Tyler, The Creator Speaks out on Being Banned From the UK

“[Threats against] freedom of art and speech are at hand. And because of this, it’s opening a door for anyone to be banned.”

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After being banned from the UK last week for supposedly inflammatory lyrics, and subsequently being forced to cancel a string of shows, Tyler, The Creator has shed some light on the situation in an interview with The Guardian. Revealing the offending lyrics as belonging to songs in Bastard (2009) and Goblin (2011), Tyler, The Creator explains that the songs were written from the viewpoints of alter egos under his artistic license, and are therefore not accurate representations of his true personality. He goes on to blame the UK as merely following the example set by New Zealand — which banned him from visiting last year — as well as Australia, which was reluctant to grant him a visa based on the vocal opposition of Australian feminist group Collective Shout. Read an excerpt below, and find the entire interview by clicking here.

There’s a long history of rap music being censored in the US and elsewhere.
What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned? Why don’t they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them? There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bullshit song, but you got motherfuckers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?

Do you think the UK ban is directly related to the boycott in Australia?
They’re following! They’re just followers at this point – to me, at least. Personally. I don’t know. It all came out of nowhere; I was [in London] in May, dude. Two months later they’re like: “Hey, uh, yeah, we reviewed music from a long time ago out of nowhere, [and] you can’t come in.” What?

Where does the paperwork state that you can’t return for five years?

It says: “Although there is no statutory right of appeal against the secretary’s decision, the decision is reviewed every three to five years.” On Smuckers, I rap: “They say I’m nutty, I’m picnic basket, one short of a sandwich of peanut butter … I got banned from New Zealand, Whitey had called me a terrorist … and goddammit I couldn’t believe it.” That relates to right now so much. “Ban the kid from the country, I never fall, never timber / but you fucked up as a parent, your child’s idol’s a nigga.”

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