Tomorrow one the seasons most anticipated hip-hop albums comes out. This past weekend I was given a preview copy of it and have been listening to it for a few days.
Tyler, The Creator, a member of the OFWGKTA crew (aka: Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All or just Odd Future), have been creating buzz due to their Internet smarts (posting various mixtapes, albums, videos and just plain bizarre posts on their blog) and an amazing performance of “Sandwitches” on Jimmy Fallon Live.
The music is not for everyone. OFWGKTA are often classified as horrorcore (a subgenre of hip-hop that uses ominous music and lyrics dealing with death, serial killers, zombies, etc.) but they shun the label, as well they should. Most horrorcore goes for shock value and overlooks talent and production, two things “Goblin” (as well as eariler albums) has in spades.
Yes, the music is dark and feels like it’s from a horror movie, but more like a horror movie from the future. The beats are solid though sometimes frenetic. The lyrics are more twisted than your average horrorcore album, but it’s far from serious. You have to laugh when Tyler, The Creator raps about “Threesomes with a fuckin’ triceratops” on “Yonkers” or, like on the song “Tron Cat”, describes a murder spree that involves “snortin’ Hitler’s ashes”. Hell, “Transylvania” is pretty much about cannibalism.
I was surprised that many of the songs on the album are very slow. “Nightmare” and “Analog” stand out as Tyler’s version of a slow jam. And just to prove that he is not your average rapper Tyler throws in a few instrumental, “AU79″ and “Untitled 63″. You won’t be hearing these songs blasted out of car windows anytime soon.
Behind the twisted lyrics is a lot of intelligence. Literary and historical references abound. Most songs are a definite story, a story that usually involves revenge, killing and lots of blood, but a story none-the-less. So are the lines about Satan and rape just a way to create controversy as a way to promote the album? Considering Tyler has been making this music for a few years and has been giving it away for free, I think it’s his creative outlet. Sure, we think Stephen King is a bit creepy for all the crazy things he thinks up, but we celebrate it and him. We should celebrate Tyler as well. Yes, I am comparing Tyler, The Creator to Stephen King. His shit is that good.
I look forward to Tyler’s already announced album “Wolf” in 2012. Until then I will be jamming on this.