Tyler, the Creator – Wolf

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1. Yes, this is better than Goblin, but that’s basically the same as how some ice cream is better than no ice cream.

2. The main difference between the two are the beats: Goblin’s songs were overencumbered (wow, you do learn new words from video games!) by mostly aimless beats. Here, Tyler, the Creator, opts to keep things mostly simple. In other words, this one plays like a refined version of Bastard, with a larger variety of instruments and some impressive guest features that would not have happened pre-“Yonkers” (no Dave Matthews, though).

3. Tyler, the Creator loves Eminem. Do you know how I know that? Because he’s based his entire career aesthetic on Eminem’s. But, in case you didn’t know that, he takes the “Fire under his ass” line from “White America” and throws it on “Pigs.” Far worse, however, is “Colossus.”

Remember Eminem’s “Stan?” Well, take all the things that made “Stan” great out—the rainy backdrop, Eminem’s response being spoken aloud as it’s being written evident by the scribbling in the background, Dido’s verse being turned into a chorus as if it were one to begin with–and replace them with nothing. Replace the pathos with nothing. Then replace Eminem with an emcee that’s far less impressionable on the microphone. You now have “Colossus,” a song that tries to put Tyler, the Creator as a serious artist who is sick against criticisms but ironically, apparently ignored the criticisms that he’s trying too hard to be Eminem. Like it’s the same lyrics too, right down to the fact that the obsessee is a wrist-cutter, a pro-kill-girls type and homosexual (well, Stan was questionably so, but there’s no doubt about this one as seen in the lines, “I got your picks on my wall / With the mouth cut out, now paper cuts on my balls / Cause your dick in my jaw.” Which also makes no sense upon the tiniest amount of scrutiny. He’s mouth-fucking a poster of Tyler in the first two lines but he has Tyler’s dick in his mouth in the next one? Even the crew over at rapgenius couldn’t figure the last one out, “he sucks the poster, some how (sic) having an attached dick to it”). I will say, however, over the extremely minimal beat (at least until the 808’s come on), that Tyler manages to carry the song well by himself, a feat that I would never have suspected of him.

4. While we’re trimming the fat, “Tamale” sucks. It’s hard to take Tyler, the Creator wanting to be serious seriously when he’s dropping lines without any sort of cohesion for the sake of rhyming or shock value, “Tell Spike Lee he’s a goddamn nigger / And while you’re at it, pass the lotion / And fapping and X-box Live, that fun.” The fact that Tallulah’s shouted hook comes right after the sweetly “Treehome95” doesn’t help matters.

5. Speaking of which, I know Tyler, the Creator said that Wolf would “prolly have like 3 rap songs tops. shit is boring as fuck, ill rather focus on music. i wanna be in a rock band and make jazz.” Well, it turns out that wasn’t true, but there is (not including the intro track that’s just an excuse to get the obligatory f-bombs out of the way, both kinds) one track that isn’t a rap track – “Treehomes95,” which is an Erykah Badu featuring Coco Owino track instead of a Tyler, the Creator track featuring them.

6. ”Domo 23” sucks. For people who think shouting “Fuck that, Golf Wang!” over and over makes them better than shouting “YOLO.” Come on, guys. It’s 2013.

”So a couple fags threw a little hissfit / Came to Pitchfork with a couple Jada Pinkett signs / And said I was a racist homophobic / So I grabbed Lucas and filmed us kissing” would have been a much more powerful couple of lines if you know…him kissing Lucas ever actually happened. Yes, I know they sucked each other’s toes, but that really didn’t count. Moments later, he asks us rhetorically, “You think I give a fuck?” So I’ll answer sarcastically: why, yes, Tyler, I do, considering how you continually address it. It’s a prime example of what David Jeffries (allmusic) fantastically dubs “Tyler’s great feedback loop,” “He offers a freak out; people freak out; he freaks out about people freaking out, etc.”

The beat also sounds like it was done out of a preset function on a cheap synth.

7. What’s the word for it when you see a Frank Ocean feature on a Tyler, the Creator album and you get really excited by it only to be let down? On Goblin, that word was “She.” Here, it’s “Slater.”

8. From the opening hook of “Answer,” I know you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking. “Man, Tyler cannot sing to save his life.” Then, you’re probably thinking “Damn, that’s a great riff. I hope this song isn’t ruined because Tyler decides to sing the hook again.” But then he does but Syd lends a hand and it’s so much better.

9. It is a sad, sad day when Tyler, the Creator outraps Earl Sweatshirt (“Rusty”).

10. On what could have been Wolf’s most genuine moment (not “Answer,” by the way, either because he’s talked at length about his father before, or because he expresses his anger in some over-the-top Electra complex, or because he downplays the last verse in its outro line), in a song about a first date with a girl as an awkward teenager, Tyler decides to distance himself from what could have been an album standout by distorting his voice unnecessarily (“Awkward”).

11. Anyway, it’s been two of these 70-minute albums (remember back in the day when Tyler, the Creator used to make 50-minute albums?) and I’m getting tired of his shtick, but I will say that I’ve spun “Partyisntover / Campfire / Bimmer” a lot more times than I would have imagined. While a lot of the 7-minute tracks on Goblinseemed to drag on for what seemed like forever, “Partyisntover / Campfire / Bimmer” impressively seems to zip by, thanks to its multipartite identity and having some of the best hooks on the album (the entirety of “Partyisntover” and the “You remind me of my bimmer,” both delivered by Tyler, the Creator, despite the fact that he had access to better singers on the same song – Stereolab’s Laetita Sadier and Frank Ocean).

Before the release of the album, Tyler, the Creator had said that ”Talking about rape and cutting bodies up, it just doesn’t interest me anymore. What interests me is making weird hippie music for people to get high to.” “Partyisntover / Campfire / Bimmer” is exactly that, a song where Tyler, the Creator raps about the world of a 22-year old. A realistic one though, about dancing with a girl despite a lack of rhythm; about chilling around the cottage campfire; about fucking girls in the back of your car.

I just wish Wolf had more of these.

C+

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One response to “Tyler, the Creator – Wolf

  1. Pingback: Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb | Free City Sounds·

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