Tyler, The Creator Banned From The UK

Rapper claims he has been banned from entering the UK for 3-5 years as a result of past lyrics; Home Office issues vague statement on Home Secretary's "power to exclude an individual"

Having cited "circumstances" as the reason for the cancellation of a run of UK and Ireland tour dates last week, including appearance at Reading and Leeds Festivals, Tyler, The Creator has now elaborated on what exactly those circumstances are.

In a pair of tweets, Tyler alleges that he has been banned from entering the UK for 3-5 years as authorities are not happy with the subject matter of early lyrics by the rapper, signing off: "listens to last three releases in confusion".

Explaining the issue further in a Tumblr post, Tyler’s manager, Christian Clancy, says: "tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom. the letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums bastard and goblin – the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since … highlights from the letter include that his work “encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and “fosters hatred with views thats seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.

"to say that i am confused would be an understatement. can you imagine being beholden to things you said when you were 18? tyler has been to the UK over 20x in the last 5 years without incident (shows, in-stores, meet and greets). we rented out a movie theatre last month in London for a private showing of napoleon dynamite for his fans. literally last month." Clancy goes on to suggest that Tyler’s ban relates to the issue of free speech and asks "how do you punish someone for growing up?"

A Home Office spokesperson has just commented on the ban saying: "Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values. The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds." The decision to take this step now based on lyrics many years old is a bizarre one and one that the Home Office’s statement does not fully explain.

Last month, Tyler cancelled a run of Australian tour dates after he falsely claimed that he had been banned from entering Australia following pressure on the government from a high-profile campaign against Tyler by a feminist group based in the country. The leader of that campaign, part of the Collective Shout group, subsequently received a torrent of online abuse from fans of Tyler. Explaining the cancellation of that tour, he said: “We would much rather come to Australia when it isn’t surrounded in controversy. I love my fans there and hopefully I’ll be back soon.”

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today