Yonkers (song)

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Yonkers tyler cover.jpg
Single by Tyler, The Creator
from the album Goblin
Released February 14, 2011 (2011-02-14)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2010
Length 4:11
Label XL
Writer(s) Tyler Okonma
Producer(s) Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator singles chronology
Music video
Music video on YouTube

"Yonkers" is a song by American hip 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".[1][2] The song was featured in the soundtrack to the video game Saints Row: The Third.


In the song, Tyler disses numerous artists, such as Hayley Williams, B.o.B and Bruno Mars. 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.[3] Ironically, Tyler praised the song, and initially did not think it was a diss track.[4] 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."[4]

Music video[edit]

Tyler, the Creator holding a cockroach which he then appears to eat in the music video

The music video for "Yonkers" was released on February 10, 2011 on the official Odd Future YouTube 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 taking off his shirt and realizing that his nose has started bleeding, before placing a noose around his neck and hanging himself.[5] 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,[6] and has over 86.2 million views on YouTube as of November 2016.[7]

On February 23, 2011, rapper Kanye West stated on Twitter that he thought the "Yonkers" video was the best of 2011.[8] The video earned Tyler the Best New Artist award at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as a nomination for Video of the Year (which lost to Katy Perry's "Firework").

Critical reception[edit]

"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."[9] The Guardian named it the third best song of 2011.[10] 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."[11] Pigeons and Planes named the single the twenty-first best song of 2011.[12] 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. [1] 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."[13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and produced by Tyler, The Creator (T. Okonma).

Digital download
No. Title Length
1. "Yonkers" 4:11
Promo CD
No. Title Length
1. "Yonkers" (radio edit) 4:12
2. "Yonkers" 4:12
Total length: 8:24

Charts and certifications[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Top 100 Songs of 2011". XXL. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Martin, Dan (11 May 2011). "Bruno Mars: Tyler, the Creator will have to wait in line to stab me". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  3. ^ "B.o.B., "No Future [Odd Future Diss]"". Hip Hop DX. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Goodman, William (10 May 2011). "Bruno Mars Responds to Tyler, the Creator's Dis". Spin. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  5. ^ - Yonkers (Music Video). YouTube. Retrieved on 9 May 2011.
  6. ^ Weiss, Jeff (February 14, 2011). "Odd Future's Tyler the Creator signs one-album deal with XL Recordings". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Tyler The Creator - Yonkers. YouTube (2011-02-10). Retrieved on 2013-08-18.
  8. ^ "Kanye West Says "Yonkers" is the Video of 2011". Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Kelly, Zach (14 February 2011). "Yonkers Review". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "The Best Songs of 2011". The Guardian. December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Suddath, Claire (7 December 2011). "Top 10 Songs: Tyler, the Creator, "Yonkers"". Time. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "P&P's Best Songs of the Year 2011". Pigeons and Planes. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  13. ^ Rolling Stone (December 2011). "50 Best Singles of 2011: Tyler, the Creator, 'Yonkers'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "2011-04-02 Top 40 Independent Singles Breakers Archive | Official Charts". UK Indie Breakers Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Tyler, The Creator – Chart history" Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 for Tyler, The Creator. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
  16. ^ "Heatseeker Songs: Sep 17, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  17. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Songs: Sep 17, 2011". Billboard. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  18. ^ "American single certifications – Tyler, the Creator – Yonkers". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH