Tyler, of Hip Hop band Odd Future, received MTV’s coveted best new artist award Sunday, at it’s Video Music Awards ceremony. Though I didn’t watch, I received a legitimate play-by-play in real time, thanks to Black Twitter. It actually sounded like fun to watch, once I waded through the various comedians I follow. Numerous sideshows apparently broke out before/during/after the festivities, but for my buck, Tyler’s story line is by far the most important one. Unless you found the Rick Ross/Kreayshawn gang fight a hotter button issue.
Apparently, GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, didn’t take kindly to Tyler’s crowning, due to his use of certain words & phrases in his music. The organization also urged MTV to “educate” it’s viewers on homophobia in the future, as well as looking to “more deserving artists.” One has to wonder, though, if it was more of a slight at MTV than towards Tyler, making him a scapegoat. Surely he isn’t the only Best New Artist to say politically incorrect things in their music – albeit offensive & perverse – & the category is “Best New Artist,” not “young humanitarian.” That’s the same type of weirdo nonsense that earns PETA a bad reputation, because even if it’s a valid point, hate the front office, not the front line, but I digress.
In order to win the title, Tyler had to “beat” fellow west coast rapper Kreayshawn, who’s had quite a bit of controversy, herself. For about 2 weeks (154 years in ‘Net time) earlier this month, Kreayshawn & her ace boon spoon V-Nasty were the eye of an “n-word” hailstorm, that had all of the
so-called Hip Hop community shaking their proverbial fists. The issue was whether or not V should be allowed to say the word “nigga” in her rap lyrics since we do. There was no groupthink resolution to the somewhat important matter, only nonchalant acceptance, nonetheless, what V-Nasty (& by association, Kreayshawn, also) does is tantamount to what Tyler does, no? If the word “nigga” (used by a White woman) isn’t aimed at niggers per se, then I highly doubt that Tyler (a heterosexual Black man) is directly insulting gay men when he says the word “fag,” or any of it’s numerous incantations.
When it’s all said & done, interpretation is a matter of contexts & perception, so far be it from me to tell anyone how to react to what they think is bigotry & prejudice. That said, I wonder would the N.A.A.C.P. have released a statement if Kreayshawn won a little moon man? Probably not. & as much as I detest asking questions only to answer them myself, is GLAAD being hypersensitive? Slightly. More importantly, though, it shows that if they perceive wrongdoing to their sect, they don’t just talk, they respond. That’s what a community is all about, regardless of career titles, sexual orientations, or skin colors. Maybe if Hip Hop had some sort of brotherhood there would be more advancement & less gang culture, so to speak.
MTV has a hard enough time holding on to the little credibility it has left, so I’m highly doubtful they’ll start shooing away rap stars because they call somebody a “fag.” What MTV should’ve done was release a retaliatory statement telling GLAAD’s lawyers to kiss it’s collective, respective ass (or something to that effect). At least that way, they’d walk away from this ridiculousness with more swag than they came with.
(Editor’s note: I was going to stream Tyler’s acceptance speech here, but Viacom had other plans. Thanks for nothing, MTV.)