Tyler against The Creator – the victor provides an insightful peek into the mellifluous side of Wolf with little to nothing left to prove.
Tyler Okonma, known as Tyler, the Creator from the realms of music and fashion, showcased his fifth solo full-length project – released via an Instagram and Twitter countdown. Tyler’s evolution through the years has provided some introspection into the artist and his development from the classic rugged Odd Future sound of large distorted melodies and heavy hitting lo-fi kicks with brazen lyrics (“I’m a fucking walking paradox / no I’m not”), to smoother synths and more lush sounding chord progressions with moments of Tyler actually singing. The overall effect resembles an intimate pillowy futuristic outer-space jazz composition.
With a mellower than usual tone showcasing fearless individualism and an inclination towards the ungodly – Tyler reaches unscathed to these new heights, ridding himself of the shackles which had previously gotten him into trouble.
He concerns himself with his inner struggle exploring the feeling of loneliness and finding a tranquil balance amidst the torment of his psyche in coming to terms with adulthood (“current battle as an adult / my partner is a shadow / I need love, do you got some I could borrow / fuck it, I could find some tomorrow”) and an ever-impending sense of running out of time. He also goes out to express his views on societal issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘How many chains can I wear ’til I’m considered a slave / How many slaves can it be ’til Nat Turner arise / how many riots can it be ’til them black lives matter’
It still doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing the Odd Future forerunner in Australia any time soon though. Tyler is still banned from entering Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom amidst allegations of misogynistic slurs as well as apparently inciting homophobia – seems like Tyler doesn’t like anyone! But upon reading into the ‘Flower Boy’ release, Twitter posts and recent rumours circulating the varying spheres of the internet, it would appear that this is Tyler’s coming out album as he ineffably grasps onto a new self among his list of outlandish alter-egos. In 2015, he tweeted:
I TRIED TO COME OUT THE DAMN CLOSET LIKE FOUR DAYS AGO AND NO ONE CARED HAHAHHAHAHA
— Tyler, The Creator (@tylerthecreator) April 13, 2015
Also in 2015, Rolling Stone did a profile on Tyler, titled ‘Two Insane Days on Tour With Tyler, the Creator’, by Ernest Baker:
At one point on the bus, he recalls sending nude photos to a group chat with his friends and no one responded. “My friends are so used to me being gay,” Tyler says, “they don’t even care.”
I finally ask, Why all the gay humor? “Because I’m gay as fuck,” he says, without a flinch. Seriously, are you gay? Are these repressed feelings? “No, but I am in love with ’96 Leonardo DiCaprio,” he says. “I one hundred percent would go gay for ’96 Leo. Oh, and Cole Sprouse.”
Although Tyler doesn’t appear to be inciting previous stigmas on his recent project, the apparent revelations of ‘Flower Boy’ represent to us the internal battle between shame, fear and desire – reminding us that heterosexuals aren’t the only people affected by homophobia.
‘Flower Boy’ represents Tyler’s most transformative album to date but there is no way the album could be considered a full maturation of his work. Have a listen below and hit us up in the comments section!