The untold truth of Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator is one of the most creative forces in modern hip-hop. And he's pretty eccentric too. Speaking to Interview magazine in 2011, the rapper said, "If the world was ending, I think I would grab some Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a bunch of water, and I'd probably just … I'd probably go crazy," adding, "I'd find some shelter … And I would probably need an iPod."

Born Tyler Gregory Okonma, the artist shot to fame in 2008 as the co-founder and leader of the alternative/shock hip-hop group Odd Future, and he has proceeded to make people either angry or fans (or both) ever since. But what else do we know about the "Yonkers" hitmaker since he burst onto the scene? From his unexpected famous friendships to his battle with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, to his dislike for his former manager at Starbucks, here's the untold truth of Tyler, the Creator.

Buddying it up with Elon Musk

Would it surprise you that Tyler, the Creator and Elon Musk are friends? Of course not. In a 2017 interview with Shane Powers on his podcast The Shane Show, Tyler discussed his love for the McLaren, then casually mentioned that he and Elon Musk hang out sometimes and talk about the pricey British car. "He's really cool," Tyler said. "He just loves the design aesthetic of McLaren and how sleek and cool it was."

Despite his friendship with the SpaceX and Tesla founder, Tyler is hesitant to join his buddy on a trip to Mars any time soon. He explained, "It's nothing on Mars. It's no air. It's no food. I don't know if I can listen to music yet." However, Tyler eventually admitted he might explore the red planet after Elon gets all the initial bugs worked out from the early trips. "I'll go on trip nine twelve," he joked. 

His musical tastes didn't make him any friends

Tyler, the Creator's eclectic musical tastes go way back. "I was a black skater kid," he told Spin about his high school days. "I liked f**ing Good Charlotte and Kenny G, and I was black. And I went to school with a bunch of black kids, so they kinda swayed away from me." Tyler went on to explain why he believes being a fan of a rock band and a soft jazz musician didn't make him any friends.

"Because, real s**t, in the black community, being different is the one thing that's just like, I guess because of slavery and s**t, we just have to stick together and be so strong that being different is taboo," he said. "It's like you can't think outside the box in the black community. That's why I have so many white friends, because, real s**t, no one really cares about that. I hate race. I hate that s**t."

At least Good Charlotte member Joel Madden appreciated the compliment. Tweeting about Tyler's comments, he wrote, "SWEET DUDE." No word from Kenny G yet, but he's probably too busy with "morning sax."

Never offer him a weed brownie

As of this writing, Tyler, the Creator doesn't partake in alcohol and drugs anymore, and, according to Fader, he blamed having a weed brownie in 2009 for the "worst time of [his] life." He explained, "We was all at the studio, and I was like 'Yeah, f**k it, I'll take a small piece of the weed brownie.' I was f***ed up, crying, wanted to die. This brain isn't supposed to have anything." He noted that he apparently can't even take Benadryl due to the medicine's effects on his state of mind.

However, during an interview on The Shane Show, Tyler was asked if he had ever experimented with mushrooms. He responded, "Nah, not yet. I'll probably do shrooms one day, but as of now, I'm good." He shared that his "base is usually happy, energetic, super intrigued by something I like," and he believes mushrooms "would just open that up" even more.

He was fired from Starbucks

In a 2015 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Tyler, the Creator talked about the jobs he held before making it big. He said, "I worked at Starbucks and FedEx and oh my God." He said of his time at FedEx, "It was just, the spirit there, just older dudes just pushing boxes but okay with it, and it scared the living hell out of me, so I quit after a week and four days."

He worked at Starbucks for two and half years and claimed it was fun because he "stole cheese danishes every day." The free cheese danishes ended, however, when a manager — "this lady named Cindy" — fired him. He shared, "I hope she's watching because I still hate her." When Kimmel asked him how it went down, Tyler replied, "One of the shift managers warned me like ten minutes before she fired me," and that was just enough time for him to call his mom and eat three cheese danishes.

Why was he fired? He has a theory: "I was nice, I was cool with people … I didn't kiss a** to the people who worked there and the manager, and I think she found that intimidating."

He was arrested for inciting a riot

In March 2014, Tyler, the Creator was arrested and charged by Austin police for inciting a riot during his headlining spot at SXSW, as reported by TMZ. Just hours after two people were killed and 23 people were injured when a car plowed through a crowd outside Austin bar Mohawk (via Spin), Tyler allegedly incited a large group of fans outside the crowded venue to storm past security.

According to Spin, the rapper began screaming at the crowd outside after starting his set on a bad note. "All you guys back there that can't get in," he said, before imploring them to make their way inside by breaking through the gates. The crowd was reportedly hesitant at first, but allegedly became emboldened once Tyler, and subsequently his audience, started to chant, "PUSH, PUSH, PUSH!" As reported by Fox News, his bond was set at $3,500.

Theresa May banned him from entering the UK

"BASED ON LYRICS FROM 2009 I AM NOT ALLOWED IN THE UK FOR 3-5 YEARS ( although i was there 8 weeks ago) THAT IS WHY THE SHOWS WERE CANCELLED," Tyler, the Creator tweeted on Aug. 26, 2015. Who authorized the ban? Tyler's manager, Christian Clancy, revealed on his Tumblr account that it was none other than then-Home Secretary Theresa May. 

"Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom," he wrote. He claimed the letter cited "lyrics [Tyler] wrote 6-7 years ago" for two of his records and alleged that the rapper's work "encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality" and "fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts.”

Per The Guardian, Theresa May's office released a statement defending the decision: "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." 

His lyrics are controversial

Tyler, the Creator has faced accusations of homophobia, misogyny, and promoting rape and violence against women in his lyrics throughout his career. On his 2011 album Goblin, Tyler's perception as a misogynistic homophobe reached a fever pitch. Over on Fader, they analyzed all of the track's lyrics and found that the word "b***h" was used 68 times and words like "f*g" and "f****t" were used nine times (via MTV News). 

In an interview with NME, Tyler pushed back. "I'm not homophobic. I just think 'f****t' hits and hurts people. It hits. And 'gay' just means you're stupid. I don't know, we don't think about it, we're just kids. We don't think about that s**t. But I don't hate gay people. I don't want anyone to think I'm homophobic."

Tyler also compared the gay slur to a racial slur. "Well, I have gay fans and they don't really take it offensive [sic], so I don't know. If it offends you, it offends you," Tyler told MTV News. "If you call me a n***a, I really don't care, but that's just me, personally. Some people might take it the other way; I personally don't give a s**t."

Don't ask him if he needs more water

If you ever happen to serve Tyler, the Creator in a restaurant, you'll possibly get a bigger tip by not making sure he's continuously hydrated. Speaking to a group of fans in London for Amaru Don TV, Tyler revealed one of his pet peeves — a refilled water glass that isn't empty yet. 

"Okay, so you're at a restaurant, and they bring you water, and you're drinking it, right? And then, like, you're halfway done, and you turn around, and some f***ing b***h puts more water in it," he explained. "Like, I just wanna finish my s**t, like, let me get that feeling of finishing it, you know? Like, that s**t really irks me."

He went on to tell the story about a server in Chicago who "was so confused he just walked away," after Tyler pleaded with him not to refill his water glass. He revealed, "I told this n***a not to do it. I had this much left in my f***ing cup, and this b***h f***ing poured water in there. I was mad."

Jaden Smith is positive they're dating

Tyler, the Creator and Jaden Smith have a weird, rocky relationship, but, at the Camp Flog Gnaw musical festival in November 2018, Smith took it to the next level. "I just want to say Tyler, the Creator is the best friend in the world and I love him so f**king much," he screamed to the crowd. "And I want to tell you guys something. I want to tell you. Tyler doesn't want to say, but Tyler's my motherf**king boyfriend, and he's been my motherf**king boyfriend my whole f**king life. Tyler, the Creator is my f**king boyfriend. It's true." 

Smith followed up that claim in a since-deleted tweet to the Flower Boy hitmaker, writing, "Yup @tylerthecreator I Told Everyone You Can't Deny It Now" (via E! News). Tyler tweeted back, "Hahaha you a crazy n***a man."

During an Apple Music Beats 1 Radio show appearance later that month, Smith wanted everyone to know that what he said allegedly wasn't a joke. "I recently said that Tyler, the Creator is my boyfriend and that's true, so just so you know," he shared (via E! News).