Credit: Julian Berman
With the May 10 release of his major-label debut, Goblin, nobody’s grabbing more music headlines right now than L.A. hip-hop collective Odd Future frontman and MTV PUSH Artist of the Week Tyler, The Creator. The 20-year-old MC/producer/possible madman is spearheading a drastic sonic and lyrical shift in hip-hop. Far removed from the prosaic, willing-to-please, party aesthetic of commercial hip-hop, Tyler, The Creator’s lyrics intentionally shock and provoke, referencing constant drug use, violence, and, on occasion, murder. It’s admittedly uncomfortable music to hear, but like Wu-Tang Clan — the group Odd Future is most often compared to — Tyler and the group’s dark, ominous sound and tales of depravity overshadow enormous reserves of creativity and vulnerability.
We’ve get a ton of info to transform you from “Who’s that?” to “Well, obviously” in minutes. MTV News traveled with Tyler, The Creator and Odd Future on a bus from New York to Philly, where the charismatic, mile-a-minute MC talks about dealing with haters, protecting his individuality, and his humble goals. “I want Grammys. I want f**kin’ VMAs. I want to perform at a Super Bowl. I want to be a f***in’ icon. I want to be on Kanye West’s level,” says Tyler.
Beneath the near-constant swearing and seemingly hostile demeanor is one of the most honest rappers we’ve seen in years. “It’s just me saying what I want and what I think on a daily basis,” says Tyler, for whom self-censorship is clearly a non-issue, in one of the below videos. “So to get the success that I have from being who I am every day, there’s nothing f**kin better.”
We’ve also got Tyler, The Creator’s official video for his first single “Yonkers” — the ingestion of a cockroach will immediately reveal where much of that buzz comes from — as well as Odd Future’s performance of “Yonkers” and “Sandwitches” at the 2011 mtvU Woodie Awards. And if that’s not enough, MTV News got to see a day in the life of Odd Future — scaring of Jimmy Fallon’s guests included — and talked to Tyler about why he chose music over college.
Here’s Tyler, The Creator. You’re welcome.
+ Watch more Tyler, The Creator interviews after the jump.