Tyler, The Creator, isn't sold on CP3
The associations between hip hop and the NBA are well known and intense. NBA All-Star weekend, for example, is always something of a class reunion for the biggest names in rap. Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber and Allen Iverson all cut rap albums at some point, and a handful of rappers (most famously Master P) have famously tried out for NBA teams. It's a full-fledged thing.
And then along comes Tyler, The Creator.
For any not familiar, Tyler (real last name, Okonma) is the Los Angeles-based frontman of the music outfit Odd Future, and his music has achieved worldwide acclaim (and controversy) despite a lack of pop radio exposure. Tyler raps and produces and won Best New Artist at the 2011 MTV Music Awards.
So that's Tyler, and Monday night he was minding his Tyler business on Twitter. That typically involves a lot of ALL CAPS enthusiasm about music or bodily functions, making fun of mainstream rap culture and insulting Bruno Mars. But he kept seeing references to "CP3" on his timeline and he was curious.
"WHAT DOES CP3 MEAN?" he wrote on Twitter. "I JUST SEEN FOUR PEOPLE TWEET THAT."
He was immediately hit with an avalanche of incredulity from the Twitteratti. "CP3" is what people call Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul, of course. How could he not know that?
"CHRIS PAUL OK," he wrote. "I DONT WATCH BASKETBALL SO I DIDNT KNOW BUT OK SICK I GUESS."
He further explained that he is not a sports fans, saying, "SORRY I PLAYED INSTRUMENTS AND STUFF."
This was an ideal Tyler, The Creator event. All along he has had this kind of self-aware, ironic, countercultural posture going. Some of his music comes across as satirical, and the target of that satire is hip hop culture as we have known it for the last 10-15 years.
In other words, if anybody in hip hop was going to confess ignorance about an All-Star NBA player who plays in his city, it was going to be Tyler, The Creator, who in all likelihood quickly went back to playing instruments and stuff.