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[Music Review] Tyler The Creator “Wolf” by Michael Waterloo


By Michael Waterloo

Just three years ago, Tyler, the Creator was living on his grandmother’s couch writing angst raps that he hoped would one day launch his career. Tyler kissed his grandmother’s couch goodbye and is now the proud owner of a four-story house that is talked about throughout his third LP, “Wolf.”

Tyler refers to his new home throughout the disc as he says he has to climb “eight sets of stairs just to see where [his] f***ing roof be.” The house refers to more than just a physical place for Tyler; it also refers to fame, isolation, space, pride and loneliness throughout the album.

While the album is the closest fans have seen to a concept album from Tyler’s perspective, the raucous style that made his  group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) popular still remains.

You’re unable to get through a song without hearing constant uses of “the f-word,” derogatory references to homosexuals and lewd sex acts with or without a women’s consent. Instead of naming the album “Wolf,” as Tyler did, a more appropriate title would be “Woof.”

Along with the house references, Tyler, the Creator sets the stage of the album to take place at Flog Gnaw, a fictitious camp that oddly enough holds the same name as the Odd Future Carnival in Los Angeles last year. While at the fictional summer camp, Tyler’s three alter egos appear. The album is loosely revolved around the characters Sam, Salem and Wolf.

Similar to Nicki Minaj’s “Roman” alter ego, Tyler takes on the role of each of these characters.

I couldn’t make this up if I tried.

While it’s a unique approach to the album, it once again runs too long and grows tiring quite quickly.

If you have ever been to summer camp as a kid, you know what it’s like. It’s a nerve-wracking experience at first, but quickly becomes a fun, energetic time. After the first few weeks, it slows down and becomes repetitive and boring. Before you know it, you’re ready to leave.

In this sense, “Wolf” does a great job of equally creating the feelings you had when you were younger.

Tyler, the Creator has a few moments where he lets his guard down on the album. No, it isn’t like the stalker track “She” that appeared on his debut album “Bastard.” Rather, Tyler actually drops the “L-Word.” On the chorus of “IFHY,” Tyler says, “I f***ing hate you, but I love you.”

As is evident in his past work, Tyler is at his best when he has guests on his tracks, because if you’ve heard him, he’s anything but a lyrical rapper. Tyler, the Creator has Pharrell of The Neptunes fame on “IFHY,”  Grammy winner and also OFWGKTL member Frank Ocean appears on the album to overshadow Tyler. He also enlisted fellow group members Hodgy Beats on “Jamba” in what is actually the standout feature on the album. Earl Sweatshirt, the second rapper from OFWGKTA, also joins the festivities.

While Tyler stepped out of his comfort zone on a few tracks (“Answer” – a track about his estranged father; “Colossus” – a track about his obsessed fans and “Awkward” – where he talks about young love), it’s much of the same that fans have heard before from the 22-year-old rapper. If you’re a Golf Wang or Odd Future fan, you’ll appreciate the effort from Tyler, the Creator. If you’re new to his style and looking to expand your rap library, look elsewhere. It gets a five out of 10.

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AlbumHip HopMichael WaterlooMixtapeMusicMusic ReviewOdd FutureRapReviewTyler The Creator

brandonw • April 15, 2013

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