For an album so undeniably 2011, Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin sure starts off sounding a lot like 1993. The first words we hear him spit on Goblin are “I’m not a fuckin’ role model”–a slightly altered version of Charles Barkley’s notorious Nike commercial from Clinton’s first year in office, as well as the driving discourse of Tupac Shakur’s fiery second album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z.
It’s a strangely out of time way for Tyler to introduce himself, and it’s not a look the fashion-conscious 20-year-old wears particularly well. In part, that’s because the censorship battles accompanying rap’s extended entrance into American pop culture seem quaint in 2011. But it’s also because Tyler’s fighting a handful of well-intentioned people who chatter about music (including yours truly) who are uneasy about gleefully granting Next Big Thing status to a kid with a Tumblr and fantasies about punching pregnant women.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 10, 2011