Tyler, The Creator made his return the British Isles last month following being banned from performing in the country by ex-Prime Minister Theresa May. The rapper had some choice words for the then-Home Secretary: “She’s gone, so I’m back”.
The young rapper was banned from entering the United Kingdom for three to five years back in 2015. The former PM May was acting as Home Secretary when she sent a letter Tyler’s team claiming that his work “encouraeg[d] violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and that it “foster[ed] hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts”.
As such, Tyler was forced to cancel many shows including a long promo run of his third album Cherry Bomb. But in a new interview with The Guardian the Odd Future rapper discussed returning to the British isles. With a smile on his face he discussed her resignation earlier this year “She’s gone, so I’m back,” as he continued to highlight the complexity of reversing the ban.
It naturally took a whole team of lawyers but “Then you get the official thumbs up. It was like: damn, finally, but it was so stupid to have to endure that. I got treated like a terrorist,” explained Tyler. “Yeah. I got treated like I was a murderer.”
“It was kind of stupid, and after a while I was like: I don’t even want to come back. But it was more the principle of: ‘Y’all really did this, over this? In comparison to other shit people do, that y’all let in?’ So I’m happy that I got back. I feel like I won some invisible fight.”
The length of the ban, three to five years, was a particular point of contention for Tyler, saying he was initially confused by the severity. “But then I remembered – I’m dark-skinned, so, ahh, all right, I get it,” he said.
“I mean, I don’t point my finger at that at first, but I looked at every outcome and I looked at every option. And after doing that six times, then you say, OK, what’s the difference between everyone else and me? And then you land on that.”
But all is well that ends well, Tyler is back performing in the country and Theresa May is nowhere near any large political decision. The world is good.