Tyler, The Creator’s Trolling Hits The Mainstream

Tyler, the Creator has never given a f**k what you think. The mistake is to think he doesn't give a f**k at all, but the kid is more wily and cunning than he lets on.

What he hasn't done yet is establish a message or a reason for his antics. Tyler, for now, is just out there – way the hell out there – and culture has always been expanded, criticized and changed, bit by bit, by these kind of deviants. This isn't to paint Tyler in a negative light, but it's safe to say he marches to the beat of his own drummer, and possibly, that he hears a different instrument altogether.

That kind of thinking has clearly attracted Mountain Dew, a brand that has linked and marketed themselves to these “free thinkers” and adventurers. Their slogan, “Dew You,” is in line with the cultural movement amongst Millennials down with individual expression and acceptance of others, as well as with skateboarders and extreme sports figures. Since they lost Shaun White, they've moved towards hip-hop, and actually got a track from Jay Electronica in 2008. Today, they're running ads with hip-hop icon Lil Wayne.

It makes perfect sense that Mountain Dew would reach out to Tyler for help with their branding, as he is virtually everything Dew appears to be looking for in one human being/goat. They reached a deal with him to direct a series of commercials, the first of which featured him playing a goat at a restaurant that beats up a waitress for no apparent reason.

Pretty standard Tyler: leaving viewers with a “What the hell was that?”  reaction. But the third part of the series (the second seems to be unrelated to the other two) is where things get dicey.

It's much worse out of context, as it basically just looks like the female abuse victim is picking between different black men dressed in stereotypically thugged-out clothing with names meant to satirize stereotypically “hood names” (Lil Musty and Beyonte amongst the best) and the goat, which immediately brings up racial tensions and makes light of violence against women.

But in the context of the first ad, it's just a joke…right?

That really just depends who you are. To Tyler, the whole thing is a joke. Odd Future was recently banned from a festival in New Zealand for his “extremely homophobic and hateful” lyrics. But Tyler is not homophobic, because one of his best friends is Frank Ocean, and another Odd Future member, Syd, is also somewhat sexually ambiguous.

The intense reaction and scrutiny to these things seems to be what gets Tyler off, as he continues to try and push pop culture post-hate in every category. He seems to be saying, “Look, this sh*t existed, but we weren't there for it, we love everyone and now we're going to make fun of it.”

At least, that's what I'm taking from these first two commercials. Of course, I am somewhat knowledgeable about Tyler and Odd Future, so it's easy to see it in that light. To the outsider, this is a complete disaster waiting to blow up in Mountain Dew's face, which may have been why the ad was subsequently removed from the OF account after severe backlash. (Update: Mountain Dew released a statement and have removed the video from their channels)

Who knows, maybe the independent-thinking provocateur is also trying to destroy a brand. That's the beauty of the position Tyler has carved out for himself: He, essentially, can't do any wrong. And if you think he can, the joke is already on you.

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