Tyler the Creator’s past projects all have a similar sound- they lean towards an alternative, jazzy and satirical sound. Over the years, we’ve witnessed his metamorphosis as a musician and watched his artistry become more and more commercial. Although past experimental projects such as Cherry Bomb and Wolf stray completely away from the conventional status quo of Hip- Hop, his recent album, Flower Boy, felt focused and clear.
Over the past year, Tyler, the Creator released several songs and snippets on Youtube and various platforms. Potato Salad, 435 and OKRA stand as just some of the songs that feel somewhat reminiscent of his discography, but they also feel alien to his rap style. Tyler fans have waited patiently for the past two years for this album. No one knew what to expect, but it’s here. And she (IGOR carries big female energy) is perfect.
The album opens up with “IGOR’S THEME”, a clear and concise sound. It rivets and bubbles with a cadescent cadence. A harsh buzz, similar to a bee’s hum, greets the listener. Within seconds, the trajectory of the song morphs into a rock esque sound. The chorus, sung by Lil Uzi, projects visuals of rough terrain and an impending adventure.
“EARFQUAKE” carries similar sounds as Cherry Bomb. The song speaks of a love interest in Tyler’s life. The lyrics describe his love as someone he would risk it all for. It would never feel like a true Tyler album if there was no feature from Uncle Charlie Wilson. In a prior project, WIlson made an iconic debut on “FUCKING YOUNG/ PERFECT”. Even Playboi Carti’s verse felt smooth. In fact, it felt like a perfect transition into the next record.
“I THINK” projects electric vibes reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and “Beyond”. Tyler gives us a house / electric vibe that feels completely opposite of his typical whimsical sound. Although this song lacks heavy use of lyrics, the music creates an entire landscape out of production. Tyler usually depends so much on clever word play to provide bulk in his music, but the fact that he created an entire landscape of imagery is impressive. Kali Uchis’s feature adds icing on the top.
With a sample by Run D.M.C’s “Hit It Run”, “RUNNING OUT OF TIME” paints a more clear picture of Tyler’s love interest that he introduced in “EARFQUAKE”. Regardless of the overshadowing theme of love, the song allows an open field of interpretation for the listener. From the simplistic synths and repetitive lyrics, anyone can adapt this song to their lives.
“NEW MAGIC WAND” channels one of his earlier album’s, “Goblin”, energy via aggressive sonics, but he provides a glossy transition towards the end of the song to segway into a boy is a gun. With background vocals from Solange, “A BOY IS A GUN” begins with a heavy beat. The lyrics “You so motherfucking dangerous” enact feelings of nostalgia- of times where he was in love with a certain person.
Tyler Gregory Okonma completely bodied “PUPPET”. With one word he whists us away into his own feelings of lonesomeness. He talks about being immersed and subjected into love.
Most of Tyler’s fan base are white teens who paint their nails black to be edgy, wear BROCKHAMPTON merch from 2016 and are unfamiliar with the power impact of hip- hop. The record, “WHAT’S GOOD” might be what exposes them to the things hip- hop created- rock and emo tunes. Black rappers ran so white boys in skinny jeans could partake in screamo.
Like “I THINK”, “GONE GONE/ THANK YOU” and “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE” leans toward a sound that is testament of Tyler’s evolution. The clear conceptualization behind these two songs are reminiscent of Flower Boy. Its theme felt solid and never swayed from the point. “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” requires a buckled seat belt and a box of tissues. Its jazzy sound and simplistic lyrics hit right at home for whatever circumstance you may find yourself in .
This album stands as a representation of his transformation as an artist. He went from consistent experimentation with his art, to producing concise records that have an overarching theme.
Cheers to Tyler for being himself. This album is a representation of his evolution. Rate: 8/10 Overall, IGOR sounds FIREEEE.