Tyler, The Creator Redefines Style and Roots Its Roots
In his sixth studio album, “Call Me If You Get Lost”, Tyler Gregory Okonma, better known as Tyler, The Creator, draws on the hip-hop tradition of the 90s while paying homage to his past releases.
It has been two years since singer, songwriter, director, producer and fashion designer Okonma released âIgor,â an album that topped the charts and became the singer’s most popular project. Following themes of heartbreak, love and jealousy, “Igor” was a cohesive, script-based album that featured genres of rap, R&B and funk.
He was a somewhat unpredictable artist after his album “Flowerboy” in 2017, which completely redesigned the sound the rapper was constantly producing. Leaning into a cooler, more independent genre with a Rex Orange County feature in the opening track – an artist who fits into the indie-pop landscape – Okonma seemed to focus on an entirely different aesthetic.
Because of this, fans weren’t sure what they would get from the new album, and if some were expecting something along the lines of the previous two releases, which the artist features in “Call Me If You Get Lost “supersedes all expectations. .
The album acts as a redefining project for Okonma where he looked back, took the best aspects of his past works and combined them into something even bigger.
In fact, in the album’s initial promotions, Okonma released the project’s artwork displaying an ID card for someone named Tyler Baudelaire, an entirely new character and character, completely re-branding for this release. .
Although there has been speculation as to whether this new character by Baudelaire is a deliberate connection to the “Une sÃ©rie de occurrences unhappeux” book series or the French poet Charles Baudelaire, nothing has been confirmed by the singer as to whether this was intentional.
Character creation has been something Okonma has done with most of his releases. One character fans may be familiar with is Wolf Haley, to whom Okonma refers extensively on his album Wolf, and has also previously appeared on his Goblin album, specifically his song âYonkersâ.
In the opening track of “Call Me If You Get Lost”, “Sir Baudelaire”, Okonma says that Haley is back.
In a GOLF podcast episode where Okonma has a conversation with fellow artist Vince Staples, Okonma explains how Haley acts like his alter-ego, someone he wants to be. He also mentions Haley as the director of his clips, perhaps feeling that only the version of himself he wants to be could ever make those clips.
It is with these videos that Okonma also creates an entire universe for “Call Me If You Get Lost”, where each release feels even more real. He brings his musical and lyrical genius to life, proving the talent and the right of the young sensation to have risen to the top of the music industry.
The album plays like a mix-tape with DJ Drama appearing in every song, a producer who is a notable part of the hip-hop world, as well as features from many other artists.
The sound is a throwback to the classic rap genre of Okonma, reminiscent of his Odd Future days, a group the artist originally created with six other Southern California teenage musicians in 2007 when Okonma did. was only 16, as well as her album Goblin, which was released in 2011.
However, unlike Goblin, which featured lyrics that seemed to be thrown and thrown together, the lyrics to “Call Me If You Get Lost” feature the same sound while providing meaning and story, showing the growth Okonma has made. as an artist.
“Massa”, the seventh track on the album, talks about the artist’s struggles growing up, as well as the struggles he now faces with fame and wealth. Talking to his mother living in a shelter when his song “Yonkers” came out and how he finally knew he was successful when he was able to get her out responds to a vulnerability the musician was sometimes unable to convey to Goblin.
Soon will come “Manifesto”, which again focuses on his past, but this time more as an artist. Okonma looks back on his controversial past as a musician, saying, “I was canceled before I was canceled with the fingers of Twitter.”
He also addresses social issues, acknowledging the struggle and pressure he feels as a black artist to be a voice and a leader, but ultimately saying he doesn’t have the answer. He sings, “I know I don’t have the answer, but I’m not going to encourage you just to be a dancer.”
This song is a recognition of his past and his present.
âMomma Talkâ arrives a few leads later, where Okonma’s mother gives a talk about teachers and parents who would target Okonma when he was young. She recounts how she will defend Okonma until the end, a sweet moment towards the end of the album, once again giving her a nostalgic mix-tape feeling where people you know would talk between tracks.
Along with all of these vulnerable and meaningful lyrics, there is also a balance of fun and summery songs. âWusyanameâ was a pre-release of the album, exciting listeners while giving them a taste of the upcoming album.
My favorite on the album is track 10, “Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance”. The two 10-minute parts switch from R&B to reggae halfway through, with reggae being a genre no one would expect from Okonma. It’s fun and the transitions are smooth, reminding me of Igor’s “Gone Gone / Thank You”.
I am always pleasantly surprised every time Okonma releases something new. Whether it’s a bright new clip and deliberate cinematography or just a new Instagram post, anything the artist posts again is likely to define my life for at least a week or two. .
So if you spot me on campus, there’s a good chance I’m wearing my “Call Me If You Get Lost” shirt or GOLF branded hat.
Overall, Call Me If You Get Lost is a redefining lyrical universe created with lyrical finesse and nostalgia in each track. 5/5 stars.