by Joseph Bonney
Tyler, the Creator has been experimenting with more than rap recently with Camp Flog Gnaw, and his venture into television with Vice. After the drop of the Cherry Bomb documentary Tyler came back and dropped his new unexpected album Scum Fuck Flower Boy. He teased the A$AP Rocky track Who Dat Boy and 911/Lonely with Frank Ocean before dropping the project. With this new album, it feels like a conclusion to Tyler’s previous years and an introduction to his new life.
This album shows the largest growth in maturity for Tyler, the Creator than any other one of his albums to date. The music is definitely the usual Tyler: garage, trashy, sophisticated sound. Despite that old sound, the production is more polished and consistent on this album.
Transitions from bangers like Who Dat Boy to lighter tracks like Pothole have a smoother connection to each other. The Estelle Track Garden Shed is relaxed and deep. Lyrics like “That was real love I was in / Ain't no reason to pretend / Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed, Garden shed for the garçons / Them feelings that I was guardin' / Heavy on my mind, All my friends lost / They couldn't read the signs / I didn't wanna talk and tell 'em my location / And they ain't wanna walk / Truth is, since a youth kid, thought it was a phase / Thought it'd be like the phrase; "poof," gone / But, it's still goin' on" show that Tyler has always been one to put himself out there emotionally, but this time around it’s not as brash.
Referring back to those lyrics, many brought up rumors of Tyler’s sexuality. He never seems too explicit about it, but he does come off as tongue and cheek about it. Even with lyrics like “Kissing white boys since 2004” you can’t tell if he’s saying it because he wants to or because he’s trying to let his audience in. Either way it doesn’t matter to the listener as this is Tyler’s story, and he doesn’t want this album to be about his sex life. He just wants fans to know what's up. You can see that he's just living life as he discusses his typical life with friends on songs like “I Ain’t Got Time”.
This album is something that will satisfy both Tyler fans and regular hip-hop heads. His sound is coherent and less absurd this time around. He still has those out-there lyrics, metaphors, and punchlines that make this music what it is. Tyler was never one to aim for the mainstream, but this time it looks like the mainstream is finally embracing him. Maybe he doesn't need that MTV co-sign after all.
Joseph Bonney is a writer, artist, hip-hop enthusiast, and gamer currently living in San Marcos,Texas. A recent English graduate with an Art/Design minor, when he's not working, he's usually doing 1 of the 4, or eating. You can find his Instagram page here.