Tyler, the Creator has addressed his ban from the UK in a new song, “My Ego”.
Last summer the rapper cancelled a series of live dates in the UK, claiming that he was barred from entering the country for the next three to five years based on lyrics from his 2009 album Bastard and 2011’s Goblin.
The British Home Office issued a statement at the time saying that “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.”
Now the rapper has addressed the controversy – and the Home Secretary, Theresa May – in his lyrics directly, as High Snobiety report.
Performing at the Golf Wang fashion show in Los Angeles on Saturday (June 11), the rapper debuted “My Ego”, which included the lines “Tell Theresa May to let me in / I been going in since 2010 / It gotta be the color of my skin / ‘Cause there’s n****s there that doing more damage than my pen, man / Said some old lines was offensive / I was young, I can’t apologise for that shit / They took my fiction literature for literal / I ain’t no motherfuckin’ criminal”.
Tyler has since said that the song was a “throwaway” made for that night only.
After Tyler was initially barred from the country, his manager Christian Clancy wrote on Tumblr that “This is a broader issue of free speech, with new lines being drawn that include reaching back in time without acknowledging growth... The fact that he has evolved into someone who has acknowledged and grown out of that is simply lost in the narrative. Is he not worthy of the pat on the back for becoming aware and making changes? What message does that send? Is race a conscious or subconscious factor at all?”
Watch a video of Tyler performing “My Ego” above.