GROWTH AND RECESSION
Tyler, the Creator might be too self-reflexive for his own good – on new album Wolf he’s ditched a lot of the shock rap but still addresses criticisms he’d faced one too many times. Take ‘Rusty’ for example, it’s an otherwise incredible Wu-like posse banger. But here he ruined the adrenaline rush that was set by Domo’s OB4CL-channeling verse and his own introspective-braggo rap by talking about his use of the word ‘faggot’ and sexist language yet again. It’s a little annoying, but it’s probably just as annoying to him that he has to endure all the weird protest held against him (“Saying I hate gays even though Frank is on 10 of my songs”).
Ignoring that, Wolf is otherwise an exemplar of a formerly juvenile kid becoming something more, a good number of the tracks are about his awkwardness with girls (the Neptune-worthy ‘IFHY’), the death of his grandmother (‘Lone’), and his love-hate relationship with fans (‘Colossus’). Incredible still is that Tyler is capable of writing about the issue of cocaine in relation to the black struggle with precise deftness, as is on ‘48’ (which has a surprise guest appearance by Nas, Tyler’s favourite rapper).
Like Goblin before it, the record is wholly produced by him, unlike Goblin though, Wolf features acts beyond OFWGKTA. Everyone from the aforementioned Nas to Lætitia Sadier of Stereolab make an appearance. If we were to read anything from this, JUICE would say it’s a reflection of Tyler growing out of his own insular collective.
LISTEN TO: ‘48’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: The entire OFWGKTA family