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Album Review

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

By: Chase Aulis

Flower Boy by Tyler, The Creator is an album very different from the mainstream perception of the brash Odd Future member. The album is everything but a love letter to Tyler’s career and rather an introspective look at the boredom and loneliness that plagues his good fortunes. Flower Boy is an unexpected refreshing view on who Tyler, The Creator is as a person, rather than as a character. Just over 46 minutes, the track list feels anything but short because of the amount of quality content packed in.

The first track, “Foreword Ft. Rex Orange County” really sets the tone, showing Tyler’s softer side, which is still very hard to stomach for a mainstream audience — but that is where his charm lies. This intro is something new for Tyler, while being hauntingly familiar at the same time. I mention this track because it is instrumental, introducing new fans to his style and letting old fans know that he is going to shake it up.

“See You Again (Ft. Kali Uchis)” is a stand-out track on Flower Boy. Tyler’s lonely lyrics of wanting something more than what he once had is perfectly complemented by Kali’s silky voice, which lulls you into a sense of security rather than sadness. The contrast of his rapping with a hard knocking bass creates an even more distinct sound, contrasted with Kali’s verse. Even if you can’t stand Tyler, The Creator or rap in general, listen to this song at least once.

Just when you forget the old Tyler and have accepted the new Tyler, “Who Dat Boy (Ft. A$AP Rocky)” throws you back into the days of Goblin and Wolf. A$AP Rocky brings in a softer side to the song, which is only amplified by Tyler’s harsh lyrics. The synths make you feel uncomfortable and angry in the best way possible; it is super effective. This track is very indicative of the in-your-face personality Tyler’s fan base has come to love.

The epitome of Flower Boy is “Boredom (Ft. Rex Orange County and Anna of the North)”. Tyler may seem like he has his life made with his tremendous come-up through the rap scene due to his drastically different sound and lyrics, but he still finds himself being “boredom’s new best friend”. He might be on top of his game, but he puts his relationships over wealth and success, something others do not understand. This song is meant to make you feel like you are staring at your bedroom ceiling at 3AM, thinking about the love of your life, who will not return your texts or calls. If you need to kill some time yourself, listen to this song.

There is one track that I honestly can’t even describe how much fun I have had listening to. “I Ain’t Got Time!” is quintessential Tyler, The Creator: fun, upbeat, and offensive. This song is perfect for a car full of your best friends because it is ultra-quotable with its many samples and Tyler’s clever lines. It is a nice break from the sadness, even though the underlying message is still a little depressing.

The double feature of “911/Mr. Lonely (Ft. Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy)” are a pairing that just goes so good together. Yes, they could be separate, but the message together is so much more powerful. Tyler is hilarious and depressing at the same time. In “911” he is tired of only hearing problems coming through his line, according to Lyric Genius and other sources. But it is up for interpretation. “Mr. Lonely”  is Tyler taking his anger out on himself, blaming his loneliness on things he loves and the way he is.  Frank Ocean is surprisingly fun here, compared to the usual melancholy tones his listeners are used to. This track is a culmination of the angst Tyler has experienced until this point. Every time this track plays, I am sure to sing along and even think about my own life, which is the most powerful thing art can do.

Overall, Flower Boy is a ride worth taking from beginning to end. Make sure you listen to the whole album if you want to be able to peel back the layers of Tyler, The Creator and something rarely seen in rap. There are some pacing issues that make some parts of the album drag out, but they are forgivable because the songs are still giving the listener what they want, plus more. Every track offers something that is either sonically astounding, pure entertainment, or just has a charm to it that only Tyler can create.


Favorite Tracks: See You Again, Boredom, I Ain’t Got Time!, 911 / Mr. Lonely

Rating: 9.5/10

WZND Newsroom

December 7th, 2017

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