Tyler, The Creator
Odd Future Records
A whole damn lot can be and has been said about the notorious rapper, Tyler, The Creator. The media has always been the first point of negative talk towards him, painting him as a misogynistic, homophobic and violent individual who just does not care if you or anyone else dislikes him.
And yes, Tyler does seem to create his own bad publicity, with his past music adventures, Bastard, Goblin and Wolf concerning greatly with violence and words that will offend just about anyone and everyone.
However, let us just stop right there and discuss this musician and his behaviour in context with his musical passion and respect. Cherry Bomb is his fourth album and it just oozes with music appreciation and instrumental knowledge. Produced by the 24-year-old himself, Cherry Bomb is a complicated, scary, intense and well-constructed album. Sure, at times the pace slows and he fumbles in sections of maturity, but isn’t that just how young people learn?
The opening track, ‘Deathcamp’, is clearly inspired by Pharrell Williams with a four-beat intro and a very N.E.R.D sounding urabn guitar riff. It’s punchy, to the point and lyrically classic Tyler, The Creator. Some Internet digging reveals just how influential Williams’ music career has been on Tyler, with moments of even vocal similarity between the two on the track. Straight from this opening, his attitude and reason is laid out for everyone; “I don’t like to follow the rules/and that’s just who I am/I just hope you understand”
Tracks like ‘Buffalo’ and ‘Pilot’ have that slow trudging rap instrumental sound that Tyler is known for. Heavy bass synths and complicated drum patterns fill the entire space of these songs. Surprises come in the form of tracks like ‘Find Your Wings’, where we see a level of musical maturity filter through with an incredibly smooth sounding tune full of saxophones, trumpets, xylophones and strings. It is urban R & B at it’s best and is a very pleasant surprise to discover within Cherry Bomb.
‘Blow My Load’ is the most graphically sexual song on the album when it comes to lyrics. Let’s face it, Tyler is still young, alive and thriving in all areas of life (apparently) and he expresses this through lyrics and even more impressive music production. If you can take the graphic lyrics, you may just enjoy it.
However, the lyrical maturity is present on ‘Pilot’, ‘2Seater’ and ‘Fucking Young/Perfect’ with some of the words detailing some deeper feelings from Tyler talking about fame, fortune and the highs and lows that come with such things.
‘Smuckers’ has some of Tyler’s biggest collaborations to date, featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne and the following track, ‘Keep Da O’s’ having help from Pharrell Williams himself.
The closing track eases the blow of the somewhat harsher sounding songs on Cherry Bomb. ‘Okaga CA’ is smooth, shuffling and surprisingly romantic. It features the elements that may surprise fans on the album including thoughtful instrumentals, harmonic female backing vocals, singing and less grotesque lyrics.
Cherry Bomb is a more mature addition to Tyler, The Creator’s album catalogue. Long time rap fans will find it familiar yet new, with elements of maturity throughout but not yet lacking that horror-hardcore guise that Tyler, The Creator has successfully created.
Standout track: ‘Smuckers’