Tyler, the Creator is a well-respected artist today, due to his recent releases, particularly ‘Flower Boy’ and ‘IGOR,’ being so relatable and cathartic for people struggling with coming to terms with one’s identity, facing heartbreak, and finding one’s own worth.
In spite of all these dilemmas faced by many people, at least they have Tyler’s music to fall back on.
But for this 21-year-old college student who was recently arrested for vandalizing on school property and inciting terroristic threats, as the school authorities claim, Tyler is an influence but all for different reasons.
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21-year-old Jack Aaron Christensen, a student at the University of Southern Alabama, was arrested for allegedly writing Tyler, the Creator lyrics on school property.
Following the phrase “Random disclaimer! Hey, don’t do anything that I say in this song, OK? It’s f*cking fiction. If anything happens, don’t f*cking blame me, white America,” the line “Kill people,burn sh*t, f*ck school, hail Satan, praise the devil” was seen written on a “white flip chart” in the school’s library, and it’s not quite the type of lyrics Tyler would write on this day and age.
However, it was indeed a line from one of Tyler’s older materials. It was a line from the track ‘Radicals’ from his 2011 album ‘Goblin.’ During that time, Tyler wasn’t as respected as he is today due to the very abrasive persona he had in his music that turned many people down—the same type of people who enjoy listening to his recent materials.
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But now that Tyler has come to terms with his mature and gentler side, gaining him more fame and respect among music listeners, his earlier, darker, and more offensive works, which many would want to forget, even Tyler himself, were given more light as well, thus, attracting the types of people like Christensen who relate to that kind of music and the themes that come along with it.
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The school decided to take Christensen into custody for the sake of the other students’ security, fearing that it may inspire violence within the school. However, this is not the first time Tyler’s lyrics have caused legal concerns. In 2012, Tyler was banned from performing in New Zealand due to the content of his lyrics, banning him from entering the two years later.
The UK has also banned Tyler for the same reason in 2015, but ever since he turned to the brighter side, the ban from both countries were lifted. But given the recent occurrence involving Christiansen, it shows that Tyler’s shadowy past is still lurking around, hiding in the consciousness of younger people with homicidal tendencies, something that America has seen one too many times in the past.