Tyler, the Creator may have nabbed his first golden gramophone at the Grammys on Sunday night, but he's juggling pretty mixed feelings about the achievement. The 28-year-old artist had a momentous night at the award show, winning best rap album for Igor after taking the stage for a captivating, energetic performance, and he used his backstage interview as an opportunity to call out the Recording Academy's unfair voting process.
"I don't like that urban word; it's just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me."
"I'm half and half on it," Tyler said of his initial reaction to scoring his first-ever Grammy. "On one side, I'm very grateful that what I made could be acknowledged in a world like this. But also, it sucks that whenever we — and I mean guys that look like me — do anything that's genre-bending, they always put it in a rap or urban category."
The "Earfquake" songwriter continued, "I don't like that urban word; it's just a politically correct way to say the n-word to me. When I hear that, I'm just like why can't we be in pop?" Although Tyler added that his rap nomination felt like "a back-handed compliment," he reiterated that he's still "very grateful" to be recognized and celebrated regardless of the fact that he's "in a whole different world than what a lot of people here listen to."
Phew! Points were made. Facts were spoken. And we're very much here for his candid honesty. Watch Tyler's full backstage interview above to hear him touch on the artists who inspired him to be different, and the impact of Kobe Bryant's tragic death on the city of Los Angeles.