For his American Music Awards performance, Tyler The Creator popped out from backstage with a puffer jacket and his customary ushanka, rapping “Massa” in front of a house set in a snowy tableau. For some reason, he was wearing shorts. Unlike some of his previous performances, this one was relatively muted, as he stayed pretty much stationary in front of the door before stepping out into the snow, adding more and more passion to his performance while snow fell from the sky. And when the performance was done, he hopped on the back of a Vespa and cruised off the stage, as coolly as he entered.
Cardi introducing Tyler the creator tonight at the #AMAs pic.twitter.com/zvpdPQuiiq
— Cardi B News (@CardiNewss) November 22, 2021
Tyler The Creator’s big year kicked off in June with the release of the initial teasers for his new album, Call Me If You Get Lost. After putting up billboards promoting a phone number with a special, constantly-changing message from Tyler (which turned out to be the album’s interludes), he shared the first video, for “Lumberjack,” two weeks later.
Tyler the Creator performs “MASSA” at the 2021 #AMAs pic.twitter.com/x65B1psB2l
— Rap Alert (@rapalert4) November 22, 2021
He quickly followed up with a flurry of new videos and comedic sketches, including videos for “Wusyaname,” “Juggernaut,” and “Corso,” while his performance at the 2021 BET Awards solidified the hype for the album. Upon its release, it was critically acclaimed — you can read Uproxx’s own review here — and became his second album to debut at no. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Ok so WTF did I just watch??? #TylerTheCreator rode off on a Vespa…I have more questions than answers… 🧐 #AMAs pic.twitter.com/SI0BsuH6UX
— Nobody Really (@MackTenn74) November 22, 2021
Tyler also expanded his directorial portfolio with a music video for Maxo Kream, “Big Persona” (on which he also rapped), and a hilarious commercial for Converse that brought together NBA legend Bill Walton with gangsta-rap futurist Vince Staples. He certainly earned his slot on the AMAs’ appearance setlist, and his performance more than justified the show’s faith in him.
Watch Tyler The Creator’s AMAs performance above.