Tyler, The Creator is a special character in my book. Tyler’s music can be pretty hard to digest because his lyrics are vulgar, the images he depicts are grotesque, and everything else he produces, such as his tv show “Loiter Squad” and segments on Viceland, have references to genitalia and controversial race issues. Tyler’s style cannot be understood by everybody, but if you get it, then you really get it.
There are many different things about his newest album, “Flower Boy”, that has made it an instant classic. From Tyler supposedly “coming out”, the featured artists on this piece and the overall sound, this album takes the cake in terms of 2017 collections to be remembered.
Are You Gay Fam?
During the time Tyler, The Creator was about to release “Flower Boy”, his lyrics for the song “Ain’t Got Time” got leaked and raised questions about the artist’s sexuality. This turned into a huge discussion on whether Tyler was actually bisexual, heterosexual or something else. Can I point out that Tyler The Creator has been ‘coming out of the closet’ for years and nobody has noticed it? A story by Independent proves this, as you can read at this link.
As proved on “Flower Boy”, regardless of Tyler’s sexuality, his beats still go hard and his flow streams out of his mouth as clear and crisp as a waterfall. The best thing to come from critics focusing so hard on Tyler’s sexual identity is the attention to the possibility of a black rapper being anti-homophobic and even possibly gay. It allowed strangers to peek around the corner due to their curiosity from the headlines just to see what an amazing hit Tyler’s album is.
Tyler’s choice to be so open about his sexuality in his music is a new blessing. No line exemplifies Tyler’s openness better than “Next line, I’ll have em’ like woah, I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004” from the song “Ain’t Got Time”. Through one sentence, he was able to prove to listeners how this album is different than his past albums. With “Flower Boy”, consumers are able to experience a more exposed and softer side of Tyler, The Creator, opposed to his more hardcore tracks.
Who Does He Know?
With features like Frank Ocean, Jaden Smith, A$AP Rocky, Lil’ Wayne and Kali Uchis, Tyler knew that his new album was in good hands. Tyler will admit that “Flower Boy” was written and produced solely by him. Still, without the fruitful input of a legend such as Frank Ocean on songs like “Foreword”, “Where This Flower Blooms” and “911/Mr. Lonely” or the epic dynamic between Tyler’s rough, heavy rap voice and Jaden Smith’s youthful tone, this album would not have gathered as much attention.
With a mix of slower sensual sounds and hard rap, Tyler, The Creator’s “Flower Boy” is a diverse album. Out of 14 songs, only five are free of featured artists. Each song is heavily influenced by the artist that it features.
How Does It Sound?
I believe that this album is the most pure and true set of songs from Tyler to date. “Flower Boy” puts Tyler, The Creator on the map for many new listeners. Now, his name and reputation hews more towards the mainstream current then the underground circuit where he flourished, but this change is good.
Just to give a small taste of the album’s vibe, here are 3 songs from “Flower Boy” reviewed in depth.
“See You Again” – This song starts off very whimsical with a voice that sounds like Sampha’s vocals on Drake’s song “Too Much”. The artist uses a corny pickup line in place of a clever lyric, “Wonder if you look both ways when you cross my mind.” Kali Uchis’ gorgeous, soulful pipes sprinkle over the track like chocolate syrup on a plain ice cream base. Without Uchis, this song might not pass for the beautiful love song that it is. She adds a sweet touch that mixes in with the trumpets and bells used in the recording.
“Who Dat Boy” – This song represents Tyler’s raunchy side in music and creativity. The intro creeps up on you like the theme from “Jaws”, and when the bass finally drops, it keeps escalating from there with an intimidating slope. A$AP Rocky brings a sophisticated type of laid-back swagger to his verse. If you are truly curious of the quality of this song, imagine the sound of a motorcycle revving up and you can hear the bass line throughout the chorus. This song is well needed on the project as a whole because it balances the fluff out from Tyler’s lighter side of “Flower Boy”. What makes this song so great is its rhythm with a bass so deep your car will fly when you bump it.
“Boredom” – Every teenager who finds themselves free of responsibility and things to do can relate to this single. “Boredom got a new best friend” is the ultimate sing-along line to go with this loopy track filled with dream-like tendencies in rhythm and sound. The background “ooo’s” and “ahh’s”, the soft drum beat, and the interlooping synth keys complement Tyler’s lyrics, and create a melodic symphony that sounds like it was invented in the clouds.
As described in these three songs, every track on the album has its own set of unique qualities that make it great to Tyler The Creator’s logic. Aside from the vulgarity, his messages and clever lyrical style overrides the profanity. This is Tyler’s most manifold album to date. It is your responsibility to check out each one and find out if it is the right kind of sound for you.