Tyler the creator performing bucket hat striped shirt
Highsnobiety / Daniel Garcia

It’s no easy feat getting banned from a country. However, Tyler, the Creator has managed to do it — more than once. In a recent interview with The Guardian, the rapper opened up about his four-year ban from the UK, which was lifted earlier this year.

In the interview, Tyler details how the infamous ban actually occurred. In 2015 he flew in to play at Reading and Leeds festivals, but was taken into detention immediately upon his arrival. There he was shown lyrics from his first two albums, Bastard and Goblin and told he had been banned from the country for “three to five years.” “It was so stupid to have to endure that,” Tyler explains, “I got treated like a terrorist.” The home secretary at the time, Theresa May, used anti-terrorism legislation to forbid him entry, saying his work, “Encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality” and, “Fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.”

“She’s gone, so I’m back,” Tyler, the Creator says of May. “It’s been four years since I’ve been back. Since this beautiful, flawless black skin was allowed in the country.” Speaking of his early controversial and abrasive lyrics that earned him the ban, he says, “People don’t realize that all the stupid shit they did, no one knows about it but the three people in their hometown. All the stupid shit I did, or said, was public.”

Tyler, the Creator recently alleged that he had made American Airlines’ “no fly terrorist list“.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer