Tyler, the Creator is embracing his roots.
The rapper, born Tyler Okonma, lately spoke to Quick Firm about studying to understand his African final title, noting that the surname is “pretty cool.”
“My full name, Tyler Okonma, in all caps, just looks really cool,” Tyler stated in a video interview. “So you might see more of that, I don’t know. I’m getting older, and I think when people get older, they start realizing s— and liking things they didn’t like. You just start changing.”
He added, “I think my version of that is looking at my name and saying, ‘Oh, this is actually cool.'” The Grammy winner defined that his stage title originated from a MySpace account he made at the age of 13, one which featured illustrations and music that he made.
The moniker adopted after he burst into the music scene in 2007 and his profession blossomed. Tyler stated of its origins, “I’m 17 in high school and around L.A. — that name’s getting around and I kind of just kept it as my stage name. It’s really dumb, but it stuck with me, so it just works.”
“I didn’t know anyone else that had a name similar to it,” Tyler continued. “I always thought my last name was weird, but whatever. I started f—ing with it more around 2016, and then I started putting it on my album covers . . . I really f— with that name now.”
In his remembrance of the late designer Virgil Abloh in November, Tyler credited the prolific designer for serving to him embrace his final title in an Instagram put up.
“ABLOH. that strong African last name,” Tyler wrote. “few years back i started using more of my African last name OKONMA because of how regal Virgils felt. Everything he did felt like he said ‘hey over here, coast is clear’ whenever i questioned things.”
Watch Tyler’s full interview with Quick Firm above.