Over the past decade, Tyler, The Creator has evolved into one of the most surprising and creative multi-hyphenates in music. In addition to creating music for the official Grinch soundtrack, producing for television, designing clothes and shoes and running his own music festival, he’s leveled up as a musician. The days of eating cockroaches and sprawying controversial langauge have matured into thoughtful melodies and bars about love and aging over cascading keys.
This growth has resulted in progressively better albums as well. His most recent offering, 2017’s Flower Boy, was his most well rounded project to date, capturing a variety of moods, from ballads (“911”) to turn-ups (“Who Dat Boy”). He was able to articulate his dealings with fame, fortune, love, loss, the constant speculation on his sexuality and wrap it up into a very digestible and highly listenable 45 minutes.
He’s released a few loosies since then, but it wasn’t until this past week that he announced his fifth studio albumIGOR would be released this Friday (May 17). Although Tyler puts a lot of his life on the forefront with a plethora of silly antics and outlandish tweets, there are still some questions surrounding the anticipated album. It’s been two years since Tyler has put his wild life on wax and while his catalog is stronger than most, there are still a few desires fans are looking to see come to fruition.
Below are five things we want to hear from Tyler, The Creator’s upcoming fifth album, IGOR.
1. Honesty and Vulnerability
Tyler's honesty and recent vulnerability make him one of this generation’s most compelling artists. He has gradually let fans know more and more about his friendships, his family and his love life. Flower Boy was full of moments that let you in on what felt like the real Tyler. On “Foreword,” he rapped: “Next line will have ‘em like ‘Whoa'/ I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004”; on “November” he did some deep soul searching: “What if my music is too weird for the masses/ And I’m only known for tweets more than beats?" Surely a lot has happened in Tyler’s life over the past two years and as he’s shown previously, his albums can be his sonic diaries.
3. Confidence as a Hit-Maker
In February 2011, "Yonkers" came out the gates swinging; though the song didn't chart on the Hot 100, it was double platinum by March. “Who Dat Boy” and "OKRA" charted on the Hot 100, in 2017 and 2018 respectively -- this could be the year Tyler makes noise in that space. It isn’t necessarily a call for him to shoot directly for chart toppers, but the three aforementioned tracks are authentic and still earned him accolades.
4. Some Length
Oftentimes, rappers are criticized for long albums. Tyler has kept his tracklists relatively short in comparison to today’s stream-seeking releases, capping off at 13 or 14 songs. That said, give how much Tyler’s sound has evolved, it would be dope to hear what he could do across 18 or 20 songs. With a lengthier project, he would have room for the fans pining for the raw rap of Bastard, as well those who gravitate to his melodic Flower Boy side.
5. Another Alter Ego
Part of what makes Tyler so compelling is all of his alter-egos. Since his debut, Tyler has been making music under a few monikers that allow him to flesh out all sides of his psyche. Examples include the rebellious Wolf Haley, his therapist Dr. TC, and the more refined Samuel. Maybe IGOR alludes to another side of Tyler fans have yet to hear from.
5. An Earl Sweatshirt Feature
These two have joined each other on stage a handful of times in the last few years. The chemistry is still there. Whether it’s a lyrical exercise or a heavier cut that looks into their relationship, this is a collaboration we'd all be very happy to see happen.