You Shouldn’t Be Mad at Tyler the Creator & Mountain Dew
A lot of folks panties are in a bunch over Mountain Dew’s “racist” ad which was the brainchild of Tyler the Creator of Odd Future fame and infamy.
The campaign features a talking goat who drink Mountain Dew and goes on a rampage. The one spot that has gotten the heat depicts a police lineup of all black men and the goat.
One headline bashing the ads read “Mountain Dew pulls most Racist Ad Ever.”
Well clearly this passionate writer has never seen this:
Because all drug dealers are slick talking black men who turn into SNAKES.
Sure it’s easy to forget just how racist ads used but to consider the Mountain Dew campaign as deplorable is ridiculous for an array of reasons.
1. Corporate America Takes Its Cues From the (Inner City) Youth
Want to sell a product? Find out what the black kids are doing and bring it to the mainstream. It will look cool and more kids will want it and drive their parents crazy until they buy it.
If you were a kid in the 80’s it felt like there wasn’t a single commercial that didn’t have break dancing in it.
Nothing like a head spin to sell a Toyota.
So when Mountain Dew wanted to get in touch with “the youth” they went after the always controversial, anti-everything Odd Future. The group of rowdy yet creative kids have already scored musical success and have their own (really funny) show “The Loiter Squad”.
“Sure, they’ll know exactly how to get all the hip black kids to drink Mountain Dew. We tried it before with Lil’ Wayne and worked wonders. And once you get the black kids, the white kids follow and then the world.” - What I assume the Mountain Dew marketing execs thought
When you turn over the reigns to a multi-million ad campaign you have to trust that the people you collaborate with know what they are doing. In this case the kids of ODD Future did what they thought was funny, a talking goat that goes ham after drinking the Dew.
No harm, no foul.
But these kids didn’t factor in how the world, specifically the black world would respond because…
2. ODD Future Doesn’t Have “Black Baggage”
This country often talks about wanting to move past race. We don’t want to be judged my color. We also expect every person born in this country to automatically know the history of racism, slavery, feminism, gay rights, etc.
We all know our educational school system leaves much to be desired so how are kids like Tyler supposed to know that showing all of this friends (who are black) in a police lineup will evoke parallels between them and this nation’s depiction of the black man being the constant criminal.
I’m sure he doesn’t think of himself and his friends are convicts. He’s thinking, “Me and all my boys about to be on TV.”
Kids today have everything.
They walk around with a fully functioning computer in their pocket that doubles as a phone. They can reach anyone in the world with a tweet, Vine or Instagram. They don’t care to use race as an excuse as to why they “can’t do” or “can’t be”. They don’t know or care to know about all that those before them had to endure and why they should still hold a grudge about slavery or make sure that their every move doesn’t shame their culture.
There are no chips on their shoulders and there shouldn’t be.
Should Tyler be aware of what the imagery in the Dew commercial conjures up for older black folks, sure.
Should he be penalized because he chooses not to let that impede his artistic expression, absolutely not.
But hey, these are just my thoughts.