him like the embarrassment that he is.

I look into this young man’s eyes and see a joy that is irrepressible, an unfettered love for his craft and a redundant rebellion against a society and a system that is designed to see him fail. I listen to him call himself  “schizophrenic” and I watch him grasp at every negative characterization that comes with being young and Black in America, attempting to capture and own it before it can be used against him in a public court of presumption.

I get it.

Unfortunately, “getting it” does not lessen my disgust.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011, the state of Georgia murdered a Black man. The Dixiecratic state strapped Troy Davis to a gurney for three hours, holding his life in their hands, finally deciding---along with the United States Supreme Court---that he wasn’t good enough before they lynched him before the world.

They thought he was a “young nigger.”

Rodney Stanberry, imprisoned by the state of Alabama over 15 years ago for crimes he did not commit, has been ignored by our injustice system, while his son continues to grow up without a father.

They think he’s a “young nigger.”

James Craig Anderson was beat viciously, then killed by a group of white supremacists in Mississippi, as screams of “white power” filled the morning air.

They were looking to kill a “ young nigger.”

Every time there is an unsolved murder in the Black community, every time a young Black teenager gives birth, every time a baggy-jeaned, diamond-teethed, no talent rapper spits venom at his own community, the world sees a “young nigger.”

So, you see, Tyler, as original as you think that moniker may be, it’s not. “Brotha” is short for brother and “nigga” is short for nigger --- nothing more than a dangerous manifestation of self-hatred that was branded into the fabric of this society before you were old enough to be the punchline you’ve become.

You have young people listening to your every word, mimicking your style and embracing your philosophy --- they deserve more than to witness you negligently become a caricature of all that Black manhood encompasses. When you cast yourself as a spokesperson of this Odd Future we're on the cusp of, crying and telling children from that VMA stage that "you can do this sh-t," I remain hopeful that you weren't suggesting that they simply become a "nigga."

You are a king, Tyler Okonma, not an abbreviated "nigger"; act like it.

Tyler the Creator

Kirsten West Savali is a Senior Editor and writer at Your Black World. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter: @KWestSavali

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have no idea what Hip-Hop is. Why don't you say the same thing about movies? It's entertainment. Tired of people who don't know hip-hop trying to define it.

Anonymous said...

The meaning of words can change over time...for instance in the 13th Century gay meant jovial...today it has additional meanings...food for thought.

Debbie said...

Can someone pull out a belt and whip his ass, and then go and whip his mama's ass...First of all if those are words in his song, I am glad my baby turned 27 today and I don't have to argue about why I am not buying the cd...Maybe someone in the industry could speak with him...He is probably from a single parent household and now that he is making money I see his mom just letting him do whatever...Maybe she will take classes in the business that he is in now that she does not have to work...Apply some character to herself and then maybe apply it to him...

Anonymous said...

They are all ignorant people and he really needs to spend some of that money and go to school to learn how to speak in a complete sentence and not use such foul language. He also need to learn how to speak to a crowd in public. He may be making money and on top of the world right now but by the time he is 30 or even in his early 40's, he will be broke.
If the hip hop crowd keep rewarding him then he and others like him will never change and neither will others like him. It is totally a sad situation.

John Prewett said...

" little Black children and little white children come together "

Your capitalization policy is noted. In your honor I'll use same. In reverse of course.

Georgia shouold have executed the killer Troy Davis back in 1989.

You cite some blacks killed by Whites,...and act oblivious to the many more cases of Whites killed by nxggers.

[BTW - like Chris Rock, I am supportive of blacks who are in ideological war with nxggers]

As for this latest MTV garbage spouter,.... believe me I despise the men [mostly White] who profit from such as MTV more than I despise nxggers.

Anonymous said...

This young brother core audience is white. You all missing a lesson These children are united. Those kids created their own lane not being fake drug dealer. He is a skaterboader. Shock value. Do. Your research he can't have a word play if its no substance. These kids thinking outside the box. Don't put them back.Viacom own Mtv and Bet.

Anonymous said...

First of all who the hell is this clown. I have never heard of him until I read this article.I don't listen to this new rap music because it is a bunch of ignorant buffoonery that these record companies are capitalizing from and the teens and young adults continue to support because of their ignorance. If they knew better, they would do better but obviously there has been a breakdown in the homes and Black community. There are so many issues at hand that lead to this article being written.Our Black youth are lost with no guidance and this is the product of it.

Anonymous said...

I think you are being too kind with this rotten soul. This is nothing new. Its the same selfhating, uncletom exploitation game they sold us 15 years ago with gangster rap. Black people have been in this country 400yrs. We have held every type of office/job this country has to offer,but images like this which glorify negative uncletoms go all around the world to reduce us to less than human. Then its easier to oppress because the world sees you as less than an animal. Younger heads are too dumb to peep yet that SOME THINGS ARE BIGGER THAN HIPHOP. he

Vandellish said...

I have a theory.
When artists of any genre behave and/or create songs and videos that are waaaaay over the top it typically means their music is subpar.
After listening to some of Tyler's songs on youtube so far he has done nothing to disprove this theory. He appears to be the average attention-whore focused more on making a quick buck via sensationalism than actually making good music.
As far as young artists check for Mickey Facts, Chuuwee, Mega Trife and Nonsense and Termanology. Each of those cats have real lyrics and focus on the artform as opposed to the quick buck. They'd all slay Tyler the Creator lyrically and artistically as well.

BTW, ignore the first Anonymous post. That guy is obviously a teenage fanboy who is excusing poor behavior.

Anonymous said...

Just another reason why I can not stand for my daughter and granddaughter to listen to some of these little fools coming up in this day and age fooling themselves into thinking that they are doing something other than being disgraceful. Instead of his mother jumping up and down applauding this young misguided young man, she should have jumped up on that stage and beat his behind for behaving like a bafoon in front of the entire free world.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who say this is hip hop. I am 41 years old and hip hop is about 39 years old. NONE of this started in hip hop. Thats why old heads don't condone it. KRS One, Public Enemy and so on. It changed, when people changed. If you live in certain communities (specifically black lower class ones), the N word is embraced. My mother was spit at while walking to school and called that word and I don't see her embracing it, I mean since its such a great word and all. I understand trying to make it positive, but if its so positive why are you getting upset when anyone other than a black person uses it? Double standards huh? Sooo, back to Tyler, he's confused. I've never heard his lyrices BUT I did see him on the VMAs and I was weak. As a black female I thought wow...he'll never get it. He may have fame today, but eventually somethings going to get in his way. Parents who allow certain ignorances from their kids lack control. My 15 year old, NEVER uses profanity. How do I know? I read letters that girls write hi, msgs sent on Facebook etc. If more parents became involved, less of this nonsense would be going on. Believe that. Our young black men who are in jail are there not just because society saw an easy target, their parents ignored the early signs. If your child is failing or can't seem to get it in school...having him checked for learning disabilities etc may save him later. Laugh at me now, but cry for your child later. If you even care.

Anonymous said...

Typo from the above comment:

Lyrics not lyrices
Him not hi

Wise1 said...

Most of you on this page have it right. It starts at home. As we say down south, "No Home-Trainin'". That's right. It was clearly evident as I watched the VMA how Tyler's mother jumped up and down while screaming, "Thank you Jesus!" Then she continued to thrust both hands in the air looking upward as if praising God. However, one of her son's songs talk about "slapping the **** out of Jesus?!" He was too politically correct or scared to say anything about Muhammed or Allah hunh? All I can say is that "God will not be mocked, for whatever a man reaps, that's what he sows",(Galatians6:7). To make it plain, Tyler will be humbled by his own words&actions, what goes around comes around. His mother should praying for wisdom. Trust me. Truly, a dysfunctional family.

Anonymous said...

your blog is fucking stupid, stop writing about music that u have no idea what the fuck your talking about. please.