It’s not surprising that GQ Style‘s conversation with Tyler, the Creator bounces from topic to topic like a rubber ball — the rapper is notorious for being hyper-intelligent, and constantly evolving.
Throughout the interview, the 27-year-old star touches on numerous blocks that build up his lively character, from childhood stories about asking for CDs rather than toys, to the artists he admires, to why he feels he doesn’t have the right voice for radio.
But no matter how quickly the conversation moves, Tyler’s ambition and creative prowess remains tangible. Find some choice takeaways from the interview below.
On hardcore fans
“One time a fan walked up to me and said, “Hey, Tyler, could you sign me?” I was grabbing pens, and he was like the fourth person. So when I went to grab it, it was a razor blade, and I was like, “What the fuck?” and I looked at his arm and he had cuts all over it. And my security was like, Nah. And threw him the fuck out of there.’”
On how he got his scar
“In 2010 my friend Travis bought a knife. We didn’t know if it was sharp enough, so I got it and put it in my arm and carved it like that and was like, ‘Yeah, it’s sharp enough.’”
On not having the voice for radio
“I’ve been trying to get on the radio. I haven’t been super successful with that, but that time will come. If it’s not the next album, then it’s the three after that.
I hate my voice and I think—it’s not a full thought or theory yet — but I think there are certain voices that can make it into a mainstream world because of the tone that they’re in. People like Jay, ‘Ye, Drake, you know, Kenny. It’s a world that their voice lives in. It’s not too high and squeaky, and it’s not too low and bassy, it’s not too abrasive and raspy. It sits in this space that’s easy listening for humans. I definitely don’t have that voice. And I fucking wish that I did.”
On Eminem’s influence
“The thing with Eminem is he’s the reason I started rapping, still one of my favorite rappers. I just want to hang out with him and we go to Target for a few days. And go feed some ducks and then, like, listen to some weird fucking German dub-prog-rock-industrial music and then see what we come up with, no strings attached. We don’t have to be rappity-rappity or we don’t have to try to sound like this. Let’s just make. Because, man—I just wanted to rap like Eminem my first two albums.”
On Twitter culture
“This Twitter culture is fucking trash. They’re out their goddamn mind. That’s because they’re bored and they be having two extra hours not to do shit. Don’t get me wrong, it be some people that be wilding out, but like niggas be reaching for anything.”
On Kanye making him cry
“When I heard “Violent Crimes.” Those chords, like, fucking—I can’t explain what they do to me. I always talk about chords and probably sound like a fucking dork, but since I was fucking 4 years old, I would always say it was a slant or it went up, ’cause I didn’t know what chords were, but it was a thing that music did that I just felt in my fucking body. And that was the most recent song that did it to me. Like, 1 out of 10, that shit did it a 12, and I just—my eyes just started watering. I couldn’t explain it. I hope when I die it gets explained to me.”
On his fashion ambition
“If Céline was like, ‘Hey! You want to do something small?’ Fuck yeah.”
Head over to GQ Style for the full interview.
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