What Fans Might Not Know About Tyler, The Creator

In the rap world, Tyler, the Creator has become quite popular. The entertainer — who was named Tyler Gregory Okonma at birth, a profile in The New York Times points out — hit the rap scene hard in the late 2000s as one of the founders of Odd Future, a sort of rap collective that also included Frank Ocean, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, and Domo Genesis.

After a decade of building up his fan base with albums and live concert tours, Tyler hit it big with the release of his 2021 album "Call Me if You Get Lost." As The New York Times reported, the album quickly shot to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. That was a repeat of his previous album, "Igor," which likewise captured the top spot in that same chart when it was released in 2019 (via Billboard). Meanwhile, the artist's four previous albums each managed to crack the top five of the Billboard Hot 100. 

He may be a near-ubiquitous presence in the world of hip-hop, but there's much to discover about this talented and outspoken artist. To learn more, keep on reading to find out what fans might not know about Tyler, the Creator. 

Tyler, the Creator hates fashion — but has a clothing line

Tyler, the Creator has branched out from music into the world of fashion — although he's openly admitted to hating it. In a 2014 interview with Billboard about his clothing line, Golf Wang (which has nothing to do with the game of golf), Tyler explained why he doesn't consider himself to be a fashion designer even though he actually designs clothing. "I ****ing hate fashion and everything about it," he said. "I just like making stuff and it happens to be in ****ing cotton and, like, materials. But that s*** [of the fashion world] is disgusting." 

While there are many other clothing lines that garner attention by handing out freebies to celebrities to wear on the red carpet, that goes against the ethos behind Golf Wang. "That actually could be the worst thing possible, if famous people wore Golf Wang," Tyler told Billboard.

Meanwhile, he also admitted he becomes rankled if Golf Wang is ever described as "merch," as in "merchandise." As he told Complex, Golf Wang is "not ***ing merch. It doesn't say Tyler, the Creator on everything. These are actual clothing pieces. It's a store. It's ran like a line. Don't call it merch."

He got into a rap feud with Eminem

Feuds and rap music have gone hand-in-hand pretty much since the genre's inception, a 2003 Los Angeles Times report points out. And while Tyler, the Creator doesn't quite fit the mold that fans have come to expect from hip-hop artists engaged in rap feuds, he managed to wind up getting into it with one of the most successful rappers of all time: Eminem.

It all started with the release of Slim Shady's 2018 track "Fall," in which he verbally attacks an impressive array of rappers. Tyler, the Creator was among them. "Tyler create nothin', I see why you called yourself a [redacted] b****," he raps, using a homophobic slur to describe Tyler. In a subsequent interview, as Pitchfork reports, Eminem admitted he went "too far."

However far he may have gone, Eminem's verbal tirade was actually a response to a diss tweet issued by Tyler, the Creator, Okayplayer reported. Tyler, the Creator reportedly tweeted a pithy review of Eminem's single "Walk on Water," which was a collaboration with Beyoncé. "Dear god this song is horrible sheesh how the ****," Tyler tweeted.

His music taste has always been eclectic

Tyler, the Creator's music has never been easily categorized, which is perfectly understandable given the wide swath of musicians who he said have influenced him over the years. "I definitely think that I've created my own path," he said when accepting the first-ever Rock the Bells Cultural Influence Award at the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards, thanking such musical influences as Q-Tip, Andre 3000, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, and Hype Williams.

In an interview with Hot 97's Funkmaster Flex, Tyler, the Creator also pointed to artists who emerged from the neo-soul movement of the late 1990s and early 2000s, singling out singers such as Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, and producer Kay Gee. Tyler also cited R&B artists such as Brandy and Mary J. Blige as early influences. 

Back in 2012, he took to Twitter to list the albums that most shaped him early on, including Brandy's 1994 self-titled debut "Brandy," "Share My World" by Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu's "Baduism," and Faith Evans' "Faith." "I love them," he declared of those albums, which he said, "shaped me musically today."

The rapper doesn't like when waiters keep refilling his water glass

Everyone has their pet peeves, and for Tyler, the Creator it's something that he's observed when dining in restaurants. Speaking with AmaruDonTV, he offered the example of being at a restaurant and being brought water by the server. "And then, like, you're halfway done, and you turn around and some ****ing b**** puts more water in it," he complained. The reason that annoys him so much, he explained, was because it prevented him from being able to completely finish a glass of water. "Let me get that feeling of finishing it, you know," he said, adding, "That s*** really irks me."

In fact, Tyler recalled being in a Chicago restaurant and adamantly instructing the server to "Don't ****ing do it" when he attempted to fill his water glass. "He was so confused; he just walked away," Tyler said.

He's pals with Elon Musk and has addressed Mars travel

Tyler, the Creator struck up a unique and unusual friendship with tech billionaire Elon Musk, and he did it via social media. It was back in 2015 that Tyler reached out to the Tesla mogul via Twitter. In an interview with Hot 97 that same year, Tyler gushed about Musk and placed him in the same league as rappers and entrepreneurs Jay-Z and P-Diddy. When asked if he'd yet met Musk, Tyler admitted, "Not yet," revealing they were supposed to meet up at Coachella, but their "schedules got weird" and ultimately didn't allow it. "People like that just make me feel like I have so much more to do," he added.

In a subsequent interview with "The Shane Show," the rapper continued to sing Musk's praises. "He's really cool," Tyler said, although he admitted he was less than enthused about journeying to Mars as part of Musk's SpaceX initiative. "There's nothing on Mars. There's no air. There's no food. ... I'll go on trip nine or 12."

Tyler, the Creator still hates the Starbucks manager who fired him

Tyler, the Creator was apparently not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. Before becoming a successful rapper, he worked at the same kind of entry-level jobs that many people do before launching a career. In Tyler's case, that period of his life included jobs at Starbucks and FedEx. "Oh my God — horrible!" he recalled of working those jobs during a 2015 appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" While he remembered working at Starbucks to be "cool because [he] stole cheese Danishes every day," he claimed that his job at FedEx was nothing short of depressing. He wound up quitting after less than two weeks, he said, admitting that seeing older employees who had to a living lugging around boxes terrified him.

He said he lasted longer at Starbucks, working there for more than two years until a manager named Cindy fired him. The rapper added that he hoped Cindy was watching the interview. "I still hate her!" he said, laughing. "I hate you, Cindy!" 

Interestingly, a photo eventually made its way online in which the future rap star was decked out in full Starbucks regalia, working behind the counter.

He was arrested after a SXSW performance

Tyler, the Creator isn't the type of rapper who usually has brushes with the law. However, he broke from that tradition after a performance at the 2014 edition of South By Southwest, aka SXSW. During his performance, a Spin report notes, there were hundreds of fans behind a set of gates, unable to make it into the crowded performance area. As local CBS affiliate KTVT-TV reported, he encouraged the crowd, "All y'all outside the gates, y'all push through!" They did and broke down the gates, which resulted in a chaotic and dangerously overcrowded scene.

The following day, police apprehended Tyler while he was waiting for a flight at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, per the Associated Press. There, police arrested him for inciting a riot. He was released on $25,000 bail. 

As the Los Angeles Times reported, his attorney, Perry Q. Minton, slammed both police and the media for characterizing "benign, boisterous activity" like a riot, adding, "Tyler is not a violent individual and would never deliberately engage in any activity that would put another person at risk of being hurt."

Tyler, the Creator may have dated Jaden Smith

Rapper Jaden Smith, the progeny of pugilistic Oscar winner Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett Smith, was performing at the 2018 edition of Tyler, the Creator's Camp Flog Gnaw music festival in Los Angeles when he dropped some provocative comments onstage about Tyler, the Creator. "I just wanna say Tyler, the Creator is the best friend in the world, and I love him so ****ing much," said Smith in a video shot by a fan and obtained by Page Six. "And I wanna tell you guys something. I wanna tell you — Tyler doesn't wanna say, but Tyler's my mother****ing boyfriend!"

As the Independent reported, Smith later doubled down in a tweet (which he later deleted), writing, "Yup @tylerthecreator I told everyone you can't deny it now." Tyler responded via tweet, noted the Independent, and while he neither confirmed nor denied, his response was still pretty telling. "Hahaha you a crazy [redacted] man," he wrote.

If the whole thing was Smith's joke, it's one that he carried on over the course of years. When Tyler, the Creator won his first-ever Grammy in 2020, Smith tweeted, "My boyfriend just won a Grammy."

The rapper has admitted his sexuality is a 'gray area'

Whether he is or isn't in a relationship with Jaden Smith, Tyler, the Creator's sexuality doesn't appear to be cut and dried. In 2015, he tweeted, "I TRIED TO COME OUT THE DAMN CLOSET LIKE FOUR DAYS AGO AND NO ONE CARED HAHAHHAHAHA." Lyrics to his song "I Ain't Got Time," read (via The Independent), "I've been kissing white boys since 2004." In 2018, he told Fantastic Man that his sexuality is "still such a gray area with people[.]"

That wasn't the first time he'd discussed his sexuality. In a 2015 interview he gave to Rolling Stone, for example, the rapper described himself as being "gay as ****," declaring, "My friends are so used to me being gay. They don't even care."

Perhaps the most telling statement about the "gray area" surrounding his sexuality came in a 2019 interview with GQ. "I like girls," he said at the time but insisted that he often ends up with their brothers "every time." 

Some of his lyrics got him banned from performing in the UK

Back in 2015, Tyler, the Creator explained via Twitter he was forced to cancel scheduled shows in the U.K. because, as Metro reported, he'd been banned from the country.

Tyler's manager, Christian Clancy, clarified that the ban came in the form of a letter from Britain's Home Office, which pointed to lyrics the rapper crafted several years earlier, per the BBC. Clancy added that the letter claimed the rapper's "work encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality and fosters hatred with views that seek to provoke others to terrorist acts." Discussing his ban with The Guardian, Tyler admitted he "felt like a criminal" and was being "treated like a terrorist." 

When he won a Brit Award in 2020, reported the Independent, Tyler cheekily dedicated it to former British Prime Minister Teresa May — who was home secretary at the time of his ban. "I want to give a special shout-out to someone who I hold dear to my heart, who made it that I couldn't come to this country five years ago," he quipped.

He's collaborated with top dogs in the music business

While Tyler, the Creator may not have been too popular with Britain's Home Office, that definitely wasn't the case when it came to his fellow musical artists. In fact, the rapper has become a sought-after collaborator who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business.

His popularity was especially clear in his 2021 album "Call Me if You Get Lost." As Pitchfork pointed out, the album featured collaborations with such artists as Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Pharrell Williams, Ty Dolla $ign, and others. Meanwhile, his previous LP, "Igor," likewise featured a wealth of collabs, with Genius listing the likes of Kanye West, Solange, comedian Jerrod Carmichael, CeeLo Green, and more. 

Meanwhile, DJ Booth noted that Tyler, the Creator has also worked with Frank Ocean, Jay-Z, Pusha-T, and Earl Sweatshirt, with other collaborators including The Weeknd and the late Mac Miller. One artist that he's eager to work with is Billie Eilish, something he revealed during a 2019 interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe (via NME). "I wanna work with her," Tyler declared, with Eilish responding via social media that "[I] would be nothing without you tyler ... everyone knows it."

Tyler, the Creator has shared some interesting religious views

Tyler, the Creator's views on religion can charitably be described as unorthodox. In an interview with VladTV (via Hip Hop DX), the rapper expressed views that some may consider agnostic or possibly even atheist. Asked whether he believes in the Bible, he quipped, "It's an actual thing, it's an object, so it's not not to believe. Like I can pick it up 'cause it's right there."

In that same interview, he also admitted he was unsure about the existence of God. "I've never met the dude, I have no idea," he said. "I've seen a opossum, I'm afraid of a opossum."

In addition to expressing himself in interviews, Tyler, the Creator's religious views also come through in his lyrics. That's the case in his song "Yonkers," in which he shares some remarks about Jesus that wouldn't go over too well during the average Bible study. Then there's his track "Manifesto," in which his skepticism is evident in such lyrics as, "That ain't your religion, you just followin' your mammy," along with, "Did y'all even ask up questions? It's holes in them stories. Is it holes in your blessings?"

Tyler, the Creator is worth some serious coin

Tyler, the Creator's music has not only earned him legions of ardent fans, but it's also made him a lot of money. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his fortune to be around a cool $16 million.

However, it's possible that he may have become far wealthier than that. According to a 2022 report from Billboard, his "Call Me if You Get Lost" tour impressively sold out each of his 33 shows. As a result, the brief tour — which ran from February until April of 2022 — sold a whopping 389,000 tickets, bringing in a staggering $32.6 million.

In fact, Complex deemed Tyler's tour to be the most lucrative rap tour of the entire pandemic. In a speech he shared on Instagram Live, the outlet reported that he thanked his team and the fans who showed up in droves to watch him perform. "I know you're seething and angry and 'ugh, no one listens to that album," he said. "These arena tours that are selling out says different," he added.