Odd Future rapper Tyler, The Creator served as the latest Hip Hop artist to face the repercussions of an angry public when a commercial he directed for Mountain Dew was pulled after many perceived the ad as being both racist and sexist. The rapper finally had the opportunity to speak on Mountain Dew axing the commercial during an interview with Billboard.com and spoke specifically on Syracuse University professor Dr. Boyce Watkins’ comments about the ad.
Tyler seemed puzzled at the professor deeming the commercial racist when he was merely using his friends for the now-controversial line-up scene.
“I guess he found it racist because I was portraying stereotypes, which is ridiculous because, one, all of those dudes [in the line-up] are my friends,” Tyler explained. “Two, they're all basically in their own clothes. It was originally supposed to be just two dudes, but Garrett from Trash Talk came with his friend and other people had showed up, so I just put all of them in that line-up, if you really wanna know the truth… So for [Watkins] to nitpick and notice that, clearly shows his state of mind is on some other shit that I can't comprehend, for him to actually sit there and for him to notice that it's all blacks [in the lineup]. That wasn't my intention.”
The California-based artist also spoke on Dr. Watkins’ comments possibly ruining opportunities for other young, black men who may be in a position similar to his one day.
“Because you're so quick to judge something that you don't know the context, you're so quick to call me a racist and other stuff, but he didn't know where I was coming from,” said Tyler. “But then he looked at what I have actually done, and now he wants to take his statement back. ‘My daughters listen to you.’ Okay, that's confusing, because if I'm such a racist, and such a bad person, and feeding negativity to the youth, why are your daughters listening to me? That shows you're a bad parent and a hypocrite if your daughters are listening to me and I'm such a bad person…Now that he's doing that, not only is it messing up opportunities for me, but also maybe opportunities for another young black male who maybe looks up to me and wants to do that in the future. It's ludicrous.”
Tyler, The Creator did create another commercial with Mountain Dew, but as of now it’s unclear if it will ever air.