Tune in and turn up

Calling Tyler, The Creator one of the most controversial rappers of our generation hews far closer to actual fact than opinion. In his illustrious career, he has managed to be arrested for inciting his fans to act riotous during a SXSW festival, created a series of ads for Pepsi – subsequently pulled from broadcasting – described as “arguably the most racist commercial in history” and, of course, was banned from entering the U.K. for the content of his lyrics.

And what lyrics indeed. He has come under fire ever since since his debut in 2009 for his frequent use of homophobic slurs and violent, disturbing content regarding his portrayal of women, though on both points he persistently claims his intention is one of absurdism and not of an anti-LGBT or misogynistic agenda.

Yet for every off-color joke or disturbing comment he makes in his work both as a solo artist and as the impresario of Odd Future, just as many demonstrate his invigorating imagination. Whether its offbeat pop culture references or demonstrations of breathtaking dexterity, Tyler’s bars are truly a force to be reckoned with. And so to celebrate his 26th birthday today, we’ve rounded up what we think are his Top 10 Wildest Lyrics. Take a look at our picks below:

10. “Sam Is Dead”

“It’s really awkward to know that a bunch of kids do adore me
It’s like I fathered these f*ckers
So you won’t find me on Maury”

Tyler has made it abundantly clear throughout his career that he has some major Daddy issues. But there is something delightfully perverse about the fact he recognizes the subversion of this role in his relationship to his fanbase and that he follows up such a deep self-analysis with a reference to one of the trashiest daytime television shows around.

9. “Smuckers”

We ain’t lyin’, we the truth
Call him Simba, beats his hooves
Tyler, The Creator sweatin’ Jesus juice

There is a lot to unpack in these three short lines, and none of them make that much sense. Does he know that Simba is a lion, and therefore doesn’t have hooves but claws? What is Jesus juice? And why is it something you sweat?

8. “She”

I just wanna talk, and conversate
Cause I usually just stalk you and masturbate
And I finally got the courage to ask you on a date

“She” is a track that is riddled with the aforementioned lyrics about women that are… questionable, to say the least. And yet if one is willing to use a looser definition of the word ‘stalk,’ this little admission is actually kind of cute; implying that he got a little courage to spend quality time with a woman non-sexually. It is still, of course, a little odd.

7. “Jamba”

Professor nutty buddy clumpkin’s petty when you touch his lunch
Like “what the f*ck? I’m drunk as f*ck, ” turn the f*cking music up

Is there a way to say or hear the phrase “Professor nutty buddy clumpkin” without literally lol-ing? Doubtful, particularly when paired with the clapback for the ages “what the f*ck I’m drunk as f*ck,” which doesn’t rhyme per se but sounds delightful to the ear.

6. “Bastard”

Life’s a salad, I’m a toss it, eat that shit up, Rick Ross it
Shit it out, bag it up, sell it, I’m so damn rebellious

Whether or not using six verbs to describe a chronological list of consuming salad is not the point of debating this lyric’s weirdness. What does deserve a second look is how exactly one “Rick Rosses” something, and whether it is indeed rebellious to shit something out, bag it up and sell it.

5. “Deathcamp”

La-di-da-di, I’m going harder than coming out the closet to conservative Christian fathers

Coming out to your parents can be a devastating, traumatic event. It takes guts for sure, and in some ways it could indeed be described as “going hard.” But all weightiness aside, this a truly hysterically funny line, perhaps the greatest single toss-away line in his career.

4. “Domo 23”

Hit me on my beeper while Captain Hook sucks my Peter
Pan camera, repeat procedure
And when the beat drops, have a God damn seizure

Splitting Peter and Pan into separate bars is a clever bit of wordplay. Dreaming up the idea of Captain Hook performing fellatio on you and then having the guts to share this concept to the entire world is just sublime artistry.

3. “Fella”

Then my dick went limp so, took about 3 pills of Extenzo
Now my dick’s longer than a 5 door limo
Harder than a soft right hook from Kimbo on PCP and cilantro

We’re no medical experts, but something tells us that taking the natural male enhancement Extenzo does not turn one’s genitals into the size of an automobile. Comparing this insinuation to receiving a punch from mixed martial artist Kimbo on PCP and cilantro (which is definitely a spice used in Mexican cuisine and not a drug) is just… wow.

2. “Tamale”

My urethra, hole that I pee from
Bigger than an obese snack on Aretha

Is it comforting or disturbing that pre-teen and teenage boys around the world are learning about their genital anatomy from Tyler? That can only be answered by you. But it feels safe to say that slandering musical icon Aretha Franklin’s weight and rhyming it with said genital anatomy is disturbing to anyone. But oh how how delightfully disturbing it is.

1. “Yonkers”

I’ll crash that fucking airplane that that f*ggot nigga B.o.B is in
And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus
And won’t stop until the cops come in

It’s the song that skyrocketed Tyler to the heights of fame and the public conscious, and it contained a lyric that remains one of his most controversial. It is violent, yes, and perhaps in poor taste. But for those of us with humor that skews to the dark side of the mind, this group of words describes the most fitting end possible for the duo responsible for having this putrid blasphemy of a song played in public places, car radios, and literally everywhere else for the entire year of 2010.

Want more lyrical goodness? Check out our ranking of the very best bars from Kanye West’s The College Dropout right here.

  • Cover Image: Chad Batka/The NY Times/Redux
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