Odd Future’s Tyler The Creator is one of the most creative minds in contemporary hip-hop and draws on a vast, eclectic array of influences to bring us the amazing music he does. From the English rock band Czar to Japan’s Tatsuro Yamashita, his knowledge knows no bounds.
With his beginnings in the LA rap crew Odd Future often stylized OFWGKTA, Tyler The Creator has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music. With fellow crew members including legendary names such as Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt and Flying Lotus, Tyler The Creator was just one of the many ingenious musicians that Odd Future birthed.
Based primarily out of Ladera Heights, dubbed in a Frank Ocean song as ‘The Black Beverly Hills’, Odd Future really burst onto the hip-hop scene in 2011. Odd Future’s distinct look came with an as distinct sound. OFWGKTA were pioneering in the way they beautifully fused LA Skate culture with hip-hop.
These are two completely separate entities that before would have seemed incompatible. However, Odd Future seamlessly married them. The Skate culture came through in how they dressed. They always had skateboards in their hands and Vans shoes on their feet Furthermore, the crew wore skate clothing brands, brightly coloured tees and humorous sweatshirts, but somehow they made it work with hip-hop.
However, despite his usually laidback LA demeanour, in an interview with HOT 97, fans saw Tyler The Creator get riled up and extremely aggressive as he was explaining a run-in he had with black scholar Dr Boyce Watkins, who, for ethical reasons, decided to interfere with Odd Future’s Mountain Dew commercial deal.
Speaking about how Dr Boyce Watkins interfered, Tyler explained, “What angered me was the Boyce Watkins thing with the guy who kinda pushed me getting cut off from that…he was a professor, and he said it was like the most racist commercial ever, which scared Mountain Dew, and they cut me off and then I lost that.”
The LA rapper continued, “The only thing that saddened me about that is just being a young black kid, as a director, being in a position where someone big like Mountain Dew gives me a chance to just do that and not even be in the commercial f*cking dancing and sh*t, just putting my vision in there, for an older black guy instead of congratulating deciding to look at something negative from it, and to just cut off any other opportunities really saddened me.”
Elaborating on the tension that then arose, Tyler The Creator exclaimed, “Listen, the commercial was a story arc commercial, I had four commercials. In the first commercial, the goat has Mountain Dew, and he likes it so much that he goes crazy, pushes the lady on the ground and runs out ’cause it’s so good. The second commercial was the lady at the police station looking at a lineup of people saying that was the goat that pushed me in the restaurant. Now in the lineup, I used a bunch of my friends they happened to be African-American…none of these guys have records they’re all good dudes…Boyce Watkins saw it said it was the most racist commercial ever, then people started picking up this story, and it got big!!!”
He then explained Mountain Dew’s reaction to this, “The Mountain Dew people are seeing this saying ‘Woah we don’t wanna have this heat on us and said yo we’re sorry we even put this commercial out’ then it was no more Tyler. Cut!… For someone like that to look past all of that and point out some bullshit….F*CK THAT!! F*CK BOYCE WATKINS!!! HE A BITCH!!!”
You can watch the full interview in the video below.