Tyler the Creator – Best New Artist VMA Acceptance Speech (all the YouTube videos have been removed)
From the Twitter of @fucktyler: “Since They Bleeped It Out, i Said: ‘To The Kids, You Can Do This Shit Yourself, Be Yourself, Fuck The System, Golf Wang’”
Alright this might be a long one.
Tyler the Creator won the award for Best New Artist at the MTV VMAs a couple nights ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch the VMAs because I had no power as a result of the hurricane. Luckily, hours before my phone’s battery ran out, I was able to jump on Twitter and see that Tyler had won. Like about half the people on my Twitter feed that were tuned into the VMAs, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to see that the Odd Future frontman had won an award. Meanwhile, the other half of the people, the half that weren’t thrilled, were furious – some to the point that they were at a loss for words.
Look, Tyler was up against Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Kreayshawn, and Foster the People. I’m sorry, I’ve never heard of Foster the People. Kreayshawn is laughable. Wiz Khalifa has been one of the most popular hip-hop artists around for AT LEAST two years, and since being one of my favorites in his early mixtape days, has completely sold out. Big Sean was really the only other legitimate contender in my eyes.
Maybe it was Tyler’s outlandish personality, as many complained, that helped earn him the nod and eventually capture the Best New Artist title. Or maybe it’s because out of the five nominees, no one comes close to touching Tyler’s originality and talent. The latter describes my opinion. I was so unbelievably pumped, and still am, that Tyler won something at his first ever awards ceremony, and I think it’s incredibly exciting that his method to get where he’s gotten to has proven successful. As one of my favorite up and coming rappers, Macklemore, said – “Tyler winning the VMA with no mainstream radio play?…..Exciting times”
It’s pretty cool that in today’s world, you can get news like this instantaneously without even being tuned in to the actual live event on TV. With no power Sunday night, Twitter was a savior of sorts. Whether it’s a good or bad thing, with the news naturally comes everyone’s opinions and immediate reactions to the news. So when I learned that Tyler won, it wasn’t from a tweet that read, “Tyler the Creator named Best New Artist at VMAs” – it was more something like this: “Over Wiz and Big Sean though? Who the fuck are you Tyler?”….or this: “No one even fucking knows who Tyler the Creator is” – that’s how I knew Tyler had won. Then to confirm what I had learned, I saw my friend Steve’s (who is an OF fan) Facebook status: “tyler the fucking creator,” and another post from my boy Marshall who might have summed up my feelings better than I can for myself: “Wiz lost cause he sold out and became wack as fuck…tyler the creator won cause he kept doing what he does even when people hated on it and still do…GOLF WANG.” (Note: that status had 21 likes, but it also had 19 comments, many of which were castigations against Tyler and OF — kind of sums it all up right there.)
For the people who were rooting for Wiz, c’mon. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Wiz Khalifa fan. If you don’t think I am because I thought Tyler should win this over him, then tell me how much money you’ve put in Wiz’s pocket. I guarantee you haven’t supported him like I have. I bought both his albums that were available for purchase and saw him live in Boston twice. I’ve also been on his shit for longer than you (most likely), and for a while he was hands down my favorite rapper. Everything from “Prince of the City” to “Burn After Rolling” was amazing, for me, and I liked “K&OJ” too even though I didn’t like it as much as most new fans did. “Rolling Papers,” though, trash. Just some radio-friendly nonsense that in no way shows off Wiz’s lyrical ability like his older mixtapes did. The new Wiz is not for me, and I’m just hoping he’s not “Rolling Papers” Wiz for good. Still, that’s beside the point. He’s not a new artist. The music industry is changing, so I understand why to MTV he might be a new artist, because he’s been commercially popular for only the last year or so, but his mixtapes have been the most downloaded mixtapes for three years, so I just can’t consider him a new artist.
For the people who were rooting for Big Sean – don’t worry, he will win plenty of awards if he keeps on doing what he’s doing. He is a very talented artist who put out a solid debut album. Does he bring something totally unique and fresh to the rap game? I don’t know if I’d go that far, but he’s paving his own path and definitely has his own style. But here’s the bottom line – it’s Tyler’s time right now. I don’t understand why there is so much hate towards Tyler just because Big Sean or Wiz Khalifa didn’t win. Is it because of his lyrics? Is it because you’re a Bruno Mars fan? Is it because you watched the Yonkers video and were grossed out so you decided to give up on his music altogether?
What I’ve learned from this whole Tyler controversy, which began long before the VMAs – the only difference now is that more people know who he is – is that people are awfully quick to judge and spew hate, but awfully quick to jump on a bandwagon once the seats are starting to fill up. I’m proud to say I was one of, if not the first person from my little town, to know who Tyler and the rest of OF were. I happened to like them all right away, but not because someone else did. Like many people, the Yonkers video was the first OF production that I saw/heard. I didn’t watch it once the first time I saw it – I watched it 10 times, maybe 20. Then I dug deeper into the OF catalogue. I downloaded Tyler’s “Bastard” as well as the rest of the Odd Future/Hodgy Beats/Earl Sweatshirt/Mellowhype/Domo Genesis projects. I caught onto the wave and I rode it right into their first Boston show (right after meeting Tyler), and seeing them live really solidified my fanhood.
Anyway, my point is that I know several people who were turned off by Tyler and Odd Future at first who are now posting links to the most popular Tyler tracks like “Yonkers” and “She” on Facebook. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, though. Here’s what I have a problem with – all the people that were flipping shit Sunday night, saying how “Big Sean or Wiz should have won. They’re better. Tyler has no talent, he’s just a fad that will not last. He’ll fade away soon,” are going to be riding his dick six months from now. Ok, maybe not all. Some people have their opinions about a certain thing, and they won’t change no matter what. I respect that, even if I don’t understand your perspective. I guess I just don’t like loud people. I’m not talking volume. And I have certain people in mind, but I’m not one to name drop in a negative light. People that eat up controversial shit like this, and make their unimportant opinion known just so other people know they have an unimportant opinion.
For the record, Tyler isn’t going anywhere, so even if you’re not going to like him or his music, or at least respect his grind, then simply get used to him. We’re talking about a 20-year-old kid that writes his own music, writes and directs his own music videos, and produces many of his own and Odd Future’s beats. Oh, and he and OF are doing it all independently, which basically gives them total creative license and the ability to say or do whatever the hell they want to. More than half of America didn’t know who Tyler was before the VMAs Sunday night, and he still won one of the most coveted awards over two artists that dominate mainstream radio play – if that doesn’t show you the power of OF and their fans, I’m not sure what does. And let’s not forget that Tyler has already been featured on tracks with Game (Martians vs. Goblins) and Pusha T (“Trouble On My Mind”), and just about every big name from Eminem to Nas to Method Man has come out and said they support Tyler and are fans of his music. Tyler is not going anywhere. He is about to be featured on more major artists’ projects than most people can fathom, and I really mean it when I say the sky’s the limit for him. With his creativity and fearlessness, who’s to say he’s not going to direct a feature film one day, or at the very least win awards for his work on music videos (he was beat out by Katy Perry for the VMA video of the year – otherwise it would’ve been a Tyler takeover on Sunday). I see Grammys in Tyler’s future, and I don’t think I’m aiming too high. I met Tyler so I got to experience his personality for myself, and firsthand I’ll say nothing he says or does in front of the camera is an act. He doesn’t put on any kind of front ever, and for that alone, I think you’ve got to at least respect him even if you don’t like his music.
I’ve got more to say, but I feel like I’m already starting to get redundant. I hope my thoughts weren’t too disorganized and this shit was actually readable – if it was an essay I’d edit it, but everything I write on here is stream of consciousness, so if you don’t like my consciousness, you don’t have to tune in. I really want to hear your thoughts on the subject, so comment in the comment box with anything that’s on your mind – about Odd Future, the VMAs, Tyler, people bitching about shit, whatever.
I want to end this with links to five of my favorite Tyler the Creator songs. This is mainly for the people that have listened to nothing but “Yonkers” and feel qualified to comment on Tyler’s music as a whole, but also for anyone who might not have had a chance to go through all his music.
Hope you enjoyed this lengthy, opinionated, probably disheveled, and at times ranting, blog post. Got a suggestion for my next opinion piece? Let me know, son.
Why Don’t We Fall in Love (w/ Casey Veggies)
Orange Juice (w/ Earl Sweatshirt)