Arts & Entertainment

The Rise of Tyler, the Creator

Warren Whitaker

Tyler, the Creator, has gone through numerous hardships throughout his career. Once a
very controversial rapper from Hawthorne, California, Tyler, the Creator (full name Tyler
Okonma) has gone through “cancel culture”, country bans, canceled commercial deals with
major corporations, and more throughout his twelve-year career.

Tyler, the Creator’s not a freak or a goblin or a monster anymore. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/REX/Shutterstock

Now, he has four Grammy nominations and he has won two of them for Best Rap
Album. He has sold out shows in the Staples Center, Madison Square Garden and in Europe. He
has his streetwear clothing brand in GOLFWANG ( ) and a luxury
designer clothing brand Golf, le Fleur. He is a rapper, singer, music producer, songwriter,
director, TV producer, fashion designer, TV writer and more. Tyler, the Creator accepting the Best Rap Album grammy for Igor.
With all these accolades and talent that most people dream of having, one must wonder:
why was Tyler hated when he first became famous? And why is he loved and accepted now?

Tyler, the Creator was born on March 6th, 1991 in Ladera Heights, California. Growing
up, he was never into sports as he often details this in his interviews. Music was his first love,
and he would begin writing rap lyrics and learning how to play the piano around seven years
old. Later in early high school, Tyler would learn how to produce and from there he would start
the hip hop collective Odd Future.

Odd Future is widely known throughout the world, most notably for members Tyler, the
Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Frank Ocean, R&B/Funk band “The Internet” members Syd Tha Kyd
and Matt Martians, and many more. They would go on to make music, TV shows and clothing
and they would gain popularity quickly. The group was founded in 2010 and they were known
for racist, homophobic and violent lyrics. These lyrics and subject matter would cause the group
to face much controversy from the media and “cancel culture”. “I remember OF in their prime”
says Delaware State senior, Deyvon Ross. “They made such good music, but mad did everyone
hate them” said Ross with a chuckle.

Members of Odd Future. Tyler, the Creator is in the middle with the blue hat and grey
hoodie. (Stereovision).

Being canceled from festivals, banned from Australia, England and New Zealand and
losing commercial deals with Mountain Dew — all resulted from the lyrics of a couple of teenagers
who were venting through the form of song. This includes Tyler. Early in his career, Tyler said a
lot of controversial things in his music. He also grew up without his father, lived with his
grandmother, who paid him littler attention for some time and spent a lot of time by himself
growing up. He had a sense of family with his Odd Future crew and they all vented through
violent and graphic music when they were young.

In 2015, Odd Future broke up and all members began to focus on their solo careers.
They all grew up and you could see that in Tyler’s music. In 2017, he released the album
“Flower Boy” where he sounded much more positive and even came out as bisexual (debunking
the “homophobic” rumors that often got him and Odd Future in trouble). This album would be
his first Grammy nominee; however, he would lose Best Rap Album to Kendrick Lamar’s

Cover art to “Igor”.

In 2019, Tyler released the album “Igor,” which had an underlying story off heartbreak
for a man that he loved, but did not love him back. This album would go on to win Best Rap
Album as well as his 2021 album “Call Me If You Get Lost.

CMIYGL summarized all the hardships that Tyler went through in his career.
All the hate, “cancellations”, banning and more could not stop him from only getting more
popular with each album he released. “I remember when he became mainstream. He really had
the music industry paying attention” said Delaware Stare junior Fred Lee. Tyler recognizes that
he is not the same 17-year-old he was when he and his fellow Odd Future members were when
they first got famous. He is now doing more than music, TV and fashion.

Tyler now has Grammys, money, good people around him and even a girlfriend now. He is accomplishing
everything he dreamed of as a kid when he first taught himself how to make music. He is no
longer being bullied for not being into sports or liking pink; people are no longer telling him
how much of a menace he is to society and his music is finally being recognized on the
mainstream level. Tyler, the Creator is a grown man.

Love him or hate, Tyler, the Creator controls his own destiny and will always be himself
no matter who is looking. “He is so original” said Delaware Stare freshman Alyson Whitaker.
“He doesn’t give in to trends” continued Whitaker. If you do not respect him for the music he
makes, you can at least respect him for undoubtedly being himself whether he is onstage
accepting a Grammy or in his best friend’s basement studio just trying to make it as a musician.

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