This album was released on May 17th this year. I’m really not sure how I’m gonna feel about this one. Flower Boy was my favorite Hip Hop project of 2017, and I’d definitely consider myself a fan of Tyler, although I’m not as enthusiastic about him as I was in 2011. With that said, Flower Boy was easily his best album to date, and frankly, I really don’t think he’ll be able to surpass it with this one. Based on what I’ve seen people saying about this project, I really don’t think I’m gonna like it. Apparently, there’s minimal rapping, and Tyler is singing throughout most of the album. I have absolutely no desire to hear Tyler the Creator sing. It was tolerable on Flower Boy, but it wasn’t the main focus there. He only did it on a few hooks or a bridge here and there. I don’t know if I’ll be able to take a full album of that though. I’m also a little worried by some of the features. The first two tracks have Lil Uzi Vert & Playboi Carti. I’m hoping they have very insignificant contributions. Also, this isn’t that big of an issue, but I’m so f****** tired of artists capitalizing every letter in the titles of their albums and the songs on them. It’s so played out at this point. Another thing that p***** me off is the lack of features listed on each track. I think Travis Scott started that trend, and it’s annoying as f***. One more thing; Tyler posted this image on Twitter right before the album came out.
One of my newly discovered pet peeves is when artists give me instructions for listening to their music as if I’ve never listened to an album before. As soon as I saw this s***, I was immediately reminded of those pretentious a** intros to XXXTENTACION’s albums. The most eye-roll inducing part was when he said: “Don’t go into this expecting any album.” I don’t think I have to explain why I think that’s dumb. Anyway, I’m going into this album with low expectations lol. Hopefully, I’m pleasantly surprised.
1. IGOR’S THEME
As a lot of other people have pointed out, the way this track starts sounds very similar to the opening of XXX by Danny Brown. I really love this beat. According to the Genius, Lil Uzi Vert is singing the hook. It doesn’t really sound like him to me though. The singing’s not that great, but it gets the job done. I like it. There isn’t any actual rapping on this track. The production is fantastic though. The actual melody that’s being sung sounds really f****** good. S***, man. I might actually end up loving this album after all. This production is actually amazing. The song just ended. Okay, yeah. This s*** is f****** awesome. I don’t really have any issues with it. It would’ve been cool to hear someone actually rap over this, but the melody of the hook is really nice, and the production is superb. This s*** is dope af.
Awww s***. Once again, this production is excellent. Ohhh… F***, man. Tyler’s singing on this hook is really weak. Jesus. Honestly, it’s almost comedic how weak this singing is. It doesn’t even sound like he’s trying. He’s using a voice synthesizer. This literally sounds like a joke. I wish someone who could actually sing would remix this. Thankfully, the production is so fantastic that I can still enjoy the song. It sounds a lot better once Charlie Wilson hops in to help Tyler out too. Playboi Carti’s verse was really bad. It’s been a long time since I actually heard something that can legitimately be described as “mumble rap.” I honestly thought mumble rap was dead because Young Thug doesn’t even really do it anymore. I could actually only understand like 2 or 3 lines though. He thankfully doesn’t have a large enough presence to ruin the song. I didn’t mind him too much. Overall, I like the song. The production is really what makes it worth coming back to for me, along with Charlie Wilson’s singing. Tyler’s singing was pretty terrible, and same goes for Playboi Carti’s verse. They weren’t bad enough to ruin it though. I thought this was good, but nowhere near as good as the previous track.
3. I THINK
The production on this track is really great. The mixing is kinda f***** up though. It’s actually really f***** up. The drums are way too loud. Tyler’s actually rapping for the first time on this track. This reminds me of Cherry Bomb a lot just because it’s hard to hear what Tyler’s actually saying. His flow is nothing special. It’s not terrible though. It’s fine. It gets the job done. The hook is super simplistic. It’s fine. The longer I listen to this song the less impressed I am by the production. It’s not really… I mean, it’s cool. It’s just not amazing or anything. It actually kinda sounds like something I would’ve heard on Watch the Throne to be honest. Solange’s vocals sound decent. The way the production kinda switches up during the bridge is awesome. The bridge is easily the best part of this song. So far this album is far less interesting than Flower Boy lyrically. Actually, I’d say this is Tyler’s least interesting album lyrically period so far. This is only the third track though. Things might get better. Anyway, I like this song. It’s probably my least favorite track so far, but I enjoyed it to some extent. It’s cool.
4. EXACTLY WHAT YOU RUN FROM YOU END UP CHASING
This is a short bulls*** interlude with some words from Jerrod Carmichael. I don’t see why this was its own track because it’s literally only 15 seconds long. They could’ve easily just tacked this onto the end of the previous track, or the beginning of the next one. I’m not really a fan of Jerrod Carmichael. I’ve never seen any of his standup, but I’ve seen a few episodes of his TV show, and it was pretty terrible. Anyway, I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with this track. I’m never gonna listen to it again, but it doesn’t really hurt the overall album at all.
5. RUNNING OUT OF TIME
The production on this track is really phenomenal. I also really like the actual melody that Tyler’s singing on the first verse. The issue is his performance. If someone else who was actually a decent singer sang this melody it would sound amazing. Tyler’s voice is just really weak though. It sounds way too amateurish. He should’ve let Frank Ocean handle this one. He really could’ve just done what some producers do and only let the features do the vocals. I would’ve been fine with him only doing the beats. I don’t know if that’s been done before. People like Statik Selektah always put a bunch of rappers over their beats, but I don’t know if an album has been done like that with R&B and Soul features. That’d be interesting. Anyway, Tyler’s singing on the first verse sucks, but the production is amazing. The simplistic hook is fine. The way the beat evolves before the second verse is awesome. The mixing isn’t as bad on this track as it was on the previous track. Tyler’s actually rapping on the second verse. It sounds like he’s rapping directly to a closeted gay dude who’s in a relationship with a woman.
I need her out the picture
Take your mask off
Stop lyin’ for these n*****
Stop lyin’ to yourself
I know the real you
It’s really simplistic and straightforward lyrically, but I think that works to its benefit. I like the verse. This is definitely one of the better songs in my opinion. It’s still nowhere near as good as the opening song, but I love the production and the melody. I just wish someone with a better voice was singing it. I still f*** with the song though. This is dope.
6. NEW MAGIC WAND
Oh f****** s***. The beat on this track is hard as f***. Tyler’s singing on the intro isn’t too bad. He’s singing in a slightly lower register, so it’s more tolerable. It’s still not great, but compared to other tracks this is nice. Man, the production on this album is really f****** good. I’m not crazy about the repetitive hook, but it’s not too bad. The lyrics on this album are definitely starting to get more interesting. The way he’s singing about being frustrated by this closeted dude is pretty cool. It sounds like they’re secretly in a relationship with each other. Tyler actually raps for the final verse of the song. It’s pretty good. It’s not amazing or anything, but it was cool. I think this is another good song. Again, it’s nowhere near as good as the opening track. It’s far from the worst song though. I think it’s dope.
7. A BOY IS A GUN
The hook on this track is alright. The beat’s pretty nice. Tyler’s thankfully rapping on this track instead of singing a lot. The first verse was cool. He sounds good on this second verse too. His flow is solid. Nothing about this song really stands out much to me to be honest. I am enjoying it to some extent though. It’s definitely not bad. The piano on the outro is fantastic. I don’t really have any issues with the song. It’s a cool track. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the more popular songs from the album. It doesn’t stand out to me personally though. I like it, but it’s far from a favorite of mine. It’s good though.
I think this is another fan favorite. Or maybe people were just hyping it up because it has Kanye on it. Tyler’s rapping on the first verse of this song. Honestly, this album has a lot more rapping than I thought it would. People made it seem like he only rapped like once or twice on the whole project. His flow was actually pretty nice. That was a dope verse. The lyrics are still about being obsessed over someone. He goes on to question whether he’s really in control or if he’s being manipulated by the person in question, hence the title of the song. The mixing’s kinda rough on this track. I’m not crazy about this hook. It’s not bad. It just doesn’t really do much for me. Kanye sounds decent in the background though. His actual verse was pretty much mumble rap. It’s clear that he didn’t really have an idea of what to say. He’s doing what he did on Ghost Town where he kinda just slurred his words and mumbled through a few lines because he didn’t actually have anything to say. I definitely would’ve preferred if he wasn’t on this track at all. It doesn’t ruin the song for me. This song is cool. Again, it’s not one of my favorites. I enjoyed it to some extent, but it’s nothing special. I do like it though. It’s solid.
9. WHAT’S GOOD
The beat on this track is pretty awesome. The first verse from Tyler was awesome too. Yeah, there’s definitely a lot more rapping than I thought there’d be. He sounds awesome on this s***. I love the energy. The hook is awesome too. This s*** is hard as f***. It has my favorite line on the whole album so far.
Hard to believe in God when there ain’t no mirrors around
The sound I made when I heard that line was similar to that of a steamboat. This s*** is awesome. This is definitely a favorite of mine. I like the way the beat switches up about halfway through the song. This s*** is hard as F***. The uncredited refrain from slowthai is really simplistic, but it sounds cool over this beat. Tyler snapped on that final verse. This s*** is awesome. Again, I don’t like it quite as much as the first song. This s*** is awesome though. I love it. It’s dope af.
10. GONE, GONE / THANK YOU
Oh boy… This singing. It’s not good. Tyler’s using a voice synthesizer. He sounds like a 5-year-old. The melody itself isn’t too bad. I could see Kevin Abstract or Frank Ocean singing this. That’d be great. The production is really good. The uncredited hook from Cee-Lo Green is really nice too. At this point in the album it’s clear that Tyler is realizing the relationship he was hoping for isn’t gonna work out.
I just hope to God she got good taste
Could put you on some s*** you never seen
Could play a couple songs that you could dance to
I hope you know she can’t compete with me
It’s actually really similar to Flower Boy. It’s almost the same story. Tyler’s singing sounds really bad, but it’s not wack enough to completely ruin the song for me. I really love the production. The way it switches up around the three-minute mark is really nice. Tyler raps on the third verse. So he’s been rapping on most of the tracks. I’m kind of annoyed that people were acting like he barely rapped at all. The only tracks so far that he didn’t rap on are the first two. The second one had rapping from someone else though. Granted, it wasn’t good rapping, but it was still rapping. Anyway, the third verse is really dope. The production on the THANK YOU portion of this track is pretty cool. Tyler’s singing is so bad though. However, it’s not intolerable. The production and lyrics are enough to make me like it.
Thank you for the love
Thank you for the joy
But I don’t ever wanna fall in love again
I’m sure everyone’s felt that way at some point. Being in love sucks. Anyway, I like the song overall. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I really like the production and the lyrics, and Tyler’s rapped verse. This is pretty good.
11. I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE
Of course, Tyler is rapping again. I’m so confused. Why were people saying this isn’t a Hip Hop album? He’s been rapping on almost every track so far. Yeah, he’s singing more, but that doesn’t cancel out the rapping. I have a super nerdy and obscure reference to make. Y’all ever heard of a game called Left 4 Dead? It was a first-person shooter for the X-Box 360 in which you fought zombies. In Left 4 Dead 2, there were physical weapons like frying pans and actual swords that you could fight zombies with, but the guns were still there. It was still primarily a first-person shooter. Guns are to Left 4 Dead 2 as rapping is to IGOR. I hope y’all understand what I’m trying to say. Sorry for that nerdy a** analogy. Anyway, the first verse from Tyler on this song is cool, and I’m actually really into the concept behind this album. The story is interesting even though it’s so similar to that of Flower Boy. Tyler’s vocals on the hook are bizarre, but they’re not too bad, and the uncredited vocals from Solange sound great. I really like the bridge on this song a lot too. The way the beat kinda switches up for the second verse is great. Again, the mixing is really rough. The background vocals from Solange completely drown out Tyler’s rapping. This is the shortest song on the album aside from the interlude. It’s pretty good though. I like the production and Tyler’s rapping. The vocals from Solange sounded good too. Tyler’s singing on the hook sucked, but it didn’t ruin the song. This is another good track.
12. ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?
I really love the production on this track. It sounds fantastic. Tyler’s singing actually sounds solid on this hook. I don’t know why he didn’t sing in this lower register that he’s using here on the rest of the album. This is way more tolerable than that other stuff. Not that it was unbearable on other tracks. This is definitely one of the better tracks on the album in my opinion though. It’s not amazing or anything, but I like it. This is one of three songs that doesn’t feature any rapping from Tyler at all. It’s a really good track though. I like it a lot. The title of the track pretty much tells you all you need to know about the content. I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say that trying to force the friendship to stay alive probably wouldn’t work out. It never did for me at least. Anyway, I f*** with this track. It’s dope.
This album is really good. I don’t think it’s trash like some other people did. I’m not super disappointed. I’m pretty satisfied. However, I also don’t think it’s amazing or one of the best albums of the year at all either. It’s a very flawed album. With that said, there weren’t any songs that I didn’t enjoy at all. In terms of enjoyability alone, it’s on par with Goblin for me. This one’s far more consistent to me, but that one had higher highs. Wolf & Flower Boy are much better in my opinion, but this is definitely miles ahead of Cherry Bomb, and I’d take it over Bastard too. Obviously I already talked about how this definitely is a Hip Hop album. I probably wouldn’t have gone in with low expectations if people didn’t act like this was his “Awaken, My Love!” I really only had one main gripe with this project, and it was Tyler’s singing. It was tolerable though. It’s not Tyler the Creator’s version of Supermarket. I thought that that’s what it was gonna be. You know what the interesting thing is though? Logic is definitely a better singer than Tyler. I guess that just goes to show how much more skilled Tyler is as an overall artist. Anyway, I like the album a lot. I think it’s very good. I wouldn’t use the word “amazing” or even “great.” It’s very good though. Sonically, to me it kinda sounds like Cherry Bomb, but good. This what Cherry Bomb should have been. I’m just talking about the actual music. Obviously the lyrics aren’t too similar. Sonically it’s more like Cherry Bomb, and lyrically it’s more like Flower Boy. So yeah. I enjoyed this. I’m relieved that this isn’t as bad as I thought it would. It’s very good.
FAVORITE SONG: IGOR’S THEME
LEAST FAVORITE SONG: PUPPET
Republished from Focus Hip Hop