Although the 28-year-old superstar rapper came out in a series of 2017 tweets — alleging he had tried to come out and no one noticed, very on brand — Tyler, the Creator has always been cryptic about his sexuality. Fans have assumed he identifies as bisexual, as he famously shot his shot at Timothée Chalamet in the 2018 track “OKRA,” but until now, he has only offered brief glimpses of the man behind the persona.
Featured in the iconic dude rag’s “Men of the Year” issue, the profile is the closest he’s come to outwardly putting a label on it, just in a very colorful way. “I like girls,” he tells GQ. “I just end up fucking their brother every time.”
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While the profile doesn’t go any deeper into his relationships, it is filled with delicious bon mots. For instance, the Tyler, the Creator discusses the kind of people he likes to avoid, whom he calls “goob-goobers.” Sins that make you a goober include: not moisturizing, having weed breath, trying to lose weight, wearing chunky Fila sneakers or “loose boots” (where jeans can be tucked into them), and playing his own music at him when he’s on the street.
Basically, Tyler, the Creator says he wants to surround himself with people who could be on his “zombie-apocalypse team.”
The musician also talked about his IGOR shows and what it takes to slip into that persona, with the help of a suit and blond wig. “The IGOR shit plays a thin line between goofy and funny and art,” he says. “I always have to be careful so it doesn’t fuck everyone’s perception up. It’s art and an idea.”
On the origin of the character, Tyler says he was inspired by a gender ambiguous silhouette that he wanted to be able to pull off but couldn’t. In a sense, he wants to imagine himself as a “fucking white lady in Denmark.”
The singer’s embrace of gender and sexual fluidity resulted in what was perhaps the most queer album of Tyler’s career so far, full of passionate and melodic songs lamenting a breakup with an unnamed man. IGOR was Tyler’s first to hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and today he received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap album.
It seems like Tyler is finally getting his due, and he recognized how much that moment means to him. “When you finally find someone to listen to you after years of not being taken seriously,” he says, “you hold [onto] that shit to your heart.”