Analog Adventures: Flower Boy
Tyler, The Creator
About the Artist
Tyler, The Creator began his career with the underground hip-hop collective Odd Future. The group was known for horror inspired music, skater culture, and the Adult Swim sketch comedy show Loiter Squad. Eventually the group went their separate ways but still collaborate from time to time. Tyler broke into the mainstream with his debut single Yonkers, known for its New York style beat and shocking music video.
Tyler’s growth over the past decade has been astronomical. Early albums such as Goblin are full of problematic lyrics that border on offensive; done intentionally to stir controversy. Such lyrics led to Tyler being banned from performing in the United Kingdom for five years due to their homophobic nature. 2015s Cherry Bomb showed a different side inspired by jazz and R&B. The follow-up album shattered the mold of mainstream hip-hop.
The Album Itself
Flower Boy is a personal record for Tyler. This album served as his moment to come out of the closet, declaring his attraction for men. This came as a shock due to his previous albums having homophobic lyrics and themes. His writing and production skills truly shine with keyboards and strings accompanying digital drums. See You Again is almost naive in its innocent view on romantic love. The song features Kali Uchis singing the prechorus and doubling Tyler on the chorus. The duo works well together, Tyler’s baritone voice complimenting Uchis smooth soprano.
The earnest lyrics coupled with the beautiful arrangement present a vulnerable rap artist, all too uncommon in this day and age. Features galore on this record; Frank Ocean, A$ap Rocky, and Kali Uchis highlight the star studded cast of guest artists on the record. There are plenty of songs that retain the hard edge that Tyler is known for such as Who Dat Boy? The variety of the tracks is delightful and keeps you entertained throughout the duration of the record.
“I wonder if you look both ways when you cross my mind.” – Tyler, The Creator, See You Again
The inside of the gatefold.
The record features beautiful art that plays with the theme of flowers and bees. The warm yellow ochre to orange gradient compliments the smooth rolling hills. Tyler glances back to the camera, his face is obstructed with a bee. The record is a gatefold that houses two discs, both at 140 grams. The inside displays more pictures along with joke placeholders. The music and art work share a sense of playfulness and beauty that work together perfectly.
Is It Worth It?
Save for the yellow edition this record is available for reasonable prices at retail or through Discogs. A good copy of the double album will set you back about $20-25, but it is absolutely worth the price for such a personal record. The clever and thoughtful lyrics will have you searching the internet for their meaning, and the instrumentation will keep your head moving back and forth. This album is a pivotal point in Tyler, The Creator’s career. Owning it is a must for any hip-hop fan.
- See You Again