Much like M.I.A., Tyler, the Creator has received a lot of attention for saying some pretty offensive and controversial things. While Maya's verbal fire bombs are usually wrapped up in 3rd world politics, Tyler's nihilistic barrages spill over more into misogyny and homophobia.
Tyler knows that he pushes buttons and he likes that he pushes buttons, but like all artists who use controversy as a means of pushing the envelope, he gets frustrated when people can't move beyond the shock tactics to appreciate the other elements of his art.
In an interview with British music mag NME, Tyler expounded on his lyrical content in detail.
"It hurts me when people can't see beyond the first layer. They don't listen to the word play, or the patterns we use in the song, or the vocabulary we use. They just look at the word 'sodomise,' or 'rape,' or 'bitch' or some shit, and just go like 'Oh my god, did you hear what he just said?' No, did you hear how he said it? The terms he used to say it?
A lot of people take stuff too seriously. So some of the time it's actually for them, my subconscious doing it on purpose, just to piss them off. I want people to take that stuff too seriously, especially shit like that. But, just, whatever. I try to preach be yourself and do what you want. It's not our fault if they're fucking dumb enough to believe this shit ... I just turned 20. I'm just living life and having as much fun as I can. I don't think about shit like that.
I'm not homophobic. I just think fa**ot 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. ([His friend] Jasper walks into the room) But he's a fucking f**got!
His excuse about being only 20 doesn't really absolve Tyler of responsibility for his words. As exciting an artist as Tyler is, it's understandable why some people feel conflicted over his lyrical content. This kind of firecracker persona will work in building up media attention around Tyler and Odd Future, but will he end up declawed and subdued like Eminem in a few years?