Over the past eight years, Tyler, the Creator, has slowly evolved into one of rap’s most respected artists. With the release of his fourth studio album this July, Scum Fuck, Flower Boy, the public has been introduced to a more mature, serious Tyler. ‘Flower Boy’ has seemingly received a unanimous positive review from fans and critics, developing into Tyler’s most complete, well-produced album to date and arguably rap’s best album of 2017.
The California rapper now has five full-length projects under his belt – Bastard (2009), Goblin (2011), Wolf (2013), Cherry Bomb (2015) and Flower Boy. Two of the previous four, his first mixtape, Bastard, along with Wolf, are seen by most as impressive projects, while Cherry Bomb and Goblin are much more controversial and have generally received less-positive reviews. Regardless, Tyler has a huge body of work to his name, so following the release of Flower Boy, it’s a perfect time to take a look at his career so far with his 10-best all-time tracks.
6. The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (Remix) ft. Schoolboy Q
Album – CHERRY BOMB
Tyler’s explanation of the song title is one of the most classic things I’ve ever heard. The beat drop at 0:42 is super dope with the heavy snare drums mixed with Tyler’s opening bar, “Can I get some fucking chaos in hurr?” Tyler as usual exhibits hilarious wordplay, and the transitions from verse-to-verse and changeup in delivery are effortless. I think the slick production and TOUGH beat puts this track over the edge.
Album – Scum Fuck, Flower Boy
What’s super impressive about ‘Boredom’, is how Tyler uses elements of so many different genres to make such an elegant track that… doesn’t really fall into a single genre. Rex Orange County, a contemporary jazz and R&B artist from the U.K. appears on here and is heard right from the opening line, as does Anna of the North, a Norwegian electro-pop singer. The result is a track about exactly what the title says – Boredom.
There’s nothing awfully complex about the lyrics in this track, but that’s okay because it works. The beat allows Tyler to shine on his verses, and the, “find some time, find some time to do something,” chorus is hard to get out of your head.
Bonus: This line in Tyler’s opening verse is one of my favorites on the album – “I been in this fucking room for so long my eyeballs turning to drywall”.
4. 911/Mr. Lonely (ft. Frank Ocean)
Album – Scum Fuck, Flower Boy
‘911/Mr. Lonely’, like ‘Boredom’, is another one of three singles off Scum Fuck, Flower Boy, and there’s quite a lot to digest in just this single song. The first portion of the track has a soft, mellow beat but with a confident Tyler on the mic – “My thirst levels are infinity and beyond – Sippin’ on that lemonade, I need a Beyoncé – Can’t see straight, these shades are Céline Dion – Sucks you can’t gas me up, shout out to Elon… Musk”.
Part two has Steve Lacy and Frank Ocean delivering a beautiful chorus and bridge, followed by another solid Tyler verse over the soft beat.
The major changeup in the track comes around the 2:30 mark with A$AP Rocky’s “I can’t even lie I been lonely as fuck!” repetition. The beat has a much faster tempo with slicker delivery from Tyler, but the lyrics are much more depressing, as he opens it up with – “They say the loudest in the room is weak – that’s what they assume, but I disagree – I say the loudest in the room is prolly the loneliest one in the room (that’s me).”
Listeners are able to hear and discover all of Tyler’s conflicting emotions at this stage of his career on just this single track.
‘911/Mr. Lonely’, sounds like three or four songs meshed into one, and yet it’s still only 4 minutes and 16 seconds long. I think Tyler shows the most pure skill as an artist here of any track in his career.
Return to the site tomorrow or follow on instagram @RapChatter to see the final reveal of Tyler’s top-three all-time tracks!