Tyler, The Creator blossoms in his fourth studio album – planting seeds from his previous shortcomings to create something wholesome and complete.
I would be lying to you to say I’ve been listening to Mr. Creator since his debut album Goblin, in 2011. In truth, his work never struck a chord with me, I often grimaced at his out-pace-beats and harsh melodies – it was almost too unique for my own preferences. Although tastes may change and we can learn to adapt to new styles, that wasn’t the case for me when listening to this album. It immediately had me pouting my lips, snapping my fingers and bouncing my head in an unexpected delight.
Despite my lack of knowledge of Tyler, The Creator’s work, his profile isn’t completely alien to me. His affiliation with fellow Odd Future members Syd and Frank Ocean have often led me to features as I, amongst many others, tirelessly searched for the ever-elusive Frank Ocean vocals that hadn’t yet graced my ears. Now, I find myself in a predicament, as my wish to see him live is now heightened, despite it being almost impossible. Why? Well, a few years back he managed to get himself banned from the UK by the, then Foreign Minister, Theresa May, diminishing any potential near future visits from the Californian… yeah, a slight issue that one.
The album itself emits utopic, hazy, sunset vibes through lyrics reminiscing and reflecting on his and his peer’s hedonistic youth. Garden Shed is one of the stand-out tracks from this effort. The gentle strum of a stripped back guitar partnered with the smooth and wistful vocals from American Boy’s Estelle and Rex Orange County, concluded with a single verse by an in-form Tyler flow, is everything you want from a mid-album song. This style runs through the entire piece, it paints a perfect picture in your minds-eye without the aid of visuals or explanation. The lack of computer generated and unnatural, distorted beats seen in many competitors’ work is extremely refreshing, it blends a bit of the old and a bit of the new alike. If you skim the album, jumping through each track, you will struggle to find a continued repetitive beat throughout one song. Tyler toys with and revels in different styles to piece together something that truly works. 911/Mr. Lonely combines two waves, both hip-hop/RnB but completely juxtaposing – showing not only versatility but maturity and knowledge of his industry, he’s clearly rejoicing in his own works whilst broadening his own flair.
Tyler, The Creator and his partners used in this project, including Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, Lil’ Wayne and A$AP Rocky, have created something inspired – it hasn’t been forced or expected, but it feels natural. It’s a culmination of differing styles to produce music that is worth concentrating on, not to be played in the background or with little attention. On the night of release, Tyler tweeted; “im bout to be annoying on this promo for this album idc its too good i need the world to hear this shit every 30 minutes tell someone”, and in truth, the album deserves this kind of recognition, it’s not to be swept under the carpet as another waste of ingenuity.
A huge congratulation is in order to Tyler, The Creator – four albums in, this could easily have been a content filler or money maker. It’s not. It’s a large step forward in his career and benchmark for others around him. As I sit staring out at the gloomy British weather, I can only dream of the inspirations that prompted this piece and can appreciate them through listening to the album, Mr. Creator has gained a new fan in myself.