Tyler, the Creator, a hip hop artist who performed last Thursday at SXSW, was arrested today in the Austin airport on charges of recklessly encouraging potentially dangerous behavior, in other words he tried to start a riot. The rapper, whose originally scheduled show on Wednesday evening had been cancelled when guests waiting in line to see him were mowed down by a rampaging driver, had caused some trouble for SXSW employees at his shows second attempt. Apparently he instructed the crowd to foolishly break through the employee made barrier that was keeping the audience within fire code limitations. The aggravated SXSW crowd eagerly heeded the artist’s irresponsible instructions, which have now imprisoned Tyler, the Creator in Texas jail for instigating potential anarchy in downtown Austin.
The night of Tyler’s original set was certainly a rough patch on the otherwise wildly successful week for the SXSW music and arts festival. When Rashad Charjuan Owens careened his car through a crowd and killed two people, injuring 23 others, it seemed a hiccup in the festive fun that would not be extinguished. Owens has since been charged with capital murder, and on top of that now Tyler, the Creator is also behind bars.
The show on Wednesday obviously never took place, with all the mangled pedestrians strewn across the stained sidewalks, it would have been impossible to proceed as scheduled. Instead, Tyler played the next night to a sold out and claustrophobic crowd. When he saw the excluded fans behind the staff’s very deliberate barricade, he unwisely yelled “push through” into his microphone repeatedly. Because of a momentarily lapse in judgement, most likely derived from the adrenaline of being onstage, Tyler, the Creator is now facing imprisonment for the SXSW anarchy that followed his instigations.
SXSW officials say they collected witness statements after the show, which they then passed on to local authorities to create the warrant that was eventually used to detain the hip hop star moments before his departure from Texas. He now resides in a local jail on a $3,500 bond. While a disastrous riot never actually ensued, a lucky outcome considering the devastation of the night before, SXSW officials stand behind their pending charges against him.
Because of the undeniable fact that no irreparable damage was done, even though there were a few reported incidents of trampled bystanders, Tyler is assumably only facing a hefty fine. The point seems to be intended more a lesson for next time than a serious unforgivable offense. In all honesty, SXSW officials must be thrilled with the gargantuan amount of headlines the festival has snagged in the last week, ranging from Lady Gaga getting vomited on, to Seth Rogen’s stoner directory and derisive Justin Bieber remarks, to Jimmy Kimmel’s unending antics. Of course the somber headlines have made their appearance as well, with both the drunk driving slayer and now Tyler heading that department.
Tyler remains in custody at present moment, and only time will tell whether or not the Austin Police Department will be making an example out of him. Either way, Tyler, the Creator, after a tumultuous SXSW affair, sits imprisoned temporarily for foolishly instigating a riot and quite possibly total anarchy. SXSW rages on uninterrupted in the meantime.
By Brandon Duringer