Odd Future leader Tyler, the Creator recently downplayed the controversy which surrounds the word “faggot” and how much of a close-knit relationship he shares with openly bisexual group member Frank Ocean.
Appearing on the “Arsenio Show” this week, Tyler dumbed down the slur.
“Frank’s gay and I use that word all the time,” Tyler said in the interview. “He doesn’t care ’cause he knows me. He knows when I say that word, I’m not thinking of someone’s sexual orientation or anything. It’s just another word that has no meaning.” (“Arsenio Show”)
A few months back, Tyler said Ocean openly using the term could help take away the sting of its meaning.
In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Tyler, the Creator speaks on Frank Ocean’s sexuality, how he found out about it, and the use of the word “faggot.” He explains that Ocean doesn’t care about his use of the word and contemplates what would happen if Frank himself started using it: Do you think he cares about you using the word “faggot”? He knows me, and he knows I don’t care about being gay. It’s just another word to me. The same as “nigga.” Let’s say Frank started using the word “fag,” just jokingly. People would be so f*ckign confused! They wouldn’t know what to do. And it could take the power out of that word. (Complex)
A couple years ago, Tyler analyzed why people took such offense to the term.
“I’m not homophobic. I just think f*ggot hits and hurts people. It hits. And gay just means you’re stupid. I don’t know, we don’t think about it, we’re just kids. We don’t think about that sh*t. But I don’t hate gay people. I don’t want anyone to think I’m homophobic. ([His friend] Jasper walks into the room) But he’s a f*cking f*ggot!” (NME Magazine)
Last year, West Coast rapper Game sparked some tensions when he playfully used the term on Twitter.
‘@PerezHilton i would say i feel you but i can’t cuz that’s that #FagSwag”
“@PerezHilton it’s just comedy champ. Stand up for what you believe in. Trust me… I’m definitely not standin in ya way lol” (Game’s Twitter)
Recently, New York rapper A$AP Rocky spoke on hip-hop’s homophobic tendencies.
“I came up in a world that was just crazy — and it was hectic and kind of radical at the same time. For me, growing up in Harlem and then migrating down to SoHo and the lower East Side and chillin’ down there and making that my stomping ground . . . That was a big thing, because I’m from Harlem, and downtown is more artsy and also more open-minded. So I got the best of both worlds. It was like being on the streets and then being in school at the same time, and I tried to keep my hands in everything just so I wasn’t missing out on any fun. I just always wanted to be knowledgeable of my whereabouts, my surroundings, and what was going on with our generation,” he says. (NY Daily News)
Check out Tyler, the Creator’s interview: