First-time voter Tyler, the Creator urges fans to ‘pull up’ to the polls

Tyler, the Creator said in a Twitter video, "If you are young and your back don't hurt, go to them polls and cast a vote."
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Tyler, the Creator picked a pretty consequential election as his first time to vote.

The 29-year-old L.A. rapper and producer posted an earnest home video on Monday urging fans who, like himself, may have been disenchanted or too busy to vote in the past to reconsider to come out in November. (The video contains profane language.)

“I know I’m the last person y’all should ever take advice from,” the Grammy-winning hip-hop artists and entrepreneur said. “Please, if you are young and your back don’t hurt, go to them polls and cast a vote.”

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Tyler’s video directed at his young, multiracial fanbase might be the most consequential get-out-the-vote message in hip-hop since Cardi B’s Bernie Sanders advocacy amicably to boosting Joe Biden. Tyler admitted that his natural cynicism about America had kept him out of the booth until now.

“This is actually gonna be my first time voting, I’ve seen the light,” he said. “A lot of y’all gonna be like ‘Ehhh, my vote doesn’t matter and they’re gonna pick who they want... Y’all want a new DA? Pull up. Y’all want all these rights... Pull up.”

Tyler’s long been bemused or skeptical about big institutions and where he fits into them — his post-Grammys comments showed that he’s wary about Black people and artists being taken for granted. “On one hand, I’m just grateful that what I made can 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 or anything — they also put it in a rap or urban category.... It’s just a politically correct way to say the n-word.”

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But the peril that faces communities like his (including LGBTQ people, as has Tyler recently been more public with his attraction to men) if Trump is re-elected seems to have galvanized him.

“I have female friends who need certain things, I like being able to f— or marry whoever I want at any given moment,” he said. “If we wanna keep some of those options, we have to start somewhere.... Some of that mail-in s— [Trump’s] gonna try to call fraud, so if you can, go to the polls. I know them lines gonna be long , it’s gonna be hot, but please do that.”