In fact, Tyler is pretty much obsessed with hating women, as evident by his constant references to “ black b***hes” and rape as evinced by his profound proclamation of inspiration, “We go skate, rape sluts, and eat donuts from Randy’s.” Genius, right? Besides raping slores, Tyler also fantasizes in his song “Transylvania” about getting his hands on an “all beige suit made out of white women” and proudly proclaiming that he does “punch bitches” on BSD which stands for B***h Suck D**k. No, that’s the actual song’s title.
Tyler isn’t the only member of Odd Future with a questionable rapport. Last year Left Brain was accused of smacking a female photographer at a concert in Louisiana. And Syd tha Kyd, the group’s only woman and other openly gay member, has been under a lot of scrutiny lately for her crew’s misogynistic tendencies. In one interview, she too proclaims her penchant for smacking b***hes and in another interview, justifies her and her crewmates’ usage of the homophobic slur “f****t” by saying, “when Tyler says ‘f****t,’ he’s not referring to gays, he’s referring to lame people. And in our vocabulary, that’s what the word ‘f****t’ means. I’m not offended by the word ‘f****t’ — and I am one.”
She has also raised eyebrows as well as garnered criticism for saying people like Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah need to come out of the closet, and for her music video to the song “Cocaine.” In the video, Syd is on a date with a young woman in an amusement park. The two are high off of something (my guess is cocaine) and eventually the girl passes out in Syd’s truck. Being the gentlewoman that she is, Syd throws her out – literally – and drives off while the girl, possibly dead, is left unconscious on the ground.
Tyler excuses much of his group’s harsh lyricism and antics by suggesting that “people take things too seriously.” Maybe so. Maybe the group’s style of music is meant to be unabashedly shocking in order to expose both the hypocrisies and the ironies of our political correctness. I also haven’t been too keen on how hip-hop has been painted with the more homophobic and/or sexist brush than the rest of society. I think that’s because the black community is more abrupt, and honest, about our feelings – even when it is not the most politically correct way of saying it. Likewise, it’s easy to point out the vicious hateful bile, which exists in lots of popular rap music or suggests that the genre as a whole is obsessed with money cars and b***hes than it is to acknowledge that our very own Western society was built upon and pretty much is still governed by the patriarchal capitalistic power structure, which rules us all.
Let’s be real here: it ain’t black folks in the ‘hoods of America bumping Odd Future. Outside of the alternative, blipster (black hipster) throng, Odd Future’s core demographic are the suburban white middle-class kids, who probably get intoxicating adrenaline rushes each time the group utters something remotely violent and against the norm to their middle class backgrounds – just as they once did with Marilyn Manson, Johnny Cash and the Ramones.
This doesn’t mean that the group’s internalized misogyny, homophobia and possible racism doesn’t disturb me. It’s hard to listen to those lyrics and find anything redeeming about them. But, it also speaks to the complexity of being a person, who exists at the three-stop intersection between race, gender and sexuality. None of the members of the group are saying outright that they hate women. Likewise, this is a group with not one but now two openly gay and/or bisexual members. Ironically, Ocean, who came into game as an artist on Def Jam, has praised Odd Future for liberating him and helping him realize how important it is to stay true to himself within the music industry. And besides Russell Simmons, it was his crew members including Tyler the Creator, who were among the first to publicly throw their support behind Ocean, even going as far as to denounce anyone who had a problem with Ocean’s sexuality -then they ragged on him with a bunch of gay jokes.
It is possible for members of one, or even several, marginalized groups to be self-loathing and embody the same sort of hate-filled posturing in order to propel themselves up into the ranks of society? But it is also possible that folks within these marginalized groups have chosen to exercise their right to navigate within their own moral metric system and determine what is and what is not offensive without the rest of us trying to attach our own ethical code of who or what they should be.
It’s the reason why Puerto Rican Fat Joe can paradoxically declare: “Niggas is gay So What?,” before going on about a gay mafia. Human beings, in general, are full of many contradictions. And it is that same dichotomy in Frank Ocean and Odd Future that can lead folks to believe that he is a hero for “coming out” and yet, by being affiliated with people who embrace the f-word, be a perpetrator of some of the same ill treatment of others all in the same breath.
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