9.1.2015

Tyler, the Creator on U.K. Ban: ‘I’m Being Treated Like a Terrorist’

Tyler, the Creator was recently banned from entering the U.K. for 3-5 years based on lyrics from his albums Bastard and Goblin. In an interview with The Guardian, he opens up about his thoughts on the ban. Suffice to say, he’s not pleased.

“Monday was one of the shittiest days I’ve ever had,” he said, noting that his lyrics were used as evidence against him. “I was in a detention room; I felt like a criminal. And then [a Border Force officer] showed me lyrics from songs…literally, a paper with five lines of lyrics, and four were from Bastard songs and one was from ‘Tron Cat.’ I never perform those songs.”

“Now I’m getting treated like a terrorist,” he added. “I’m bummed out because it’s like, dude, I’m not homophobic. I’ve said this since the beginning. The ‘hating women’ thing—it’s so nuts. It’s based on things I made when I was super-young, when no one was listening [to my music]. Like, I wrote ‘Blow’ when I was reading about different people in American history. One of the people happened to be [the serial killer] Ted Bundy, and I wrote a song from his point of view.”

He attributes the controversial lyrics to his alter ego. “This song is written from an alter ego—I’m not like this! You could watch any interview and see my personality, see the guy I am. I wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

He went on to argue that this decision by the U.K. Home Office opens the door for all sorts of other artists to have difficulty getting into England.

“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?”

While he may be banned from the U.K., Tyler will launch his U.S. tour with A$AP Rocky on Sept. 19 in Lowell, Mass.