He’s the hip-hop equivalent of a wrestling heel, a knowing, self-aware antihero eager to play the role of the bad guy.
Meet Tyler, The Creator, rap antagonist, the genre’s willing supervillain.
The 23-year-old dares you to like him: His Twitter handle features an expletive that rhymes with “truck” directed at himself.
He’s been branded a racist, homophobe and misogynist and, like a young Eminem, revels in those labels, encouraging them and the outrage they come attached with.
So, why does anyone pay attention to his orchestrated provocations?
Two reasons: 1) because he’s skilled at voicing them, his delivery equally animated, smooth and inventively obnoxious; and 2) because it’s all little more than theater, his words far too outrageous to actually outrage.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.
Tyler, The Creator
7 p.m. Dec. 5
Hard Rock Live, 3771 Las Vegas Blvd. South