Tyler, Creator, Insider Forever on the Outside

In January last year, “Igor” from Tyler, The Creator won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Speaking to the press backstage, he expressed his dismay at the narrow ways black artists were celebrated at the Grammys, calling their nomination in the rap category for a deeply musically diverse album, “A backhanded compliment.”

But focusing on that comment ignored what he said on stage while receiving the award, which was that he was grateful for the support of his fans, because, he admitted, “I never felt completely accepted into rap.”

Blocked on both sides, Tyler nonetheless emerged victorious, an acknowledgment of the sheer strength of the vision he had built into the de facto producer for a decade. odd Future Crew. It was also a testament to the way he harnessed the power of the Internet and built a vision out of full fabric, selling it to millions, without much tinkering with the systems built to do so.

Still, the exclusion stings a bit. and the boisterous, sometimes rough, and relentlessly energetic “Call Me You Get Lost” – currently number 1 album In the country – there is a logical answer to both of those constraints. It continues to be as thorough a rap album as Tyler has released – rarely has he been so eager to show off his honesty. But it also demonstrates the pop potential of Tyler’s now-signature approach to hip-hop, the way his later Farrell embraces chords and melody, truly 1960s pop, French chanson and acoustics. In conversation with spirit and funk. A tauntingly good hip-hop album, or a rewiring of pop DNA: “Call Me If You Get Lost” has it both ways.

First, the bar. Part of the gulf that separates Tyler from the rest of the genre (in perception, at least) is how he has in the past sometimes ditched his lyrical prowess in favor of musical experimentation. When he leans toward rapping, as he does on this album, it’s still a refreshing shock.

Mostly, he is preoccupied with the lifestyle that success has afforded him, but even though the subject matter may be repeated – there are lots of Rolls-Royce mentions, lots of Passport discussions – he gives them the shock of the new. protects from. “You don’t understand, the fish is so fresh you can taste the sand,” he claims over the succulent “gust of hot air.” On the gloomy and stomping “Lumberjack”, he emphasizes the depth of his independence: “I own my companies, told them to keep loans.”

The album is structured in the essential way of a DJ drama set in the mid-2000s. gangsta grillz The mixtapes, in which the drama itself barks at each track, weaves between Tyler. Tyler’s revival of an aesthetic that was potentially creative for him is both a calculated nod to the hip-hop community that could not place him too early in his career, and the bloated-chestness of that era. A tweak to the energy, too. When Tyler is talking about keeping picnic blankets in the car, the friction of the drama is screaming “Gangsta Grizzlyzzzz”—it’s both a tribute and an interruption.

Similarly Tyler also arrived here for his production. “Lumberjack” is built on an ominous sample of horrorcore pioneers Gravedigaz, and “Vusianam” flirts with 1990s R&B with a sample of H-Town’s “Back Seat (Wit No Sheets).” Tyler is also eager to demonstrate how effortlessly he can integrate some of contemporary hip-hop’s signature vocalists, whether it’s the incredibly grim 42 Doug (“Lemonhead”) or the melodic tragic youngboy Never Broke Again ( “Vusianam”). And he pulls out surprisingly good guest verses from his elders: Pharrell Williams (“Juggernaut”) and Lil Wayne (“Hot Wind Blows”).

The play also has a second, parallel narrative, on “Call Me If You Get Lost”, which in places reads like two separate albums born out of the same circumstances – one about how reckless and privileged Tyler is. The success of has made him, and another about how all those booty doesn’t add up to much without the love.

eight and a half minutes long “Wilshire” where the two collide. It’s a shocking story about a man longing for something you can’t have (because they’re in a relationship with a friend of yours) that reads many things: an elegantly crafted story, a gut-wrenching one. Kick emotional excavation, a track with boom-dap urgency tempered by the wander-in-space effect. Tyler relies on feeling here, and it’s impressed and surprising: “They say, ‘Bros over hos,’ I’m like, ‘Mum, nah, hey’ / I’d rather hold your hand than do a nice handshake. “

He takes on a far more difficult and more frantic topic “Koro”: “My heart broke / Remembering I was rich so I bought me some new emo/And a new boat ’cause I wanted to cry at sea.”

These intersections of sexuality and anxiety are some of the best on this album. (Well, the title “Call Me If You Get Lost” reads as either a statement of generosity or a plea, depending on your lens.) Less emotionally ambiguous songs like “Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance” are generally less influential – Tyler thrives on discord.

A decade ago, discord was the culmination of his message. He was, in turn, a troll, an antagonist and outright offensive. He revisits that era on the hustle “Manifesto” Most unexpected twist on this album: “Before I got canceled Twitter with fingers / protest outside my show, I gave them the middle finger.”

But Tyler is all grown up now (30, to be exact). Behind those controversies, he built a peculiar empire that didn’t belong to a scene (probably because a scene wouldn’t belong to him). “Manifesto” is the rare moment on his list where Tyler expresses concern or regret for how he once presented the world. But he remains stubborn. While rapping about how politically speaking expectations haunt him, he reverts to his old point of view.

“I guess whatever I say, dog, I’m screwing up” [expletive] Up,” he says, “so I just say to these black kids, they should do what they want.” The lesson is that there was no lesson.

Tyler The Creator
“Call Me If You’re Lost”

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