The Odd Future rapper dropped another hint about his sexuality—then muddied the waters again immediately afterward.
Tyler the Creator remains a master manipulator of expectations. The California rapper earlier this week in an interview with the Koopz Tunes of Know Wave radio admitted to having a boyfriend as a teenager.
“I had a boyfriend when I was fifteen in fucking Hawthorne [California], nigga. If that’s not open-minded, I don’t know what the fuck that is,” he proclaimed. The offhanded comment comes off the heels of his most recent album, Flower Boy, where on the song “I Ain’t Got Time!” he rhymed: “Next line, I’ll have ’em like woah / I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004.”
Hard to be more direct than that, but last night he tweeted in reference to the interview: “figure of speech to get koopz ‘open minded’ point across, i was single at 15 haha.”
Tyler’s direct comments about his sexuality express little ambiguity, but one remains wary of falling on the not-getting-it end of his jokes. These outward moments of queerness from Tyler the Creator appear jarring when you remember his initial emergence into the mainstream—when he was a proud user of homophobic slurs—as well as the company surrounding him at the time. Syd the Kid, the former DJ of Odd Future and now leader of the Grammy- nominated group The Internet, was always openly out. Frank Ocean playfully rapped “I’m high and I’m bi / wait I mean I’m straight” on “Oldie” before penning a note confessing his love for another man prior to the release of his album Channel Orange. In other words, Tyler’s nearest peers were two of the most prominent contemporary black queer musicians. Righteous outrage poured out in response to his words, but over the following years he grew out of it along with his peers.
Tyler firmly stood with Frank and Syd, but interviews with him still poked at the topic of his own sexuality. In 2015, Rolling Stone directly asked Tyler about his unrelenting gay jokes, and Tyler responded “Because I’m gay as fuck.” Perhaps joking, or not, Tyler also stated: “I one hundred percent would go gay for ’96 Leo. Oh, and Cole Sprouse.”
Watch Kendrick Lamar Meet Rick Rubin and Have an Epic Conversation
MORE STORIES LIKE THIS ONE