Tyler, the Creator made quite the entrance with his debut solo mixtape Bastard in 2009. The mixtape’s high shock value had fans wrapped up in its graphic content and controversial lyrics, but some people also ignored Tyler. As he got older, Tyler’s music evolved to where he’s one of the most popular rappers in the game today.
His new album, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, elevated Tyler into a whole new spotlight where he’s performing at shows like the 2021 BET Awards for the first time. During a recent interview with Complex, Tyler spoke on his first BET Awards performance and how he never felt accepted by their audience before.
“I was so hype to perform at the BET Awards,” Tyler said. “Like, I don’t think people understand, dude. Having Durk and Lil Baby and Styles P just tell me how good the performance was meant a lot. I just never felt like my style of music would ever have been, not even appreciated, but allowed on there. And because of that, I would mock it. It was like a defense mechanism because I felt like I wasn’t accepted by that audience. But when they asked me this year, man, I was enthralled. I was so happy.”
He continued, “So I was like, I didn’t want to do anything good or bad. I just wanted to do something that had people say, ‘What the fuck was that?’ whether they liked it or not. And, um, I think I did that and I was like, man, I have to perform, like, one of my hardest rap songs on there. ‘Cause that, that channel taught me how to rap. It taught me about just all the stuff I know. So, man, shoutout to the BET team. ‘Cause they were awesome. They were great.”
Tyler’s tornado-themed performance for “Lumberjack” at the 2021 BET Awards was one of the highlights of the night. Taking inspiration from the official music video, Tyler recreated an outdoor scene where he’s fighting against strong winds that eventually blow him and his house away.
CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, giving Tyler his second consecutive chart-topper. Tyler, the Creator tapped Lil Uzi Vert, Pharrell, Lil Wayne, Ty Dolla $ign, YoungBoy Never Broke Again and more to join him on the fun.
Stream CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST below.