Tyler, The Creator Explains Why His First Grammy Win Is Bittersweet (Video)

Last night (January 26), Tyler, The Creator won his first Grammy Award. The accolade came for “Best Rap Album” for 2019’s IGOR. Previously, the Odd Future founder had been nominated forhis previous LP, 2017’s Flower Boy. Earlier in the decade, Tyler also was tied to affiliate Frank Ocean’s “Album Of The Year” nomination for Channel Orange.

Backstage after the win, Tyler received the award with a bittersweet sentiment. Although the 28-year-old MC/producer cut his teeth making Rap music, IGOR blends a multitude of genres. In the eyes of many fans, IGOR defied Rap and Hip-Hop. That was evident in Tyler’s televised performance of “EARFQUAKE” (embedded below) alongside Boyz II Men and “Uncle” Charlie Wilson, one of the night’s highlights.

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“I’m half-and-half on it,” Tyler told reporters about his sentiments from winning the “Best Rap Album” award. “On one side, I’m just grateful that what I made could be acknowledged in a world like this. But also it sucks that whenever we—and I mean guys that look like me—do anything that’s genre-bending or anything they always put it in a ‘Rap’ or ‘Urban’ category.”

The artist continued, “I don’t like that ‘Urban’ word. It is just the politically correct way to say the N-word to me. So, when I hear that I’m like, ‘Why can’t we just be in ‘Pop’?’ So, half of me felt like the ‘Rap’ nomination was a backhanded compliment.”

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Tyler likened it to video games, giving a spectator an unplugged controller “so he can shut up and feel good about it. That’s what it felt like a bit. But another half of me is very grateful that the art that I made could be acknowledged on a level like this when I don’t do the radio stuff; I’m not played in Target. I’m in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to. I’m grateful and ehh.”

IGOR bested Dreamville’s Revenge Of The Dreamers III, YBN Cordae’s The Lost Boy, Meek Mill’s Championships, and 21 Savage’s i am > i was.

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#BonusBeat: Tyler, The Creator performs “EARFQUAKE” alongside Boyz II Men and Uncle Charlie Wilson at the 2020 Grammy Awards: