Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (2024)

  • Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (1)

    CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale

    There’s a handful of eyebrow-raising verses across Tyler, The Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST—particularly those from 42 Dugg, Lil Uzi Vert, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Pharrell and Lil Wayne—but none of the aforementioned are as surprising as the ones Tyler delivers himself. The Los Angeles-hailing MC, and one-time nucleus of the culture-shifting Odd Future collective, made a name for himself as a preternaturally talented MC whose impeccable taste in streetwear and calls to “kill people, burn sh*t, f*ck school” perfectly encapsulated the angst of his generation. But across CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, the man once known as Wolf Haley is just a guy who likes to rock ice and collect stamps on his passport, who might whisper into your significant other’s ear while you’re in the restroom. In other words, a prototypical rapper. But in this case, an exceptionally great one. (The 2023 Estate Sale version has eight tracks that weren’t on the original, including the single “DOGTOOTH” and features from Vince Staples and A$AP Rocky.)Tyler superfans will remember that the MC was notoriously peeved at his categoric inclusion—and eventual victory—in the 2020 Grammys’ Best Rap Album category for his pop-oriented IGOR. The focus here is very clearly hip-hop from the outset. Tyler made an aesthetic choice to frame CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST with interjections of sh*t-talking from DJ Drama, founder of one of 2000s rap’s most storied institutions, the Gangsta Grillz mixtape franchise. The vibes across the album are a disparate combination of sounds Tyler enjoys (and can make)—boom-bap revival (“CORSO”, “LUMBERJACK”), ’90s R&B (“WUSYANAME”), gentle soul samples as a backdrop for vivid lyricism in the Griselda mould (“SIR BAUDELAIRE”, “HOT WIND BLOWS”) and lovers rock (“I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE”). And then there’s “RUNITUP”, which features a crunk-style background chant, and “LEMONHEAD”, which has the energy of Trap or Die-era Jeezy. “WILSHIRE” is potentially best described as an epic poem. Giving the Grammy the benefit of the doubt, maybe they wanted to reward all the great rapping he’d done until that point. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, though, is a chance to see if they can recognise rap greatness once it has kicked their door in.

  • Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (2)

    IGOR

    IGOR

    From the outset of his fame—or, in his earliest years as an artist, infamy—Tyler, The Creator made no secret of his idolisation of Pharrell, citing the work the singer-rapper-producer did as a member of N.E.R.D as one of his biggest musical influences. The impression Skateboard P left on Tyler was palpable from the very beginning, but nowhere is it more prevalent than on his fifth official solo album, IGOR. Within it, Tyler is almost completely untethered from the rabble-rousing (and preternaturally gifted) MC he broke out as, instead pushing his singing voice further than ever to sound off on love as a life-altering experience over some synth-heavy backdrops.The revelations here are mostly literal. “I think I’m falling in love/This time I think it's for real,” goes the chorus of the pop-funk ditty “I THINK”, while Tyler can be found trying to "make you love me” on the R&B-tinged “RUNNING OUT OF TIME”. The sludgy “NEW MAGIC WAND” has him begging, “Please don’t leave me now,” and the album’s final song asks, “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”, but it’s hardly a completely mopey affair. “IGOR'S THEME”, the aforementioned “I THINK” and “WHAT'S GOOD” are some of Tyler’s most danceable songs to date, featuring elements of jazz, funk and even gospel. IGOR's guests include Playboi Carti, Charlie Wilson and Kanye West, whose voices are all distorted ever so slightly to help them fit into Tyler's ever-experimental, N.E.R.D-honouring vision of love.

  • Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (3)

    Flower Boy

    Flower Boy

    100 Best Albums Tyler, the Creator had always peddled in the personal: Even when he was the enfant terrible of underground hip-hop, his most provocative and irony-soaked albums still provided open windows into his anxiety and self-loathing. However, his fourth album, 2017’s Flower Boy, was the moment Tyler fully embraced his role as bloodletting diarist. The introspective album stripped away the shock and fully embraced expressions of lovesickness and loneliness, growing and blooming like the flowers that dot the art and lyrics. He emerges as a pan-genre auteur, as likely to spit rhymes as croon in a Pharrell-ian falsetto, landing somewhere at the intersection of hip-hop, neo-soul and chilled jazz. The metamorphosis resulted in his first platinum album and his first Grammy nomination, beginning a thrilling second chapter to his career.Lead single “911 / Mr. Lonely” is almost confessional in its self-examination, with Tyler musing on his trademark extroversion being a coping mechanism, buying cars to fill a void in his life, and basically yearning for someone to share it all with: “I’m the loneliest man alive/But I keep on dancing to throw ’em off,” he raps. “Boredom” is a more immediate look at seclusion, and “November” tackles a laundry list of insecurities over lush synths. “A lot of the songs just have questions, it’s just like, ‘How am I feeling today? What if I go poor again? What if it doesn’t work?’” Tyler said. “And then that’s how a lot of the songs just happened.”Vulnerable love songs like “See You Again” and “Glitter” had people speculating about his sexuality (he came out as bisexual shortly after the album’s release), but regardless of the specifics, they are both evocative looks at infatuation that recall Erykah Badu and Outkast. “Garden Shed”—part Stevie, part D’Angelo—features rubbed-raw guitar and lyrics about holding a secret inside, with Estelle singing lines like “Don’t kill a rose before it could bloom/Fly, baby, fly, out the cocoon.”In many ways, Flower Boy was prescient about where music was going as a whole, thanks to early appearances from emerging bedroom-pop star Rex Orange County and future hitmakers like Steve Lacy and Kali Uchis. Though Tyler surrounds himself with a packed guest list of friends (Frank Ocean), heroes (Pharrell Williams) and rap superstars (A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Schoolboy Q), Flower Boy is still a deeply personal statement from a one-of-a-kind artist.

  • Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (4)

    Wolf

    Wolf

    The Odd Future ringleader and serial provocateur gets real on his second studio album, though he hasn’t abandoned his mischievous ways. Wolf channels the Los Angeles rapper’s angst and dark humor into a wry, warped therapy session: Tyler explores his strained relationship with his dad on the murky, clattering “Jamba” and the death of his grandmother on the jazzy finale “Lone”. The album’s sprawling yet cohesive centrepiece is the clattering suite “PartyIsntOver/Campfire/Bimmer”, on which Frank Ocean and Laetitia Sadier soften Tyler’s sharp edges.

Tyler, The Creator on Apple Music (2024)
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