The Flower Boy

Tyler, The Creator is arguably one of the most colorful and fascinating figures in modern music. You either love him or you hate him. Recently, however, those who love the man and the music seem to be growing in numbers. On July 21, 2017, the Odd Future Records founder released his fourth studio album, Flower Boy.

All tracks on the project were written and produced by Tyler. (Photo Credit: XXL)

The evolution of Tyler’s sound, from Goblin to Wolf, from Cherry Bomb to Flower Boy, is apparent. Evolution is what differentiates trends from lifelong legends.

Tyler surrounds himself with plenty of hip hop’s greatest, artists like Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, and Earl Sweatshirt who are continually growing and strengthening their craft.

Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean, and Earl Sweatshirt have been friends and collaborators throughout the majority of their respective careers. (Photo Credit: Post-Walk)

I have been a fan of all of Tyler’s endeavors for quite some time, but became a huge fan within the last year and a half. One of my favorite projects he produced was not music based, but instead fashion centered. THAT FIRST FASHION SHOW. That went so hard. When I tell you I watch it, start to finish, at least once a month, I do not lie. The sheer creativity and heart that went into the clothing, show, and everything in between is inspiring. Not to mention, Tyler and his friends are having fun. Like, a lot of fun. As they continue to do in everything they take on, his crew made it their own.

Tyler is known for his consistently fly fits, as he went from a Supreme devotee to the mind behind the clothing empire Golf Wang. Bridging worlds to work in his favor, Tyler and Golf Wang partnered with Converse this year, producing a shoe to promote Flower Boy.

(Photo Credit: Milled)

If we dove into Tyler’s never-ending list of original experiments like apps, festivals, and television shows, we really would be here for quite some time. Do your research, find your favorite projects, then get back to me. We can discuss it in a field of flowers. As for today though, we are here for one thing. Flower Boy.

“flower boy is golden hour/ sunset music if youre wondering the best time to listen”

  • Track 2: “Where This Flower Blooms”
    • These lyrics. It has barely begun and I know this track is something special. Not only does Frank kill it, (as always) but TYLEROkay, I see you with these deep lyrics.
    • Already, this is lyrically one of my all time favorite tracks by Tyler, especially in that second verse. It’s simple, but impactful. Give it a listen and you will know what I mean.
    • Similarly to many of Vince Staples’ messages on the album Big Fish Theory, Tyler speaks about his roots, his journey toward fame, and how people tend to act once they gain wealth and popularity.
His maturity is very apparent on the second track. This maturity does not mean that our favorite artist has lost his childlike and careless character, but rather he knows himself better than he may have in the past. (Photo Credit: Genius)
  • Track 3: “Sometimes…”
    • I like it. Funny. Good break. The 36 second track did its job. 10/10.
  • Track 4: “See You Again”
    • Why am I crying in the club right now? Woah. Wow. Tyler is really doing it this time around.
    • If you know anything about this album, or the hip hop scene in general, you have most likely heard the recent conversation about Tyler’s sexuality, which has been a hot subject since the release of Flower Boyand this track in particular.
      • No matter the truth, the trolls, or legitimacy of it all, this is an exceptional track.
    • This love song features Kali Uchis, furthering the similarities between it and “YOUNG / PERFECT” from Cherry Bomb, one of my favorite tracks from that project.
    • Tyler seems to be singing to his ideal lover, whom he can only see in a fantasy world that exists in his sleep. Therefore, he wishes to never wake up.
    • In an Instagram post on July 21, 2017, Tyler deemed “See You Again” his favorite track.

  • Track 5: “Who Dat Boy”
    • The album’s first single features Tyler’s close friend A$AP Rocky. The duo has collaborated many times.
    • To me, the sound and vibe of this song is reminiscent of Tyler’s older work, with an aggressive tempo and loud vocals similar to songs like “Domo23” from Wolf and “CHERRY BOMB” off of the album with the same name.
    • Tyler and A$AP always complement one another so well, their vocal styles always offering what the other may lack, creating a perfect marriage between the two vibes.
    • Also, the video has the classic beautiful visuals that Tyler never fails to one up. That ’95 Leo, though.
  • Track 6: “Pothole”
    • I’m getting flashbacks to Gambino’s STN MTN / Kauai mixtape from 2014 with this Jaden Smith feature, and I am here for it.
    • This track diverts from the strong theme of love thus far, discussing obstacles in Tyler’s life through the metaphor of driving.
      • The “potholes” being obstructions that keep him from reaching his potential.
    • Also, that Batmobile reference in the second verse had to intentionally be shouting out Jaden right? Because of his past connections to the character and his new track “Batman”? Hm, I wonder.

  • Track 7: “Garden Shed”
    • For some reason, I’m getting some “Black Hole Sun” vibes from this intro, and, again, I’m loving it.
    • I love that Estelle is doing the vocals, it’s a bit unexpected, but perfectly fitting.
    • This track highlights the theme of sexual orientation that was first introduced in “See You Again”, delving deeper into imagery (the garden shed) that extends this metaphor for keeping one’s orientation concealed
Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 4.24.23 PM
Tyler released a number of lyric graphics for the new album on his Twitter. (Photo Credit: Twitter)
  • Track 8: “Boredom”
    • A great, solid track to start off the second half of the project.
    • This track in particular is a testament to Tyler’s strong lyricism and proof that rhyme schemes don’t always make the bars great.
    • Thus far, the consistency of sound throughout the entire project is beautiful. Each song is unique and can stand alone, but simultaneously creates a cohesive story from start to finish.

“Turn around and remap route, When they see that boy with them big ears and that gap tooth”

Tyler has always been vocal about his love for McLarens, purchasing his own about two years ago. (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
  • Track 11: “Droppin’ Seeds”
    • This minute long interlude offers a fresh dynamic with a jazz elements in the intro.
  • Track 12: “November”
    • Wow, this one is special. It really has me contemplating stuff. Isn’t a great artist one that really makes you think and question things? One that makes you want to learn more about the music but also how it relates to you?
    • Tyler longs for November, which represents a high point in his life.
      • Intentionally or not, Tyler’s Camp Flog Gnaw music festival is held annually in November, which has been a tremendous success for him.
    • His vulnerability and fears shine through in this song. He teeters between whether or not he is truly happy and if he is living his best life.
    • The interlude before the bridge, where Tyler’s friends speak about their personal Novembers, may be my favorite part of the track.

  • Track 13: “Glitter”
    • Like “See You Again”, this track’s intro is especially reminicisent of “YOUNG / PERFECT” with the line speaking about being “more than just friends” with someone.
    • The flow and quick pace of the first verse was a bit unexpected for me, but I was impressed by how he made it work and mesh so naturally with the lethargic tempo.
    • Th mellow wave of the bridge is a flawless transition to the album’s final track
  • Track 14: “Enjoy Right Now, Today”
    • A sense of calm is over me and all seems okay in the world for just a few minutes. An instrumental track is the perfect conclusion to a fairly complex album like this.
    • It leaves listeners with a bright and positive sound, one user declaring this song the “audible equivalent to the color yellow”.
    • In his previous albums, Tyler has always linked the first and final tracks in some way. (Bastard: Inglorious Bastard, Goblin: Golden Goblin, and Wolf: Lone Wolf)
      • The final sound on this track is the shutting of a car door, which cleverly refers back to the first few lines of the album’s intro track “Foreword”.
    • users larryfish and mariachimari likened the track to the “end credits of a Simpson episode” and a “gentle but thrilling theme park ride”. I could not have put it more eloquently if I tried.
Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 10.44.24 PM
(Photo Credit: @feliciathegoat on Instagram)

As all anticipated music seems to these days, Flower Boy leaked 11 days before the scheduled release. I am so glad I waited to listen, hopefully in the way that Tyler intended for it to be heard. I leave you with hopes that you put on your brightest yellow fit, find some flowers, and drift away into the extraordinarily mythical world of Tyler, The Creator.

5 thoughts on “The Flower Boy

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