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Music

Tyler, the Creator brought his mom on stage to accept best rap album for ‘Igor’

Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator won the Grammy for best rap album.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

More than a decade after he and his Odd Future collective stormed social media to inject punk rock-style rebellion into the Los Angeles rap scene and the world, Tyler, the Creator took home his first Grammy Award on Sunday. Nominated in the rap album category for “Igor,” the 28-year-old artist, producer and Golf Wang streetwear mastermind took the stage in a pink and red polo shirt, and with his mom by his side, to accept his trophy.

“You did a great job raising this guy,” he exclaimed to his mother. He thanked Pharrell Williams before he was played off. “I never really felt accepted in rap,” he said, until Williams and his approach to music made him feel more included.

The artist, born in Ladera Heights as Tyler Okonma, got the gold for his fifth studio album, an expansive, experimental rap and R&B record that many argued barely fit in the category. “Igor” was victorious against Meek Mill’s “Championships,” the Dreamville collective’s “Revenge of the Dreamers III,” “I Am > I Was” by 21 Savage and “The Lost Boy” by a YBN Cordae.

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On “Igor” tracks and videos including “Earfquake,” “A Boy Is A Gun” and “Puppet,” Tyler, the Creator took on the persona of the title character: a well-dressed, sublimely confident dude with a ridiculous, Beatlesque blond bowl cut.

The rap album win, Tyler’s first after being nominated two other times (for “Flower Boy” in 2018 and as a feature on Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” in 2013), will probably placate his devoted fan base, many of whom expressed outrage online after the critically acclaimed “Igor” was shut out of the album of the year category.


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