Tyler, the Creator: Learn more about the potty-mouthed 2011 VMAs' Best New Artist winner


Image Credit: Matt Sayles/AP Images

If you knew of Tyler, the Creator before he nabbed the Best New Artist award at last night’s VMAs, his foul-mouthed acceptance speech wasn’t shocking at all.

“Yo, I’m excited as f— right now, yo,” said the rapper, clad in a tie-dye tee. “I wanted this sh– since I was nine. I’m about to cry. This is for my little brother Earl [Sweatshirt]. He’s not here right now. I really can’t believe I’m here right now. I didn’t write a thank you speech. I don’t know. F—. To all the kids watching, you can do this sh–. Thank you.”

Lovely, right? Well, not really. But what fans of him and his California hip-hop miscreant collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All love is just that: his defiant, “I don’t give a f—“ candor. Watch him accepting his prize last night:

Tyler, a 20-year-old with serious daddy issues, burst onto the scene in 2009 as Odd Future’s leading man after dropping a sinister self-produced mixtape called Bastard. It chronicled his hate for his absent father, grade school, and well, pretty much everything. His debut album Goblin, released earlier this year, took things a bit further.

Fantasies of rape, suicide, and destruction are set to whimsical production (he’s heavily influenced by The Neptunes). Though critics cry about how caustic his lyrics may be, it must be noted that he views his art as no more damaging than a horror movie. Tyler’s said time and time again that he has no intention of going through with any of the nutso things he says. He’s basically a 2011 version of a young Eminem. Tyler’s all about shock value, but in an earnest, almost endearing way.

But let’s get to why he won last night, beating out Big Sean “My Last,” Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks,” Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci,” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow.”

Simply put, his “Yonkers” video is amazing. It’s simple, dark, and compelling. In the black and white clip Tyler eats a roach, tells Jesus to pipe down, pukes, and kills himself. None of those things sound like quality TV, but it is. It’s elegant and artfully done somehow:

And on top of that, he directed it. Its plays on Youtube crept to a million within days of release. Now it’s rocketed to nearly 20 million views. Yeah, it’s a big deal. True, Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” mollywops Tyler’s 20 mill. But the cute girls,/hot cars/ sunny day formula is cliché. Tyler’s is special.

So there you have it, Mixers. If you didn’t know Tyler, now you know. He’s twisted, quite damaged, and hella talented.

Read more:
MTV 2011 VMAs: Beyonce’s baby bump, the moving Amy Winehouse tribute, and other memorable moments
The mtvU Woodie Awards: On the scene with Wiz Khalifa, scene stealers Odd Future, Matt & Kim and more

Comments (47 total) Add your comment
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  • dusty


    Well deserved.

  • PeterBilt

    oh his defiant i don’t give a f&^$ is sooo cool!!! I have never seen a rapper with a ‘tude like that before. amazing.

  • jets

    first I’ve heard of him. That is a twisted yet artistically cool video tho. After seeing it, I’m glad it won.

  • jets

    the Foster the People album is really good too tho…

  • ROMS

    That is one of the best videos ever made. A perfect piece of art from an actual artist.

  • Penell

    WOLF GANG!!!!! i knew from the start he would win that award, and by the fact that he beat Bruno Mars they can sit back and relax! OFWGKTA!

  • Jeff

    Another dumb monkey that needs to returned to the zoo

    • deidra

      Since you appear to have been raised by wolves, perhaps you’ll consider having him released into the wild.

  • Phil

    Is that a commercial for the new season of INTERVENTION? Seriously you people saying thats a great video…its art…its a piece of crap, AND if MTV actually played videos anymore, they wouldn’t have played it because of him hanging himself. After watching the actual video I am even more upset he got Best NEw Artist. That wasn’t art, and by far one of the worst hip-hop songs I’ve heard in years.

    • Jeff C.

      Is that you again, Phil? Lol you must really really hate this kid. Haha!

    • Jesus, Dad… chill out


  • ns

    That shirt is just the funniest damn thing.

  • Marissa

    He kind of makes me ill.

  • Nikki

    Okay so Tyler, Kreashawn and Foster the People are bringing in a new era. Pop music is going towards these dark “edgy” themes and it’s not really my cup of tea but it is intriguing to see it happening.

  • Tyla

    Disturbed and disgusting. Him and his acceptance speech. Why reward this mental illness by calling it art? Just plain ghetto.

    • Gabe


  • Oh

    How unoriginal . He’s an idiot and u can always judge a persons character and intelligence by their overuse of vulgarity

  • jason


    • Brett

      If “hella” hadn’t been out of fashion yet, it certainly is now that Brad Wete has used it in an “EW” story.

      • kristy


  • PN

    The way I see it the Grammys like Bruno Mars and they’ll go for him the most. On the other hand the edgy shows like the MTV VMAs will go for Tyler the Creator. He’s quirky and weird, but it matches with his music and rap style.

    • Josh

      MTV doesn’t choose winners of VMAs. They are voted on by fans.

      • shell517nj

        not sure if he was voted either. this was the only category still open for voting a week after all the other categories were closed. it was weird and thousands complained. just sayin.

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