A frequent visitor to and performer in the UK over the past few years, the rapper was recently forced to cancel a string of upcoming shows with A$AP Rocky because the country wouldn’t grant him a visa, reports The Fader.
“Coming to the UK is a privilege, and we expect those who come here to respect our shared values,” a spokesman for the UK’s Home Secretary Office told The Quietus. “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good or if their exclusion is justified on public policy grounds.”
Tyler’s manager, Christian Clancy, took to Tumblr to elaborate on the ban, alleging that the letter from the U.K. Home Office specifically cited lyrics from 2009’s “Bastard” and 2011’s “Goblin.”
“Tyler has been banned from entering the UK for somewhere between 3 to 5 years per a letter from the secretary of state for the home department of the united kingdom. the letter specifically cites lyrics he wrote 6-7 years ago for his albums bastard and goblin – the type of lyrics he hasn’t written since… highlights from the letter include that his work ‘encourages violence and intolerance of homosexuality’ and ‘fosters hatred with views thats seek to provoke others to terrorist acts..’”
Clancy said that while Tyler’s old lyrics can make him cringe, being banned for them is “a broader issue of free speech, with new lines being drawn that include reaching back in time without acknowledging growth. In fact, punishing growth… Is he not worthy of the pat on the back for becoming aware and making changes? What message does that send? Is race a conscious or subconscious factor at all?”