(*Please note that some themes discussed in this article may be triggering for some readers*)
“Yonkers” was the first single from American rapper, songwriter and musician Tyler, The Creator and his debut album “Goblin”, which was released in 2011. The song is considered to be part of the “horrorcore” genre, which is a sub-genre of hip-hop which bases itself on horror-themed content, lyrics and imagery.
“Yonkers” was written and produced by Tyler, The Creator and proved to be extremely controversial given its lyrics that were violent and dissed many other musical artists – such as Hayley Williams from Paramore and Bruno Mars. Speaking to Pitchfork Magazine in February 2016, Tyler claimed that the song was reminiscent of stereotypical New York hip-hop in the 90’s:
“Dude, ni***s don’t know that that beat was made as a joke. I was trying to make a shitty New York beat and we was just rapping like we was from New York… And then, I just had some random verses and I was just like, “I’ll just record it to this beat, this beat is kinda cool.” And then ni***s really liked it. That’s so nuts, because that sh*t was actually a f**king joke. I made that beat in literally eight minutes.”
The music video for “Yonkers” was uploaded to Tyler’s previous YouTube channel (Odd Future, which was a rap collective previously run by Tyler) on the 10th February 2011. Directed by Wolf Haley, the video is shot in black and white and shows Tyler in a blank room on a stool, playing with a cockroach, who he then eats – causing him to vomit. The video ends with Tyler taking his shirt off and ultimately, hanging himself. As of late October 2020, the video has 127.8 million views and 909 thousand likes.
Release Date: 10th February 2011
Songwriter: Tyler, The Creator
Producer: Tyler, The Creator
Music Video Release Date: 10th February 2011
Music Video Director: Wolf Haley
Chart Rankings, Certifications, Awards and Accolades: After its release, “Yonkers” charted at:
– #15 on the UK Indie Breakers
– #2 on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles (Billboard)
– #9 on the US Heatseekers Songs (Billboard)
– #27 on the US R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs (Billboard)
“Yonkers” is certified Gold in the US, and has been critically acclaimed, leading to the song winning “Best New Artist” award at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. The track was deemed to be the “third best song of 2011 by The Guardian and the “eighth best song of 2011” by Time Magazine.
The lyrics to “Yonkers” can be viewed here: LINK
Apple Music: LINK