"Yonkers" is a song by Americanhip hop artist and Odd Future member Tyler, The Creator, released as the lead single from his debut studio album Goblin. It was produced by Tyler, the Creator. The single was released digitally on February 14, 2011. The song received controversy due to its violent lyrics and numerous "disses", although it was critically acclaimed, landing on numerous year-end lists. Tyler also directed a music video for the single, which was also met with positive critical reception, giving Tyler the MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Numerous magazine publications noted "Yonkers" as Tyler, the Creator and Odd Future's breakout song. The late American rapper Capital Steez sampled it in his song "Negus", using the same opening line : "I'm a fucking walking paradox". The song was featured in the soundtrack to the video game Saints Row: The Third.
In the song, Tyler disses numerous artists, such as B.o.B, Bruno Mars and Hayley Williams. Tyler, the Creator also disses Mars in Game's song "Martians vs. Goblins", in which he and Lil Wayne are featured artists. In response, B.o.B released a similar diss track, entitled "No Future" that also references Tyler's group, Odd Future. Ironically, Tyler praised the song, and initially did not think it was a diss track. Bruno Mars, in response to the verse "stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus", said, "[Tyler] has to wait in line if he wants to stab me...[Tyler's] definitely not the first guy that's said something like that to me and he's not going to be the last."
The music video for "Yonkers" was released on February 10, 2011 on the official OFWGKTAYouTube channel.
The video is shot in black-and-white using a Perspective control lens. The video features Tyler handling and eating a cockroach and vomiting. The word "kill" is seen on his hand, along with a St. Peter's cross. It concludes with Tyler realizing that his nose has started bleeding, before placing a noose around his neck and hanging himself. The video was released excluding the third and final verse, as the extended version with the extra verse had not been released until four days after the video. It was, however, included on Goblin.
The song's music video has gone viral, and has over 78 million views on YouTube as of October 2015.
"Yonkers" received critical acclaim. Pitchfork awarding it with the 'Best New Music' award stating "'Yonkers' is not only the best thing any OF affiliate has produced to date, it's also the perfect distillation of what they do well."The Guardian named it the third best song of 2011. Claire Suddath of Time named "Yonkers" the eighth best song of 2011, describing it as "minimalistic rap" and "a piece of performance art", concluding that "'Yonkers' creates a thrilling sense of uneasiness that the music world hadn't seen since the early days of punk."Pigeons and Planes named the single the twenty-first best song of 2011.XXL named it the twenty-second best song of 2011, noting that "Yonkers", the single's video, and his performance of "Sandwitches" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, propelled him to stardom. Rolling Stone named the song the twenty-third best single of 2011, stating that Tyler "stabs Bruno Mars and disses Jesus", although "somehow, all the bad vibes are mesmerizing."