Tyler, The Creator is once again free to set foot in New Zealand once again, after a nearly 7 year long ban from the country over being listed as a “potential threat to public order.” According to Paste Magazine, the performer is scheduled to perform at the nation’s biggest music festival, Bay Dreams in January of next year.
The rapper was turned away from the country in 2012, and once again in 2014 with his collective Odd Future, due to their violent and extreme lyrical content and accusations that they “incited violence” during their raucous performances. New Zealand was not the only country to ban the rapper however, back in 2014 he was turned away from UK authorities, although this ban was also overturned this May.
“Seven years is a long time to try and make [things] right,” Bay Dreams co-promoter Mitch Lowe told a publication. “He’s changed so much as a person in the last six years, since the last festival incident.”
Tyler, The Creator even mentioned this ban back on his 2015 album Cherry Bomb, on the song “Smuckers” which held features from an all-star cast with Kanye West and Lil Wayne. “I got banned from New Zealand, whitey called me a demon / And a terrorist, God damn it, I couldn’t believe it,” Tyler, The Creator rapped in the song.
This lift indicates a growing sense of maturity for the artist, who launched onto the scene with his debut album Goblin, released back in 2011. Propelled by the hit single “Yonkers” the rapper made a name for himself due to his off-kilter lyricism which dabbled in horrorcore subjects, innovative production and a DIY aesthetic that was unique to mainstream hip hop at the time.
His 2017 album Flower Boy, and his latest album release IGOR, contrasts heavily with these early themes and lyricism as the artist matured his musical palette. His homophobic lyrics on Goblin, area far cry from the implicit gay themes found in Flower Boy several years later, while the violently repulsive and grotesque sexual acts on “She” appear long gone in contrast to the introspective cuts such as “Puppet” on IGOR.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado