NEW YORK — Tyler, the Creator isn’t the monster that he’s made out to be. Odd Future’s de facto frontman has brushed off a ton of criticism in the public about his brash lyrics, but one of Tyler’s biggest critics still has him dumbfounded and the rapper/producer still wonders what Earl Sweatshirt‘s mom has against him.
“I don’t know what it is. It can’t be because she thinks he’s drinking or doing drugs or anything because I never had a sip of alcohol in my life and I don’t smoke or do anything so you can’t blame me for that,” Tyler said on Tuesday night when he sat with hip-hop journalist Elliott Wilson and an audience for the first of his #CRWN interviews at New York City’s Highline Ballroom. “For some reason she thinks I’m a bad influence on her kid, but he’s doing pretty good now. I totally do not understand it.”
OF’s fans are rambunctious and wild at any of the crew’s live events, but last night, the crowd sat and hung on to Tyler’s every word as he spoke open, honestly and humorously about his rise from a free-creative spirit to an accomplished rapper, producer and video director. During the hour-plus long interview, Tyler touched on Frank Ocean’s sexuality, the death of his grandmother and, of course, Earl.
When Odd Future broke out of obscurity in 2011, they’d stomp onstage chanting “Free Earl,” a loving shout to their then-lost groupmate who was sent by his mother to a Samoan military academy . Earl returned home in February 2012 and has a solo album on the way later this year, but Tyler feels that Earl’s mom blames him for his friend’s troubles. It’s a subject he addresses on “Rusty,” a stand-out on his new album Wolf. “Look at that mom who thinks I’m evil holds that grudge against me/ Though I’m the reason that her mother—in’ son got to eat,” he raps in his distinct gruff tone.
According to Tyler he’s tried being nice to Earl’s mom but hasn’t been able to figure out the root of their problem. Writing the song was his way of coping. “I don’t understand why she doesn’t like me and I just wanted to address that in that song because it was just eating me up that I never said anything,” he said of the track, which also featured Earl. “I know she listened to her son’s verse and I went before him so she for sure heard it.”
What do you think of Tyler, the Creator’s “Rusty”? Let us know in the comments!