Tyler, the Creator’s sexuality is reportedly at the heart of his new album, Scum Fuck Flower Boy, which leaked to the web just days after it was announced.
Although it isn’t due until later this month, the LP has already made the rounds and its lyrics have been dissected, leading many to wonder if it is the Odd Future rapper’s attempt to come out as gay or bisexual.
“Garden Shed,” for instance, finds Tyler rapping about “hiding” and mentions Frank, a likely reference to Odd Future affiliate Frank Ocean, who famously came out about his sexuality in the past. “Truth is, since you kid, thought it was a phase,” he raps. “Thought it would be like the Frank, poof, gone / But, it’s still going on.”
Other lyrics from “Garden Shed” add to the speculation, including, “That is where I was hidin’ / That is what love I was in / Ain’t no reason to pretend.” Later, he adds: “I was always like eh / Barely interested, but I bag just to brag to my boys like, ‘bruh’ / This is a crucial subject matter / Sensitive like cookin’ batter.”
As Complex points out, other songs also add to this theory, including the opener “Foreword,” on which he raps: “Shoutout to the girls that I lead on for occasional head / And always keeping my bed warm / And trying their hardest to keep my head on straight.”
On “I Ain’t Got Time,” he adds: “Next line will have ’em like ‘Whoa’ / I been kissing white boys since 2004.” On another track, he reportedly raps: “All my day ones turn to three, fours cause of track seven,” referencing back to “Garden Shed.”
There is also a radio segment in which a man requests a song about himself, which leads into “See You Again,” a romantic track about a person with “rose to the cheeks…dirt-colored eyes [and] sugar honey iced tea.” He adds: “Yeah I’d give up my bakery to have a piece of your pie.”
Still, it is unclear whether the lyrics on Flower Boy are meant to be taken as a personal revelation from Tyler and the rapper has not issued a statement about his sexuality.
Tyler’s thoughts about homosexuality have been a major topic throughout his career. Early on, he was heavily criticized for his use of homophobic slurs. In fact, he used a variation of the f-word numerous times on his breakout album Goblin, according to NME.
In 2015, he fought back against the years of criticism on “Fuck It.” “I think people love to be mad,” he rapped on the track. “How can I be misogynist? I love titties and ass / How can I be homophobic when my boyfriend’s a [bleep] / We’ve been hiding in the closet like our passionate fashion / Still trying to come out.”
In April of that year, he tweeted about coming out, as well. “I TRIED TO COME OUT THE DAMN CLOSET LIKE FOUR DAYS AGO AND NO ONE CARED,” he tweeted. “HAHAHHAHAHA.”
I TRIED TO COME OUT THE DAMN CLOSET LIKE FOUR DAYS AGO AND NO ONE CARED HAHAHHAHAHA
— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) April 13, 2015
Also in 2015, Tyler, the Creator spoke about sexuality with Rolling Stone. Speaking of Frank Ocean and his constant use of homophobic slurs, the Flower Boy MC said: “He knows I don’t care about being gay. It’s just another word to me.”
In that same interview, Tyler referenced his own sexuality multiple times. “My friends are so used to me being gay,” he said. “They don’t even care.”
When asked why he jokes about homosexuality so frequently, Tyler responded: “Because I’m gay as fuck.” Asked if he was being serious, Tyler added: “No, but I am in love with ’96 Leonardo DiCaprio. I one hundred percent would go gay for ’96 Leo. Oh, and Cole Sprouse.”
Despite his constant use of homophobic slurs, Tyler has more recently come out in support of the LGBT community with “Pride” shirts through his Golf Wang company. Promoting a rainbow-themed shirt that repurposed a white pride logo, Tyler explained his design on a 2015 Tumblr post.
“i’m legit one of the least homophobic guys to walk this earth but, most people just read the surface,” he wrote. “But maybe someone will see this photo and say ‘ hey, he’s just mocking gays’ or ‘this has a negative undertone to it, he is still pushing this homophobic whatever the fuck it is.'”
Scum Fuck Flower Boy is due July 21.