Tyler, the Creator released his highly anticipated third studio album, "Wolf," earlier this month.
Tyler Okonma, better known by his stage name Tyler, the Creator, is the co-founder and leader of another well-known music collective called OFWGKTA, which stands for Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The group is also known as Odd Future, and is compromised of other musicians such as Earl Sweatshirt, Frank Ocean and Domo Genesis, just to name a few.
Odd Future consists of an array of musical artists of different talents and styles similar to Tyler, the Creator's original albums. Many of the songs range from slow, somewhat somber sounds, to energetic and up tempo. Songs on the "Wolf" album rarely maintain a uniform sound or pace throughout an entire song.
Tyler, the Creator and his colleagues pride themselves on the uniqueness of their sound. Most, if not all, of the songs by OFWGKTA and Tyler himself, include some type of vulgarity, drug reference, homophobia, crude humor or distastefulness. However, Tyler, the Creator also has a great way of telling stories through his lyrics. One can learn a huge deal about Tyler, the Creator's family, childhood, relationships and feelings on religion through his lyrics.
Tyler's first album, "Bastard," was released in 2009. The album did decently in sales, but was targeted more toward the fan base that previously followed Tyler and OFWGKTA from YouTube and mix tapes. In May of 2011, Tyler, the Creator released his second studio album, entitled "Goblin." This album garnered much more attention with the help of YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites. It was much easier to gain attention and to spread the music to new people and gather new fans due to social media.
"Wolf" brings an array of sounds, and almost every song on the album ends with Tyler talking to a therapist-like figure. Following each song is his explanation of the problem, similar to his songs on "Goblin." Beginning with a sweet, melodic sound on the first song of the album, one would expect a slower, more romantic tune, but the lyrics often insert a derogatory slur as profanity is consistently used throughout the album.
In the song called "Jamba," Okonma mentions his father in the opening line, "Papa ain't call even though he saw me on TV, it's all good." Okonma seems to have a bad relationship with his father, as he mentions it in several songs throughout his album. The song entitled "Answer," about Okonma's father, has a slow and serene sound. With lines like, "Because when I call, I hope you pick up your phone. I'd like to talk to you. I hope you answer," and "Hey dad, it's me, um ... oh, I'm Tyler, I think I be your son," the listener gains insight into his relationship with his father. He talks about his grandmother having cancer on the song called "Cowboy" and he mentions his mother on numerous occasions.
Tyler, the Creator serves as a symbol for Okonma's life. As noted in previous interviews, Tyler emphasizes that he does not smoke or drink; however, he makes numerous references to drugs and drinking in his songs leading one to wonder how much of his image is fabricated. Similarly, he appears to be happy often, but in one song he states, "You think all this money will make a happy me? But I'm about as lonely as crackers that supermodels eat." In "Lone," Okonma discusses his life since fame and how he sometimes wants to quit.
The album is intricate, and at times blatant, while others contain clever metaphors. Tyler, the Creator produces great music, skits and some humor; if one is not easily offended, this is the album to listen to.