In this week’s dumbest things I’ve ever heard- over the top hip hop star Tyler The Creator had one of his new advertisements, created for Mountain Dew, pulled from the air due to complaints of racism. It was all started by author Dr. Boyce Watkins, who took to his blog to call the commercial “arguably the most racist commercial ever”, which is ridiculous. Before going any further, I would just like to point out Exhibit A:

That is a racist commercial. Are you stuck in a sea of black people? Just bring chicken!

Tyler’s commercial just straight up wasn’t racist, and if Dr. Watkins had the foresight to do even a bit of research into the situation before making public statements, it would have been clear to him why.

To get some background on the situation, Tyler The Creator is known for being an over the top, absurd rapper. He constantly mentions in interviews how he writes lyrics with the intention of pushing buttons – he has regularly used homophobic slurs, and has written graphic lyrics depicting violence towards women and rape. Unfortunately, this reputation cost him, as Dr. Watkins went into the video trying to find something to complain about in order to push his own agenda. Instead, he just found a video of Tyler goofing around with his friends.

Tyler’s first video showed his goat alter-go, Felica The Goat, dining at a restaurant. He is approached by a white waitress, whom the goat then berates and eventually beats. The second video saw the goat pulled over while driving, and eventually bailing from the car when the (black) cop finds a trunk full of Mountain Dew. That should show you how absurd this whole series is. The third video in the series, which is what the controversy is about, sees the waitress at a police line up, asked to identify the character who beat her in a line up consisting of the goat and four black men. The goat starts intimidating the waitress, who eventually freaks out and leaves without identifying the goat.

So, Dr. Watkins saw this, and immediately jumped to absolutely crazy conclusions as to the meaning of this commercial, and most of them are just wrong on so many levels. He starts “The woman is shaking, wounded and crying in fear over whatever these scary black men have done and might do to her in the future”, which is obviously wrong – she’s afraid of the goat. The fucking talking goat. “Black men are frightening and violent, that’s well established in the first few seconds of the commercial”, he continues. No. The goat is scary, the other guys are innocent.

But oh, why is Tyler portraying all criminals as black thugs? He’s not, you fucking idiot. Those four other guys are Tyler’s friends from Odd Future – Errol, LBoy, Leftbrain, and Garret from Trash Talk. They were on set and available that day. It’s not like there was some hidden racist agenda in here by Tyler or the other writers associated – those are literally just Tyler’s friends.

Then there’s this whole “the company has put black men on par with animals” thing that Dr. Watkins runs with. Dr. Watkins, were you deeply offended by Shrek? Where the princess and the hero were played by white actors, but the doofy donkey is voiced by Eddie Murphy? Was that putting black men on par with animals? No, of course not, because that’d be stupid.

It seems another major problem Dr. Watkins has with the commercial is the apparent promoting of the “stop snitching” movement, as the goat says “snitches get stitches” at some point. While “stop snitching” refers to a specific movement that has made its way into the hip hop scene, the concept of not co-operating with authority is nothing new. Organized crime throughout history have looked for “snitches” and “rats”. But Dr. Watkins completely jumps into another dimension with this one, going so far as to say “Maybe the executives at Mountain Dew who gave the green light to this ad should speak to the family of Quinten Moss. Moss, a 24-year old father of three, was gunned down in cold blood in his home town of Louisville, Ky. The police barely investigated the murder and there are no suspects.”

It’s just a long jump to make. He continues to list instances of young people getting murdered, and blaming it on the stop snitching culture. I don’t condone the whole “stop snitching” campaign, but I look at hip hop like I look at pro wrestlers – I think that when push comes to shove, 99% of these rappers would co-operate with the cops if it meant getting one of their chains back. Murder is horrible, but it’s just such a huge jump to connect these murders to a talking goat saying “snitches get stitches”.

I could honestly go on and on, but it’s pointless. Dr. Watkins has some sort of alternative agenda that he is trying to push. He’s gone after hip hop stars and BET before, and he was just looking for trouble with this commercial. Since he can’t complain to the rappers like Tyler and Lil Wayne, he waits for them to be associated with a brand name, and then shames the brand into dropping them.

I’m not saying the commercial was one hundred percent politically correct – there a woman was beaten senselessly by a goat, the goat was screaming some nasty things at her – but, look about what we’re talking about here. It’s a fucking talking goat. It was not meant to be serious, and it was definitely not some sort of commentary on race.

Tyler’s manager Christian Clancy issued an official statement, and a lot of it echoes what I’ve said. Most importantly, he said “[Tyler] absolutely never intended to spark a controversy about race. it was simply an again admittedly absurd story that was never meant to be taken seriously.” Tyler also recently Tweeted that he would “love to have a convo with @DrBoyceWatkins1″. I think it’s clear that this had nothing to do with race, it was just pushed into it based on a crazy propaganda by Dr. Watkins. People like him are just so quick to jump onto anything out of the ordinary and throw their own agenda, and it’s getting to be ridiculous.

Commercial #1:

Commercial #2:

Taken down from Youtube

Controversial Video # 3