It's no secret that Tyler the Creator and the rest of his Odd Future cohorts aren't too keen on doing interviews but an invitation to talk with them on a little more than an hour's notice was too enticing to turn down. It was a dicey endeavor indeed, but fortune favors the bold, right? So the day after one of Odd Future's typically chaotic shows, at the Tabernacle, the same night as the premier of the new Adult Swim TV show, Loiter Squad (featuring Tyler the Creator, Jasper Dolphin, Lionel "L-Boy" Boyce, and Taco), I made my way to Adult Swim's office for a pop-up interview, so to speak.
On the drive there, scenes from a particularly brutal, and now infamous Johnny Lydon (Sex Pistols/PiL) / Tom Snyder interview from a 1980 episode of The Tomorrow Show played out in my head.
Not only were my fears realized within seconds after asking my first question about the new show, these guys took absurdity and asininity to wholly new dimensions. So I just sort of played the role of the straight guy and let them do the talking. Of the thousands of interviews I've done over the last 15 years, sitting down with these guys ranks up there as one of the most awkward encounters I've ever had - it was hilarious, ridiculous, and totally surreal.
Chad Radford: How are you? How's Atlanta treating you?
Jasper: Horrible. I just got back form Chester's house and he is a molester.
Lionel: You got molested?
Jasper: No, I just watched.
Taco: You watched yourself get molested?
Jasper: No. He made me watch. He said, "Sit down, Jasper. I want to show you something."
... Sorry to hear that.
Jasper: It's okay, shit happens.
No [he doesn't look up from his phone but stops texting long enough to point at Jasper]. That question is all you.
Jasper: What's the idea for the show? I thought there was no idea. ... I thought it was just a bunch of random shit. I think it came from like back in the day, just making a lot of videos and then someone said take these videos and put them on TV and people will like them. A lot. ... I don't even know what you're talking about. I've been up all night, man. I'm just trying to go back to sleep.
Lionel: You went back to sleep ... You're fine, just answer the question.
Tyler: Yeah, he's just trying to put that extra on it.
Jasper: It's your turn, you answer the question.
Lionel: Well, that's a tough question, and for me to answer that ... Jasper, you know the answer to the question, why are you pretending not to. ... I don't know. The show is just random.
Tyler: We wanted to have a show, right. Then I went to high school and I met this guy right here [points to Jasper] and I told him that we cool. That nigga ain't shit [points to Taco]. Then I met this nigga named Nick [Weidenfeld] who saw one of my shows. That nigga said it was good. Now we're here.
Jasper: I'm Jamaican.
Taco: Nick also produced that one movie, uh ... . It was called Titanic. He was one of the main producers of that movie. [Nick Weidenfeld did not produce Titanic].
Lionel, you did the "I like cheese skit" on the show ...
Lionel: No, it was him, and we're like cousins [points at Jasper].
Jasper: We're not cousins, say it again.
Lionel: We're cousins.
Jasper: Stop lying. It was him.
Lionel: I lie a lot.
Your face is covered in cheese in the preview, and it looked like you were in a whole lot of pain, man.
Lionel: Ugh, yeah. It burned a lot at the time, but I'm fine now.
Do you still like cheese after that?
Lionel: Yeah, I just ordered a cheese and chicken sandwich. I'm looking forward to it.
Tyler: I want to see where you make, fucking, that [points to the TV in the room which is playing an episode of The Regular Show]. It's like they don't want us to go over there, and see like some top-secret shit.
Taco: Fuck Ted Turner!
Tyler: My mom is a big fan of Adventure Time. ... Yo, I just realized that them niggas is like twenty something - Mordecai and Rigby. I always forget ... They be fuckin' up.
Taco: They ain't got no hope.
What did you think about your show last night?
Tyler: What show?
Your show at the Tabernacle - I was there so I didn't get to watch the premiere of Loiter Squad.
Tyler: Ha ha ... I have a tour bus, so I got to see it.
Jasper: I loved it! It made me happy! It was great! There was a part where I was doing stuff, and I was like "That's me on TV!" I'm so proud of myself.
Have you heard any criticism about Loiter Squad?
Jasper: Somebody said I look fat.
Lionel: Somebody said that I have small armpits, true story!
I haven't noticed your armpits being remarkably small ...
Lionel: Yeah, I never thought I had small armpits.
Jasper: I heard someone say that they're mad that it's not 30 minutes. They said, "I want to see more!" So I said, "Aight, I feel you, if you want to see my face some more ..."
Lionel: Maybe we should make a 30-minute special that's just your face ...
Tyler: My butt hole is very diverse.
Is that right?
Tyler: Yeah [nods his head slowly, still texting as though he's at the peak of writing the great American suspense novel].
Well, if you want to sit here and talk about your butt hole, we can talk about your butt hole. Does that sound like a good idea to you?
Tyler: Well, now I'm trying to think what did I mean when I said that, like do I let different races fuck me, or is it just that my butt hole is so open and wide that it's like a free-spirit.
That's what I was thinking ... The second option.
Jasper: [Whispers] Man, I have to poop so bad ...
Tyler: I have a boner.
Taco, you were the DJ for the show at the Tabernacle last night ...
Taco: Yeah, that shit sucked. I suck at that shit. It was so bad, and I feel so bad about it, and it's all my fault.
Really? Where was Syd tha Kid?
Taco: I don't know ... She was with Patrick. ... She had the flu, and I have the flu, and yeah ...
Jasper: Maybe you should stop kissing her. She's your sister.
Tyler: You kissed Syd?
Jasper, Taco, Lionel, you're touring with Odd Future, and you're not really part of the band, but you're part of the group? How does it all work?
Tyler: Oh, I got a fucking boner dogg, and it came from out of nowhere. I think it was this cat porn picture that I been looking at. It's getting bad, too [shows the photo on his phone around the table].
Jasper: I have always been in the band, nigga!
Taco: I been here longer than you have, nigga!
Jasper: I been a part of Odd Future since 2000, dogg. I've been in the band, but I'm not in the band. I was in there ... I mean, I'm not a rapper, but there's like 60 people asking for my picture, and not just us, we got homies at home on the block, posted up.
Tyler: Tell him we got guns, too.
Jasper: Yeah, we got guns too! Oh, and I said nigga on TV last night!
Taco: He did, he got to say the N word on TV.
Lionel: Yeah, but we only get 5 of them for the whole season.
Lionel: I don't know, but it sounded cool to say!
Tyler: Whoa ...
Jasper: I was like, "What the _____ are you looking at, nigga?" And they did not blink it out.
Loiter Squad airs Sundays at 11:30 p.m. on Adult Swim.
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