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Tyler, The Creator Talks UK Ban: “I’m Getting Treated Like A Terrorist”

Written by Emmy Mack on September 2, 2015

Tyler, The Creator has sparked a blaze of controversy, after following up the forced cancellation of his Australian tour by getting banned from the UK.

Still the ban not due to anything bad he’s done recently. The Odd Future frontman was barred from entering the Queen’s realm for 3-5 years based on offensive lyrics he wrote early on in his career, which officials reckon are a threat to “the public good”.

Now, Tyler himself has spoken out about the whole mess. In an interview with The Guardian, he describes being held at British customs, and claims that he was “treated like a terrorist” by border control officials.

“Monday was one of the shittiest days I’ve ever had,” the rapper said. “I was in a detention room; I felt like a criminal. And then [a Border Force officer] showed me lyrics from songs… literally, a paper with five lines of lyrics…

“Thirty minutes later, the guy comes in, he gives me a paper, and he says, ‘OK, they’re not letting you in the country.’ The paper said I couldn’t come at all, saying that I support homophobia and acts of terrorism…

“I’m just like, one, none of that is true, and two, I was here seven weeks ago.”

Tyler also slammed the UK government for blindly following other countries, like Australia and New Zealand (who banned him in 2014), adding: “Everyone is a follower, just following what other countries are doing. Now I’m getting treated like a terrorist.

“I’m bummed out because it’s like, dude, I’m not homophobic. I’ve said this since the beginning. The ‘hating women’ thing – it’s so nuts. It’s based on things I made when I was super-young, when no one was listening [to my music].”

He goes on to argue that the offending songs weren’t even written from his own point of view: “This song is written from an alter ego – I’m not like this! You could watch any interview and see my personality, see the guy I am. I wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

Finally, the Odd Future rapper expresses concern that his UK ousting has set a dangerous precedent for the future.

“What about the people who will make music in the next five years? Are they gonna get banned?” he asks. “Why don’t they ban authors? Writers who write these mystery books about people getting raped and sabotaged and murdered and brainwashed – why don’t they ban them?

“There are rallies of neo-Nazis in parts of England,” he continues. And then you’re telling me I can’t come there because of some bullshit song, but you got motherfuckers with swastikas rallying down the street actually promoting hate?

“This is only gonna open a door for other people to get banned. And then they’re gonna go after video games, and then they’re gonna go after movies, and we’re gonna live in such a sensitive world. It’s like the world is scared of everything.

“I feel like everyone is so sensitive to everything, and if they don’t like something it’s like: ‘Oh my God, I don’t like the colour yellow – let’s get yellow banned from every country, let’s sign a petition – let’s start a hashtag to make sure this colour is never seen, because I don’t like it and I don’t understand it’.”

Watch: Tyler, The Creator – Fucking Young

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