It’s hard to deny that Tyler, The Creator has evolved as an artist, whether you like it or not. When the visionary Odd Future rapper first burst onto the scene, his music was undoubtedly raw, both lyrically and musically; for some context, take a look back on “Yonkers,” which features a violent homicidal fantasy aimed at Bruno Mars. Albums like Bastard and Goblin established Tyler as a scholar of Eminem and Tech N9ne, prone to gruesome imagery and unapologetic shock value.
Yet as his career moved forward, Tyler found himself undergoing a stylistic transformation, borne through a noted sense of maturation. Prior to the ambitious Igor, his Flower Boy album received universal acclaim and a Grammy nomination, a surprising turn for the once-noted “walking paradox.” Yet Tyler has always been musically gifted, and his later music allowed his orchestrator’s sensibilities room to shine through. Today, Tyler made note of his progress, lamenting the difference between his two most recent projects and the remainder of his discography.
“I always imagine if i refined my first four albums like i did my last two. man,” writes Tyler, his tone expressing a concerning sense of weariness. While it’s understandable that one might wish to revisit previous works under a new light, Tyler should celebrate his accomplishments rather than dwell on what-might-have-been. Without his formative work, who knows if his latter two projects would have been possible at all? What do you think about Tyler’s self-critique?