Flying Lotus and Tyler, the Creator Are Not Fans of the YouTube Awards

The two prominent black artists don't think the awards do enough to spotlight innovative and unsigned artists who help the video service thrive.

By Jamilah King Oct 24, 2013

The YouTube Video Awards are coming up on November 3 and they’re sort of a big deal. The video service has long been a place to discover new, often unsigned, artists such as Justin Bieber.  But for artists of color, YouTube has been as especially important venue to share and distribute new music and videos. The awards show promises to be a kind of Netflix-like party-crasher to the business of traditional awards by using data gathered over the past 12 months to determine nominees.

But when those nominations were finally released, they looked very similar to other awards shows with artists like Miley Cyrus, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Macklemore nominated for top spots (see the full list of nominations here). At least two prominent black artists — Flying Lotus and Tyler, the Creator — have spoken up publicly to say that the awards don’t do enough to showcase innovative artists who don’t have major labels backing their work. Tyler, who is ironically slated to perform at the awards ceremony at New York City’s Pier 36, took to Twitter to rail against the awards’ focus on what he called "teeny bopper shit."

Flying Lotus also took his complaints to Twitter. "If it’s all about hits sure I get it but let’s be fair. YouTube award nominations clearly don’t care about cutting edge/innovation. They had an opportunity to shine a light on all the artists that they helped to gain notoriety just to shit on them for uber famous acts. No disrespect to the nominees yadda yadda."

(h/t Consequence of Sound)