In true Tyler, The Creator fashion, the rapper took the stage to accept the inaugural Rock The Bells Cultural Influence Award without “having anything planned” at the 2021 BET Hip-Hop Awards. Presented by LL Cool J, the Flower Boy rapper began by quoting Playboi Carti’s “R.I.P.”
“[He] has a line where he says, ‘Bought my mama house off this mumblin s**t’ and I always get like teared up when he says that ’cause this thing that’s a hobby or a past time or a passion for us—a lot of people in here, that s**t kept us out of trouble. And it allowed us to change our family lives, friends’ lives, our lives,” he expressed.
Highlighting some of hip-hop’s newer acts, the Igor star stated, “That community’s just crazy that the things that we were able to see and experience because of this thing called rap and hip-hop.” He continued, “With rap, it’s like a pathway for us to just go […] I definitely think that I’ve created my own path, but it’s people who allowed me to understand that I can do that, who laid the blueprint.”
He then listed his personal influences: Q-Tip, André 3000, Chad Hugo, Pharrell, Kanye West, Missy Elliott—”who no one ever brings up,” Busta Rhymes, and Hype Williams. “I appreciate those names and others I didn’t name for just opening those doors and throwing the key, just talking to young guys like me,” shared the rapper.
He closed out his speech by encouraging rising stars including Baby Keem and Yung Bleu: “Everyone keep thriving, keep doing your s**t, and Call Me If You Get Lost out now.”
Watch his full speech above.