For Black History month, we celebrate Tyler the Creator

Alivia Stonier, Staff Reporter

Tyler Okonma, otherwise known as Tyler, the Creator is an important voice that deserves to be honored during Black History Month. 

He is a twenty eight year old singer and rapper known for his hip hop group OFWGKTA (Odd Future) and, more recently, for his albums Flower Boy, released in 2017 and Igor of 2019. Just the other night Tyler took home his first Grammy for best rap album in for Igor. 

Tyler, however, has had mixed feelings on the win as a member of the black community and the music industry.

With his first album Bastard being self produced and released in 2009, Tyler the Creator has been in the music scene for quite some time. With his biggest hit to date being “Earfquake” on the hot 100 charts. 

Despite the success Tyler has openly discussed his bittersweet perspective on his ongoing traction.

From limited radio play to being placed in the Urban Music category, Tyler opened up in his post-award interview. He detailed that he felt as though Igor was not rap but was labled as such for his race. He continued by saying that it felt like being called the n word, though it is still a tremendous honor. 

Some have felt mixed feelings on his comment, with certain sources agreeing with what Tyler had to say. With one source calling Igor only 30% rap while the rest was composed of a more synth and pop focus.

While others felt as though he was put in the category due to his past works, and that it was the best fit for the artist as an honor of him as a whole and what his style is known to be. 

 The singer also expressed his gratitude and surprise however, both onstage and off. First, saying thanks to his mother, producers, and fans trusting in his unique style choices displayed in some of his work. 

“He makes really good music and albums that affect people, especially people who are down and his music brings people happiness,” said Heitor Tomaz, an NHS Greyhound News member.

“People thought he wouldn’t win, he proved a lot of people wrong,” Tomaz continued when discussing Tyler’s impact and the Grammy win.

It is clear that what Tyler was feeling in terms of being snubbed, is echoed by the fans as many people thought he wouldn’t win as seen for two past nominations for both Flower Boy and Channel Orange. However, they are proud to see him garnish recognition on a major scale.

Tyler, the Creator has certainly earned it having worked on both video directing for his music videos as well as song production his skills have proven to go beyond his vocal work behind the mic.

He also has worked on the “Odd Future” clothing brand branching off from his previously established hip hop group. The clothing can be found respectively in skater stores such as “Zumiez” as well as in online stores. 

It is clear that Tyler is not afraid to organically be himself even in the eye of the media and speak his mind where he sees it is just to do so. Though he has had controversy for this quality, in some of his previous work he appears to have grown in his more modern accomplishments. 

He has been a voice for the LGBTQ and the black community alike in recent years, being more open about the grey areas of his sexuality and his struggles with race in the creative industry.

Most recently he has been working on his newer clothing brand Golf, claiming he knows nothing about fashion and just likes clothes.

This has inspired many people who have an interest in clothing but may feel as though they are not qualified enough to enter the field. The same goes for music with his previously discussed self production displaying that anyone can make music and art.

“I think a lot of people have lost respect for the individual, you know.The individual the person who doesn’t conform,” says Tyler, the creator when speaking about uniqueness. Clearly encapsulating his message.

Overall, fans are excited to see what this artist will do next, it is clear that Tyler is an inspiration to many and will continue to be just that as he displays his true and organic self. Tyler Okanma is truly an innovative voice in the black community and a true icon for representation.