Tyler, The Creator Has Been Banned From The UK Now As Well

Tyler, The Creator‘s travel woes continue.

After the Odd Future mastermind cancelled his recent tour of Australia amid a storm of controversy, activism, and the alleged revoking of his Visa, the 24 year-old rapper again finds himself at odds with immigration over the content with lyrics, this time with the United Kingdom.
Tyler cancelled his upcoming UK festival tour – which included stops at Reading and Leeds festivals – and has apparently been banned from entering the country for a period of 3-5 years by the UK Home Office.
Tyler abruptly announced the cancellation of his shows in a typically shouty series of posts on Twitter.

In addition, the artist’s manager, Christian Clancyposted a more detailed and exasperated explanation of events on his Tumblr.

“Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the Secretary of State for the Home Department of the United Kingdom. The letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums “Bastard” and “Goblin” – the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since. Highlights from the letter include that his work “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.” I grew up on NWA, Eminem, and Rage Against The Machine, so it’s hard to me to fully wrap my head [around] this thought process and its implications.

To say that I am confused would be an understatement. Can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18? Tyler has been the the UK over 20x in the last 5 years without incident (shows, in-stores, meet and greets). We rented out a movie theatre last month in London for a private showing of Napoleon Dynamite for his fans. Literally last month.

More importantly, this is a broader issue of free speech, with new lines being drawn that include reaching back in time without acknowledging growth. In face, punishing growth. What I do know is Tyler is part of an argument that is counter to who he has become. How do you punish someone for growing up? Since the letter acknowledged he was writing from an alter-ego perspective, does this then apply to book writers? The fact that he has evolved into someone who has acknowledged and grown out of that is simply lost in the narrative. Is he not worthy of the pat on the pack for becoming aware and making changes? What message does that send? Is race a conscious or subconscious factor at all?

There’s a lot to absorb and understand, but while he gets painted as some sort of anti-christ, I want to make sure people know the facts, which are that he hasn’t delved into those lyrics in years – he writes songs about cars and spreading your wings. He doesn’t drink or smoke, he owns his businesses, he takes care of his family and friends, he’s honest, grateful, aware, fearless, intelligent, and inspiring. His shows serve as a release, not acts of aggression.

Is he perfect? Absolutely not. He’s a human evolving like the rest of us, and evolution is a process, not a light switch.

I’m not defending his OLD lyrics. To be honest they make me cringe, but I stand beside him because of who he actually IS. Our 8 year old daughter, who is constantly inspired by him, said it best: “Why would they ban Tyler? That makes no sense.”

Tyler made the decision to cancel his Australian tour following a campaign lead by activist group Collective Shout, who protested against his previous lyrical content, which they argued ventured onto the “pro” side of rape and violence against women.

Photo: Tim Mosenfelder via Getty Images.