Line Out Music & the City at Night

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear MTV: Now That You're Backing the It Gets Better Project, Can You Please Stop Giving VMAs and Airtime to Artists Who Use Gay Slurs?

Posted by on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Dear MTV,

This afternoon you posted the trailer for the upcoming It Gets Better special. Good work! The show looks really powerful and I'm sure it will only further all the truly amazing work the It Gets Better project has done since its 2010 inception.

But with this new It Gets Better show, I think it's necessary that you take your anti-bullying stance a step further. It's time to closely examine the artists you promote and reward. It's time to stop sending mixed messages.

Last summer Tyler the Creator won "Best New Artist" at the Video Music Awards. He's charismatic, sure, and a talented rapper. But he's also constantly using gay slurs. In the track "Yonkers," he says: "I'll crash that fucking airplane that that faggot nigga B.o.B is in/and stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus." In "Goblin," he says: "But they do not have the mindset, that is same as him/I'm not weird, you're just a faggot, shame on him."

How can we ask and expect this generation of teenagers to stop using gay slurs and stop bullying their gay peers when you're rewarding a man who uses the word “faggot” as a derogatory term over and over and over again? He's standing there on stage, being applauded, being celebrated for songs that feature the same hateful words that are being used to bully kids to death.

In his defense, Tyler the Creator says he's not homophobic. Good for him. But he does admit that he uses the words "faggot" and "gay" as a way to hurt people:

I just think 'faggot' hits and hurts people. It hits. And 'gay' just means you’re stupid. I don't know, we don’t think about it, we're just kids. We don’t think about that shit. But I don't hate gay people. I don't want anyone to think I’m homophobic.

He says it right there—it hits. It hurts. And because he's a kid, according to him, he shouldn't have to take responsibility for that. That's absolute bullshit. MTV, if you really want to make an impact with your support of the It Gets Better Project and the anti-bullying movement in America, it's also time to stop giving awards to those people who look to hurt others. Otherwise, despite your sincere efforts, you're going to remain part of the problem.

 

Comments (69) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
YES.
Posted by Kevin Erickson on February 15, 2012 at 8:05 PM · Report this
KittenKoder 2
So then, you're for Miss America (who supports christian groups) not allowing lesbians to win? I'm sure they'd like that, a lot.
Posted by KittenKoder http://digitalnoisegraffiti.com/ on February 15, 2012 at 8:57 PM · Report this
3
+1
Posted by Valkyrie on February 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 4
Amen!
Posted by Canadian Nurse on February 15, 2012 at 9:17 PM · Report this
Simone 5
Great write up.
Posted by Simone on February 15, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
pg13 6
"I don't want anyone to think I'm homophobic."--Tyler the Creator

Well, there's an easy way to make sure...make some better vocabulary choices. An unwillingness to do that indicates that you don't really care if people think you're homophobic...and that you probably ARE homophobic.

Posted by pg13 on February 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM · Report this
pg13 7
Here's an interesting question for you, Megan...

Do you think that "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits should be bleeped?

(In other words, can an artist use "characterization" as justification for using hateful words? If you think that Dire Straits should be bleeped--that's close to saying that Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" should be bowdlerized.)

Posted by pg13 on February 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 8
Uh - Mr. Dan Savage used to start every letter of his column with "Hey, Faggot".

Remember?
Posted by Just Jeff on February 15, 2012 at 9:38 PM · Report this
9
My vague understanding is that MTV execs don't choose the winners, just the nominees. They decide who judges the nominees, but it's not MTV people directly I don't think. Dan's people cut the deal with MTV to buy those first few shows he taped - maybe he can have them find out?
Posted by gloomy gus on February 15, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
LEE. 10
@7

no.

yes, but...
Posted by LEE. on February 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM · Report this
11
We are talking about a station that paid money to Chris Brown to perform at those same VMAs.
Posted by Sinclair on February 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM · Report this
Andrew Cole 12
@7, 8, the usage isn't similar. The whole point of Money for Nothing is that it's an outsider's view of the music business; the 'faggot' in the song is Mark Knopfler, more or less. Similarly, Dan Savage's use of "Hey, Faggot!" was self-directed. He was encouraging his letter writers to call him a faggot, not anyone else -- though that example's even less pertinent that the first one, since Dan is, uh, I don't know if you're aware of this, but he's gay, and so he's got 'f-word' principles. Tyler the Creator's not calling himself a faggot; he's not reclaiming any damn thing. He's using the slur as a slur, and even cops to it.

The Huck Finn example is maybe closer to home, but even then there's a difference between Mark Twain writing about racist characters and actually being racist himself. I'm more inclined to give some leeway to writing that uses derogatory language for some end -- having a homophobic character use homophobic language establishes their homophobia, for example -- and not at all inclined to cut people slack for casually using the same language to be homophobic.

Like, are we really having this conversation? You guys are just kidding around, right? I mean, obviously you're trolling, because those are rock-stupid objections, otherwise.
Posted by Andrew Cole on February 15, 2012 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Westlake, son! 13
Shuttttttttttttttt the fuck up. "You know you're getting old when..."

If you had been born 20 years earlier you'd be up there trying to ban Body Count's debut album right now. Where would Ice-T be without musical outlet? Not on Law & Order.
Posted by Westlake, son! on February 15, 2012 at 11:36 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 14
Try this on for size.

Gay Marriage a Tough Sell with Blacks in Maryland

Maryland’s Democrats are sharply divided by race on the issue. A Washington Post poll published on Jan. 30 found that 71 percent of white respondents supported it, while 24 percent did not. Among blacks, 41 percent were supportive, while 53 percent were opposed. African-Americans are an important constituency here: their share of the population — 29 percent — is greater than in many Southern states, including Alabama and South Carolina, according to the Brookings Institution.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/us/mar…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 16, 2012 at 1:24 AM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 15
#15

Rap and hip hop are dead. No matter how big a wig and many false teeth Beyonce wears.

Rappers are phonies...most of them are drunk old men posing as Young Stars. There words are 80 percent lie, 20 percent poison.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on February 16, 2012 at 1:27 AM · Report this
Kinison 16
MTV doesn't care about anything but ratings, it shows by the fact that the channel is named Music Television and they dont show music videos. If "It gets better" draws ratings, they'll milk it for all its worth until people get bored with it and if stars using gay slurs draws controversial ratings, why they hell would they stop that? Theres no ethical standards for MTV, its that simple. The artists are used to being corporate tools for the music industry, they wont blink twice being corporate tools for the TV industry, especially since that pays out more, they will simply do what they are told.
Posted by Kinison http://www.holgatehawks.com on February 16, 2012 at 5:21 AM · Report this
BearNecessity 17
#15: *their not "there."

MTV needs to step up. Great write up.
Posted by BearNecessity on February 16, 2012 at 5:59 AM · Report this
faceupandsing 18
#12 FTW.
Posted by faceupandsing on February 16, 2012 at 6:14 AM · Report this
19
Wait you're just finding out about Odd Future NOW? Haha good one.
Posted by pioneer on February 16, 2012 at 7:02 AM · Report this
undead ayn rand 20
@2: "So then, you're for Miss America (who supports christian groups) not allowing lesbians to win? I'm sure they'd like that, a lot."

You really are a hateful wretch.
Posted by undead ayn rand on February 16, 2012 at 7:33 AM · Report this
Donolectic 21
@12 - Exactly.

@15 - Lolol. Just because you say it (and wish it with all your heart) it doesn't make it true.
Posted by Donolectic on February 16, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
22
@13: YES. You hit the nail on the head. What Tyler is doing with his lyrics is no different than what Ice-T, Eazy-E, and countless other rappers were doing 20, 25 years ago. There is a long history in hip hop of insulting and hurting people, whether it be gays, women, other rappers, the police, or any other group you want to name. And besides, calling people "faggot" is probably the least offensive thing Tyler raps about. Have you listened to "French!" from his first album? If the word "faggot" worries you more than his rape fantasies, your priorities are out of wack.

But really, don't be Tipper Gore. It's not a good look.
Posted by rob in portland on February 16, 2012 at 8:15 AM · Report this
bunnypuncher 23
@12 - That brings up an interesting point that no one talks about - Tyler plays a lot of characters in his songs. Tron Cat, Ace, Wolf Haley - he raps in the first person, but from their perspective.

@15 - Why has it been ok for Bob Dylan to "tell stories" (or straight up lie) for 50 years without being a "phony?" You anti-rap people really are the worst.

Aaaaaaaand finally, some troll bait: every single other grown queer person I know who listens to hiphop loves Odd Future. So, you know... stay mad.
Posted by bunnypuncher http://twitter.com/princess_wolfie on February 16, 2012 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 24
@22 Tipper Gore? Seriously? C'mon, dude. We're not in the 90s anymore. When Ice-T and Eazy-E were doing this, we weren't faced with a trend of gay teens being bullied to the point where suicide feels like their only way out.

A musician doing something over two decades ago doesn't give all musicians everywhere a free pass to keep doing it. Times have changed. That Tyler is using these words now, in 2011 and 2012, given the current state of things (and being rewarded for it no less) is gross and negligent.

And I am concerned about Tyler's and Odd Future's rape fantasies and misogyny. Absolutely. But that's a different battle.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 8:41 AM · Report this
25
Shut the fuck up Megan. This is short sighted and downright stupid. I'd also wager that "Slog" has posted more OF and Tyler The Creator than what MTV has shown of him.
Posted by boogens on February 16, 2012 at 9:04 AM · Report this
HellboundAlleee 26
Who the fuck is "Tyler the Creator?"
Posted by HellboundAlleee http://hellboundalleee.blogspot.com on February 16, 2012 at 9:33 AM · Report this
LEE. 27
@24

I can't believe you basically just claimed that gay kids weren't bullied to suicide as much 20 years ago...

The only difference between now and then is there's far more acceptance generally for kids if they want to come out early on or push gender boundaries when they're younger. I'm sure a huge percentage of teen suicides from back then were due to gay harassment but we wouldn't know because the fear of being gay terrified those kids. If anything that's an even bigger tragedy. Don't make shit up to serve your agenda, it's lazy and it does a disservice to people whose lives would have been saved were there anything close to IGB two decades ago. Tyler the Creator is an irresponsible asshole...can't we leave it at that?
Posted by LEE. on February 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM · Report this
28
well now that you're everyone's personal crusader megan, i guess we'll all have to stop listening to chuck berry cause he was fucking teenage girls and openly writing songs about it, paul simon cause he's the worlds biggest asshole and ripped off tribal africans from HUGE amounts of money they earned and deserved, michael jackson cause he was raping little boys, the beatles because they became famous off of a song about getting a blowjob from a chick ("my bitch suck dick" anyone?), definitely can't listen to sly and the family stone because they called me, a caucasian, "whitey" on that one track, oh fuck, just remembered i gotta throw black sabbaths 'paranoid' out cause ozzy calls gays fairies on a track and i can't possibly listen to megadeth after hearing dave mustane's support of rick santorum, chris brown actually beat the shit out of a woman and i haven't seen dick about that on lineout recently, surely i have to burn all my patti smith records cause she straight up said NIGGER on a track and by golly anything phil spector recorded cause he murdered someone... your repeated personal crusade against tyler, the creator on this blog is annoying and scapegoating at best.

also, congratulations wa state on passing the gay marriage bill. how about some posts about getting texas to pass gay marriage, now that would actually be doing something about something.
Posted by nomoretylerthecreatorpostsforsitehits on February 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 29
@27 You're right, I mispoke. I didn't mean to imply gay teens weren't bullied in the past. I meant to say is that the stronger fight against allowing that to happen any longer is what's new. That's what's changed in recent years.

I apoologize for poorly stating that.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 30
@28 all your examples are decdes old. I'm not asking anyone to rewrite or erase history.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
Megan Seling 31
@28 And regarding Chris Brown, Schmader posted about that here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archive…
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
blip 32
The comparisons to artists like Ice-T or NWA miss the mark because they told stories that fit into a larger narrative about the everyday violence of their lives that a lot of people wouldn't hear anywhere else. The Odd Future tracks I've heard go for shock value over substance every time. By even having an opinion about them, no matter how terrible, they have succeeded.

Personally I'm more offended by the "They have gay fans" / "But Syd is a lesbian!" retorts. Fuck anyone who still says shit like that in 2012.
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 10:37 AM · Report this
Keekee 33
There are gay Rap fans???
Posted by Keekee on February 16, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
34
#24, "And I am concerned about Tyler's and Odd Future's rape fantasies and misogyny. Absolutely. But that's a different battle."

Except that it's not a different battle at all. Homophobia and sexism go hand in hand, and it's so fucking obnoxious that when women complain about misogynistic language they are considered humorless bitches who have their panties in a wad, while you read posts like this one on SLOG all the time that call attention to the minutia that offends gays.

Frankly, I don't personally hate music simply because of misogynistic or gay slurs. I love NWA and other bands whose lyrics happen to be offensive. I just hate when gays (or anyone) get pissed off about this shit yet don't also support women dealing with the same issues.
Posted by virginia mason on February 16, 2012 at 10:54 AM · Report this
35
I don't listen to music with racist or homophobic lyrics. I don't look to MTV for moral guidance -- or for recommendations on what music to listen to -- so it makes no difference to me who they give awards to. If I was a parent, I'd monitor what my kids were watching and listening to and have conversations with them about what's right and wrong.
Posted by Amanda on February 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
36
Comparing to Ice-T or NWA do miss the mark, because they are different issues, yes. However, there are parallels- their top hit was called 'Fuck tha Police', and more or less expressed anger and violence against police. This is pretty offensive; more so than using a slur, in fact. It was controversial in its day; and certainly helped to further gangs and gang violence. Using a slur in a rap song is hardly worse; it's incredibly hypocritical to condemn Tyler and still claim NWA is ok. Unless all you care about are gay issues and not, you know, doing good.

Odd Future are indeed giving off a narrative; just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. If you care to actually digest and critically think about what Tyler's lyrics are about, there's a lot of meat there. He's actually very vulnerable in the whole cd, and he does a lot of interesting things with the whole hip-hop perspective. But that's something that you're missing, 32, because you want to see the shock and be offended. Same goes for Megan. But don't then call for a boycott of something that you don't understand and whose culture you don't appreciate, just because they happen to step on your pet cause's toes. That's ignorant, and incredibly self-righteous.

(There's also the point that a lot of what the odd future gang does is just trolling, and you all are simply feeding them, but...)
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
37
Comparing Tyler to Ice-T or NWA does miss the mark, yes, because they are different issues. However, there are parallels- NWA's top hit was called 'Fuck tha Police', and more or less expressed anger and violence against police. This is pretty offensive; more so than using a slur, in fact. It was controversial in its day; and certainly helped to further gangs and gang violence. Using a slur in a rap song is hardly worse; it's incredibly hypocritical to condemn Tyler and still claim NWA is ok. Unless all you care about are gay issues.

Odd Future are indeed giving off a narrative; just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's bad or wrong. If you care to actually digest and critically think about what Tyler's lyrics are about, there's a lot of meat there. He's actually very vulnerable in the whole cd, and he does a lot of interesting things with the whole hip-hop perspective. But that's something that you're missing, 32, because you want to see the shock and be offended. Same goes for Megan. But don't then call for a boycott of something that you don't understand and whose culture you don't appreciate, just because they happen to step on your pet cause's toes. That's ignorant, and incredibly self-righteous.

(There's also the point that a lot of what the odd future gang does is just trolling, and you all are simply feeding them, but...)
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
38
Sorry, double-post accidently.
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 11:21 AM · Report this
blip 39
@36 I'm not calling for a boycott of anything, but I see a genunine difference between using violent, offensive, and shocking language to tell a story and using it for the sake of being offensive and shocking. If I'm willing to give Joyce Carol Oates a pass when she writes fisrt-person novels about rapists and murderers then I don't see why I shouldn't give a rapper the same artistic license as long as the story is giving me insight into another person's experience that I would never otherwise be able to understand.

If there is a compelling story behind the lyrics of "Bitch Suck Dick" or "French!" that I'm completely missing then please enlighten me.
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
blip 40
*first-person
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 11:28 AM · Report this
41
I absolutely agree with what #39 said, and that's why I've never felt this was much of an issue. Everyone assumes musicians write from their own personal belief system, when they are simply writers telling stories. I read stories with violent, horrible characters all the time and enjoy them without relating to them in any way.

Like Dan Savage says about porn, millions of people manage to enjoy it without raping or degrading anyone, and those porn watchers who do end up raping people are sick individuals who would have done this shit anyway.
Posted by virginia mason on February 16, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
42
Megan: I know this might sound hard, but maybe you should just accept that you, a 30something y/o white woman from the Northwest suburbs, might just be having a hard time seeing the world through the lens of a 20 y/o black kid from urban LA who grew up in a single-parent household.

And it's a little funny to me how most of the artist/authors a lot of the above commenters are ready and willing to give these "passes" to for using the exact same language are, coincidentally, also white.
Posted by Mike Ramos on February 16, 2012 at 11:52 AM · Report this
cosby 43
@39:

Therein lies the difficulty in being outraged over "bad art" and not "good art". 'Bitch Suck Dick' is foolish, ironic art to most people, but it's art nonetheless and in a very real way is the art and communication of the new generation, for better of worse. To say X writer can put on the guise of a sadist and the Y writer can't because one art is more valid than the other is simply opinion.

This comment thread is going around in circles. Simply put, if you are going to be mad about one artist using gay slurs and homophobic lyrics, you have to be mad at all artists who do the same thing - you have to be mad at Dire Straits or Guns N' Roses or the Bloodhound Gang or the Pogues or Fear or Katy Perry. By picking and choosing who you are mad at, you are simply showing a prejudice against a specific type of music or a specific artist. This certainly seems like a crusade against Odd Future rather than a crusade against homophobia.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on February 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM · Report this
cosby 44
@42:

Bingo bango. You can't give a pass to an artist because you relate to their viewpoint, it doesn't work that way.
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on February 16, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
45
So, the thing with songs like French is that they are not necessarily there to tell a story as they are to make a point. In French, Tyler is doing two things: he is making a parody of the standard rap braggadaccio songs, and at the same time he is spelling out to his critics why he is so horribly offensive.

"When it comes to your perception of my shit, I'm Helen Keller" <- Tyler saying he doesn't give a fuck that you're offended, or what you think. He then goes on to be as offensive as he possibly can; just as a way of pressing your buttons: "I'm opening a church to sell coke and Led Zeppelin/ And fuck Mary in her ass.." He actually pauses to laugh at how terrible and silly that last line is. He's being so over the top, so silly, that to get outraged at what he's saying is in itself silly. It's like getting angry at A Modest Proposal; eating babies is sure as hell offensive, that's what part of what makes it so silly to get angry at Swift for writing it.

He's also making fun of rap posturing. He compares his lyrics to literal shit, in a bragging way. This is humurous, if you're able to get beyond yourself and look at the song beyond the terrible things it says at face value.

I could continue breaking it down, but the basic point of the song is this: one of the things that Tyler and the Odd Future gang exist for is to make the point, hey, they're kids, and what they're going to do is just say some shit and have fun. And then they're going to make it so over the top that it's obviously a parody, and then when people take it seriously they'll double down and then the joke is on whomever's offended. So the more silly and stupid and offensive Odd Future gets, the angrier they get. And the joke, at this point, is on people that are incredibly offended at a couple of kids saying random silly shit just to press buttons.

There are deeper values, but that's the point of songs like French. So in a way, yes, he is being offensive on purpose, but there is a point beyond merely offending people.
More...
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
JF 46
Didn't we go through this already with Eminem?
Posted by JF on February 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
taffy dale 47
YALL NEED TO STOP STIFLING CREATIVITY.

I think Odd Future (and artistic freedom in general) is really really healthy for young ppl. Right now you’ve got Tyler and Lil B actually interacting w/fans directly and in so many words saying, “JUST BE YOURSELF”, whoever that may be. I think it’s been a long ass time since rap fans/ppl have been encouraged to be WEIRD. And it’s been even longer since they’ve felt like they’re part of the process. Discussing “how evil their music is” is neither here nor there, and in fact it’s probably the least interesting aspect of the group. OF’s aggression, their disregard for social norms/freedom and the potential in their ideas/words/sounds shouldn’t scare you, and if those things do then you obviously aren’t one for social/cultural progress/change. And we don’t need anymore of that, especially in “progressive” Seattle. STOP STIFLING, KEEP MOVING.
Posted by taffy dale http://taffydale.com on February 16, 2012 at 12:26 PM · Report this
blip 48
@42/43 The issue (for me) is not the words themselves but the manner they are used, and I recognize the limits of what anyone consider offensives is subject to interpretation and that my personal view can be seen as hypocritical. I'm willing to own that and stand by every word I said above. I reserve the right to have a nuanced take on when/where offensive language has artistic merit.

My (shorter) take on Odd Future (as I stated above) is that they're trolling. I mean I understand and appreciate irony in art, but when Tyler himself says "it hits and hurts people" that seems to be a direct admission he's just going for the shock of it. If that works for you that's cool, personally I expect more.
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
blip 49
*considers offensive. ugh.
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 50
@42 So basically what you're saying here is that the only way I can understand and/or have a valid opinion about something is if I am the same race and sex as that person, and so long as we come from the same background?

I'm a white woman and my parents are still married, so I don't have the right to be offended by what Tyler the Creator does or says?

That's bullshit.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 12:33 PM · Report this
51
@48 And that's great; it's perfectly fine to dislike media for what they're saying and the message they're sending.

However, what Megan is calling for in her article and what most of the early commentators call for is most definitely not just saying, 'this music and lyrics aren't for me', what they're calling for is to prevent awards and recognition being given to art because it offends them. That's hypocritical and ignorant, and wrong, for a lot of reasons. #43 puts it very well.
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 52
@51 Actually, what I'm saying is that MTV shouldn't give those songs recognition while also partnering with and airing programs that deliver the opposite message. The It Gets Better project wants to end bullying and the use of gay slurs and hurtful words. MTV, by airing that special while also awarding those same things is what's hypocritical.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
taffy dale 53
you know what's hypocritical>>> that "The Stranger" is not strange, does not condone strange, and that "strange" to you = threatening. It's VANILLA.
Posted by taffy dale http://taffydale.com on February 16, 2012 at 12:53 PM · Report this
54
Megan, I think you're right to see the dissonance between MTV wanting to air popular artists no matter their lyrics and MTV wanting to broadcast responsible programs such as the recent Dan type stuff: IGBP and also the trial run of his edutainment shows MTV bought.

But it's worth thinking about whether MTV spends a little money on Dan type stuff *only because* they need the PR balance to redress the source of their income - airing popular artists no matter their lyrics. That and Jersey Shore have made them rich enough to afford to spend some overhead on virtuous counterprogramming.

You see an inconsistency, but to me it kinda looks like symbiosis.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 16, 2012 at 1:02 PM · Report this
blip 55
@45 Thanks, I get what you're saying and I agree there is something clever about the lyrics to 'French!' that might be lost on a superficial listen. The closest analogy to that I can think of is John Waters' 'Pink Flamingos,' a movie whose entire objective is to push peoples' buttons. The anger in that film is palpable, and I can see some congruency if not a one-to-one comparison between the experience of a bunch of queers in the early 70s and the experience of an African American kid today or at any time, really.

But for me his point gets lost when he uses violence against women as a lyrical prop. His point would be easier for me to digest if the lyrics were overtly racial rather than misogynistic, particularly if he is trying to make an implicit point about how his race influences peoples' reaction. White people enjoy privilege over other ethnic minorities but the same cannot be said of women over men (or for that matter gay over straight), with particular respect to sexual violence. One in six women are raped in their lifetime. If there is a joke in those numbers I don't think Tyler is the one who should be making it.

Lastly, to pivot off a point made above, I can't help but notice a lot of the people who are defending Odd Future are straight men. Just as white people cannot fully grasp the perspective of a black kid, well. There you go.
Posted by blip on February 16, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
56
can't believe we're talking about MTV.
Posted by Isn't Mad Rad still relevent? on February 16, 2012 at 1:28 PM · Report this
57
@50/52: Actually what's bullshit is the way you straw-manned the point I was trying to make.

What I'm actually saying is that if you made an effort to step outside your viewpoint and look at it through another lens in hopes of understanding the reasons WHY a person with a background like that, who is growing up in a time like this, makes music with a hateful, anti-everything edge, maybe you wouldn't be offended to the point of writing tirades like this.

Or at least you would see that the only reason why you are writing tirades like this is because you have read other people's tirades like this. There's nothing new about this sort of controversy, the details have just been updated for our modern times and archived on Twitter and every blog in the fucking world, more so for the controversy's sake than anything else.

But yeah, that's why I usually don't comment on these things in the first place.
Posted by Mike Ramos on February 16, 2012 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Megan Seling 58
@57 I don't want to understand where Tyler the Creator is coming from. He lost any curiosity and understanding I could've had about what he has to say and why he's saying by saying shit like: "Now you gotta make it easy for me don't run / You call this shit kids, well I call these kids cum / And you call this shit rape but I think that rape's fun."

He's already said why he says it: To shock people. That's it. Any other reasons people give on his behalf are their own interpretations of his words and actions.

And what makes you say that I only have this opinion because of what other people have said? Because I don't agree with you, I'm just following the herd? If I DID say that I support Tyler the Creator, would you still accuse me of just barfing up what I saw on Twitter and other blogs? Because there's plenty of support for him out there in the world.

If I'm guilty of it, then you must be too. You're just on the opposite side of the argument.
Posted by Megan Seling on February 16, 2012 at 2:23 PM · Report this
cosby 59
@58:
Please defend the lyrics of Nirvana's 'Polly'. There is no reason for it other than to shock, it does not really tell a complete story and no one is bettered by hearing it's lyrics - it simply praises sexual abuse. In your opinion, should Nirvana be boycotted based on this song? If not, why not?
Posted by cosby http://www.myspace.com/cosbyshownights on February 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
60
@58 "I don't want to understand where Tyler the Creator is coming from. He lost any curiosity and understanding I could've had..."

Right. But then why are you actively fighting and protesting against something you don't understand? That's pretty bigoted.

"He's already said why he says it: To shock people. That's it. Any other reasons people give on his behalf are their own interpretations of his words and actions."

...You're right. You don't understand him. But here's a key; he actively stays in character in all of his media and social networking. (that's actually one of the reasons that he's so popular;how deftly and successfully he understands and manipulates social media and the internet age, and how to become an internet celebrity.) You claiming that the only reason he does it is to shock people because he said so is like claiming that Colbert is really a conservative because he said so on an interview.
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
61
Well then, MTV should have played more Mentors videos back in the day! Right? Amirite?

http://lineout.thestranger.com/lineout/a…
Posted by Kelly O on February 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
62
@59 Hell, consider Run For Your Life and Under My Thumb, for that matter. They aren't as bad as Polly, but they certainly don't have a story arch.
Posted by Iroohik on February 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
robotbutler 63
I don't know if anyone has made a similar remark but standing next to Tyler on that VMA stage was a 19 year old lesbian who also uses "bitch" "faggot" & "gay" in her music. Writing posts like this is exactly what these kids want you to do. Well done!
Posted by robotbutler on February 16, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this
64
SORREE BUT TYLER IS NOT APPROPRIATE FOR THE IRONIC WHITEGUURRRRL SING ALONGS THAT TAKE PLACE BEFORE WE HIT THE PUNK REUNION SHOWS. OMG ONLY THE LEAST PROGRESSIVE AMONGST US ACTUALLY SAY (OR DATE) THE N WORDS.
Posted by RETURN OF THE MACKLEMORE on February 16, 2012 at 4:21 PM · Report this
65
You are so offended by Tyler using a gay slur, but not a word is mentioned about "N****" being the next word after "F*****" in the quote you use from the Tyler the Creator song. "The N word" is a slur against a group of people, just as the other one is. Is the fact that Tyler is black himself what makes it okay (not racist) for him to say that? Then I think the fact that there is a homosexual in their group should excuse him from being accused of homophobia.

Is the issue you have with odd future, that you think they are actually homophobic? Tyler says himself in your quote that he is not homophobic, there is a gay member of the group, what more could he do to prove that he is not?

Tyler makes an artistic decision that the words F****** gets across the meaning he wants in his songs. I don't think he's thinking about it that much, but it's a word I'm sure he heard and has used enough in his life that when he is writing and expressing himself it is what comes to mind. When he says he wants to hurt people, I'm pretty sure he's not talking about the general gay and lesbian public, he's talking about whoever he's directing his lyrics at. In this case, clearly Tyler really doesn't like B.O.B. and thinks the best word to insult him is "F******" It could have been "idiot" but Tyler must have thought the other word expressed what he was feeling more clearly.

I know plenty of people who are not homophobic, some of whom are gay themselves, who use the word F** in ways that are clearly not meant to be homophobic, whether for the sake of comedy, or for the sake of insult. While I personally myself choose not to use the words for those purposes, because I don't want people to misinterpret my meaning as being homophobic, people are still allowed to choose to use those words, and they choose to be responsible for responding to the inevitable backlash and explaining that they are not actually homophobic.

If you have such a problem with this, will you be writing an article soon on how BET should boycott any artist who has used "The N Word" in a song?

More...
Posted by garbagetownUSA on February 16, 2012 at 4:23 PM · Report this
LEE. 66
...it's a shame that Odd Future's music/songs don't do anything for me to feel compelled to defend them the way I would for some of the other artists people rattled off in this thread who have committed similar sins (although none of them made a career out of it...). appreciation of what a person does goes a long way for what you're willing to tolerate from them.
Posted by LEE. on February 16, 2012 at 6:21 PM · Report this
Adam Superfan 67
Here here!
Posted by Adam Superfan http://facebook.com/hateyouhumans on February 17, 2012 at 4:12 AM · Report this
68
I'm not going to try to defend odd future, but I think even their biggest detractors should take note of the fact that their existence has brought this discussion to the forefront of pop culture. Would it be better if we continued to have 16 year olds throwing around slurs in private at their high school or is it beneficial to have it be in public where everyone can tell them how offensive it is? Odd Future is not the first place that kids are hearing these slurs, it's just the only place that we hear about it. We should be appreciating the fact that the unanimous response is to condemn the actual content of the words. The debate isn't whether these statements are correct, it's whether there is artistic justification to use them.
Posted by cbatson on February 17, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Keekee 69
Megan Seling: Champion of privileged white woman everywhere!
Posted by Keekee on February 22, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this

Add a comment

 

Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy