What Did Tyler, The Creator, Say About Depression? (3+ Uncovered Meanings)

This article will discuss how the rapper Tyler, the creator, has handled depression in his work. The article will show how he has owned up to experiencing negative feelings, but how he has also had trouble calling himself depressed. 

Tyler, the creator, and depression

It seems like a back and forth game for Tyler, the creator. He has had songs that talk about negative emotions, and difficult times. But with time he has moved from them, showing the ability of humans to experience a broad spectrum of emotions. 

And some of his fans have expressed at times intense dislike for how the rapper handles his emotions. 

At the beginning of his career, like in his sophomore album “Globin”, which was released in 2011, he showed through his songs some disturbing thoughts that made people question his mental health. 

In the video of the song “Yonkers,” Tyler ends up hanging himself. And in the first line of the song, he disclaims “I’m a fucking walking paradox”. 

In another song called “Sandwich”, he shows his aggressiveness towards kids that had a home consisting of a mother and a father. He said, “Come on kids, fuck that class and hit that bong/Let’s buy guns and kill those kids with dads and moms.”

He also expressed violent thoughts about women, like in the song “Sarah”, in which he says “I want to tie her body up and throw her in my basement?/Keep her there, so nobody can wonder where her face went”. 

But this seems to be related to that period in time, and throughout his career, he has written other songs, with less negative emotions. 

When releasing his third album Cherry Bomb, in 2015,  he stated that “ Life is great. I’m just positive and smiles all around,”. “You can’t let little shit get to you”, and how “Everything’s so good right now. I love everything. I’m not as negative anymore. I guess that’s just how it is growing up.”

He also explained that he knows not everyone will understand this new writing style of his. For that, he said: “I feel like a lot of people wasn’t really fucking with it, saying it wasn’t personal. But this album is really personal. It’s just that I’m not doing it in a dark, depressing, ‘I want to kill myself’ way anymore.”

He states that he was in a more positive place and that he was smiling a lot more. He said that he wishes people could just smile, but that he knows that mental illness is not a simple thing, and just asking people to smile can be extremely negative.

In this work, he was writing more positively, with a new perspective on things. During that period he was going through some great things in his life. He was releasing a successful app called Golf Media and was going through great changes. 

The group he was formerly a part of OFWGKTA was over, but he said they maintained a great relationship. 

But as he had imagined, not everyone understood what he was saying, in the same year a fan wrote on Reddit.com how tired he was of Tyler, the creator saying how happy he is, and how he just smiles. And in the same way, he had anticipated, the fan said he wasn’t enjoying his new work. 

To that, Tyler, the creator, responded himself. Here is a transcription of what he said: 

“dude, that was in 2011. its 2015, if he really thinks that 4 years later i would still be living on my dead grandmothers floor, and still be sad with all these amazing things happening around me, then he is stuck in 2011. and i dont mean that in a bad way, when you have a favorite artist, you tend to grasp onto an era, trust me i do that with artist that i love but i also know they grow and see new things and change and mature and all of that. im sorry that im not in the same place to talk about those things that were happening in 2011. i dont know what to tell you, my life is in a different spot right now and like on every album, i talk about whats going on in my life AT THAT MOMENT. shit, that would be sooo sad if i was making the same album over and over again. and when i talk about depressed stuff, i know niggas who think its cool as fuck to be sad and negative. i remember being in a somewhat dark spot and now that im not there i understand that its not healthy and it sucks, that shit is NOT TIGHT and it sometimes rubs off on others, you dont have as much fun and blah blah but take that how you want dude…”

He went on: “hes not suprised that OF dont hang around ME anymore. ok, im not gonna go into that. the thing that does suck is that people that dont know what goes on in our personal lives always seems to think they know whats really going on. trust me, you dont know. and to read that comment made me kinda bummed, cause the tone made it seem like im sus or the bad guy, ha.

i never said anything about kendrick and thebe, in that interview i do recall said its either you talking about trapping and selling drugs, or doing the opposite talking about black power and all that. dont twist my fucking words dude.”

This showed how he felt people didn’t understand how he may have changed through time. And how sometimes artists are expected to behave in one specific pattern and have no way of evolving, or growing up.

And even though in 2015 he had a more positive outlook on life, he also said in interviews how he felt alone. He explained how he would get to his big house, and his sister and mother weren’t there. So sometimes he would just crash at a friend’s house to handle the loneliness.

And once again, in the time of the release of his album “Flower Boy”, in 2018, Tyler, the creator, discusses once again his emotional condition. In this album, yet another completely different one from the ones before, he discusses deeper emotions.

This album was nominated for a Grammy Awards as Best Rap Album of the Year. Tyler says the wrote extremely personal lyrics, differently than what he had done in the previous album, “Cherry Bomb”. 

He admitted in an interview given to the comedian Jerrod Carmichael that for that album he just focused on writing songs, and in this one, he wanted to write every feeling.

But when discussing his mental health, he came forth saying that he doesn’t believe he is depressed, more than that, he believes he is an extremely self-aware person. He stated that he feels lonely, but that at the same time he is having the best time of his life.

And what does this say about depression?

In going through Tyler, the creator’s songs, and interviews it is safe to say that it shows, as he has stated in his song “Yonkers”, how he is a walking paradox. But aren’t we all? 

Having moments of happiness, sadness, and even aggressive moments are all part of the human capacity to feel. But what Tyler’s path makes us think about is how much we pressure others to feel a determined way. Be it the fan that wanted Tyler to stop saying he was happy, or even Tyler saying he wished people would smile more.

It is not within our power to control what the other person feels like, and trying to do so can be extremely negative for everyone. In thinking about Tyler’s process, you may also question why it may be so hard for people to admit to being depressed? 

How far does the taboo of mental illness take us? Since admitting there is something different going on is the first step in looking for help, not naming what you have as depression can be a way to prevent you from looking for the help you need.

As seen in Tyler’s song, emotions such as sadness, irritability, loneliness, and aggressiveness are all there. And they could be a sign of depression. But it would be for him, and a mental health professional, to understand how those emotions affect him, and if it is possible to call it depression.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Is Tyler, the creator depressed? 

Does depression have a cure?

No, depression doesn’t have a cure. Rather than that, it goes into remission. When that happens, the person will feel like their depressive symptoms will go away, and they will be able to feel joy and interest in things again.

Are people with depression always sad?

No, people that are depressed don’t show sadness all the time. And this may seem hard for people that haven’t gone through it before. But depression can, to some people, feel more like an intense emptiness. They may feel such a void of emotions, that they will have no interest in anything.

But besides that, people should also be aware that people with depression can laugh. It is important to stay clear of the stigma that once someone laughs, or expresses a positive emotion they are not depressed anymore. People with depression can have good moments as well.

Does meditation help with depression?

Yes, although it can’t be your only source of treatment, meditation can help you to deal with the negative thoughts that depression brings on. When you practice it, you may center yourself, and focus more on your breath and yourself rather than the negative emotions. It can reduce your stress level, and improve your sense of well-being.

Can celebrities be depressed?

Yes, as with any other person, famous people can be depressed. Even though people may think they have everything, and live a fulfilled life, they still experience emotions and can develop mental illness.

They also go through a lot of pressure from having to deal with what other people expect of them, and this can be overwhelming at times.

Is crying a sign of depression?

Not necessarily. Crying is common, but you may want to pay attention to how often it happens, and what has been causing it. If you have been feeling extremely sad and have also been going through other symptoms of depression, it may be time to look for professional help.


This article centered around the rapper Tyler, the creator. It went through his work, and interviews to discuss the signs of depression he may have given.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.






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