An album review by Drew Larsen ’21
Before submerging oneself fully into the mysterious rambunctious rhythm and rhymes for which Tyler the Creator is infamous throughout the rap game, the listener must expect the unexpected in the new wave of aromatic 80’s hip hop reminiscent of Tyler the Creator. As we’ve seen in the past, Tyler can switch flow and rhythms throughout his music on a dime, giving each song its own unique style and message. As a artist this gives him a competitive curve over others; it’s as if each song is a new story. His versatile style is responsible for many trends throughout hip hop today. Recently Tyler has switched album tones; he went from a more bombastic rapping style with high tempo bars and erie lows which paired perfectly for a lively song to a chiller rhythm that appears to be more heartfelt. It’s almost is if Tyler’s music is a figurative way to chronicle the chapters of Tyler’s life as listeners progress through the albums. Each a new age is ushered in with mixed emotions the artist is experiencing. Albums put out are a reflection of his moods and the life he is living now, currently giving his music more of a pop/ rage factor.
With the not so distant release of Tyler’s last album, Flower Boy, we saw the artist mature more and more with every track. Such maturity and inner struggles within the album are perhaps due to the age of the artist, not to mention the struggles that one would face at anytime in life. Within Flower Boy we see his most constant stylistic record he has produced yet, later going on to become a critically acclaimed album. We also see possibly the greatest moment in his discography: Flower Boy constantly appeased fans with its variety of features and the fusion between each tracks. Many other uplifting factors in Flower Boy include its soul aspect and its beautiful effortless fusion with Tyler’s infamous lyrical rhythm. When all of these aspects came together, a beautiful album was born. Flower Boy served as a precursor to the completely different Igor, Tyler the Creator’s most recent album hitting streaming services everywhere on May 17, 2019.
Igor sees our hip hop anti- hero going forth with a new narrative and influence. We see the album Igor within a more exposed tone. On the record Tyler appears to come out of his shell more, in turn creating a new persona where Tyler uses the album as a vessel to rely many messages of heartbreak. Within Igor we see a transition into a more singing and spritely melody coupled with a dark underlying tone and platform in which Tyler uses to convey his messages. On Igor most fans wanted an original Tyler the Creator hip hop tribute, which we’ve seen Tyler stray away from steadily over time. This shift in tone we consistently see is what continues to keep his music fresh ad complex, not to mention features like Playboi Carti to add a uplifting note to the record. Igor often displays lighter instrumentals compared more to r&b and soul music. We also see reminiscent instrumentals from older time periods such as the 60’s and 70’s through the album and specifically on tracks like “A Boy is a Gun” and “I Don’t Love you Anymore.” Its rhythm and melodic change ups like this that add another layer of complexity to Tyler’s most recent album. As a whole Igor feels incomplete, as if it’s missing a conclusion to the madness within. We see many songs on the album that are rage- worthy but the throwback notes that we saw on Flower Boy have ceased to exist, leaving the record feeling a little dull/ incomplete. As the music community eagerly await a follow up album, Tyler the Creator’s tones and beats will continue to resonate through the community.