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Culture Shock

Nana-Viewed: Tyler the Creator's "YONKERS"


My grandma hates on Tyler, the Creator.

After my grandmother’s reaction to “Slob on my Knob,” I worried that I would not be able to find any song that would shock my grandma, or elicit any response from her that wasn’t laughter. After thinking over it and rejecting several songs, I finally had the idea to have her listen to Tyler, the Creator’s YONKERS and watch the music video from 2011. Keep in mind that she has never really been exposed to music with abstract concepts, like the ones Tyler uses on his Goblin album.

My grandmother went into this song knowing nothing about Tyler, the Creator, not even having heard of him ever before. Initially, I had her pull up just the audio to the song so she could give her full attention to the overall impression of the song without distraction. We videochatted this time as well, so I could see her facial expressions, even if she did not have anything to say. While listening to the song, there was a lot of shocked eyebrow raising and mutterings of “oh my jesus.” About halfway through the song, she added a “this is worse than the last one” (the last one being “Slob on my Knob”).

“Is this music he just wants to make to use profanity? Nothing makes sense, all I hear is a bunch of profanity..” - Loretta's Grandmother

After the song ended, we discussed how she felt about it. She was very opposed to the song.

Loretta’s Grandmother: I don’t like this one at all. I don’t hear a message.

Loretta Sperry: What do you think the message was in “Slob on my Knob?" What do you think about the beat, and the lyrics together, like the song as a whole?

LG: The beat is good. I just don’t care too much for the lyrics.

LS: Many fans think this is Tyler kind of disputing with or about his personalities and they think that when he says “Wolf Haley,” that he is referring to an alter ego of his, who he says directed the video, which you’ll see soon. What do you think about that?

LG: I don’t know if I believe that [but] it reminds me of those places that do abstract poetry.

She did not like that the song did not have a repetitive, defined chorus. Next, we looked at the lyrics of the song which reinforced her distaste for the song.
And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus - Line 16, Verse 2 of "Yonkers" by Tyler, The Creator

G: Sounds like he feels threatened, is he worried Bruno Mars is better than he is? I like Bruno Mars so I kind of don’t like that.

LS: What do you think about him discussing therapy and his dad?

LG: I don’t see the message, I think he’s just making it up as he goes along so that people will listen to it.

Lastly, I had her watch the music video, which I hoped would elicit some crazy response from her… Throughout the video, she looked extremely unamused.

LS: So what are your first thoughts?

LG: Not a fan, at all. I don’t like it. I think he just wanted to make it as crazy as he could make it then he threw this crazy story behind it. Stupid video. To eat a cockroach and then throw up, then to hang yourself at the end, I’m not happy with it.

LS: What part did you find the most bothersome?

LG: I don’t like the cockroach.

LS: Do you think he has talent?

LG: No.

There you have it, folks, my grandmother hated YONKERS and thinks Tyler, the Creator has no talent. Watch out for next week’s article, in which we’ll be discussing "SEE YOU AGAIN." I have a feeling she’ll change her mind...

Read all of the hot takes brought to you by Loretta's grandmother here.

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