Tyler, The Creator‘s fourth album Flower Boy just missed the No. 1 spot for albums in its debut week, losing to Lana Del Rey’s release by 1K units. While a lot of people are talking about his album, not enough people are talking about the actual content of the project.
Flower Boy originally leaked on July 10 on the fifth anniversary of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. On the song “I Ain’t Got Time,” Tyler raps that he’s “been kissin’ White boys since 2004” and on “Garden Shed” he raps that he “thought it would be like the Frank poof, gone/ but it’s still going on.” Fans, blogs, and the internet, in general, ran with those lines and began asking if Tyler came out on the album. Given his history of trolling, many fans thought the lyrics would change once the album was officially released, but they weren’t. Tyler then clarified that the lyric was “thought it’d be like the phrase ‘poof’; gone.” However, by that time, the biggest story surrounding the rapper and his album was whether he was coming out as gay or not.
Chance The Rapper has dominated the hip-hop realm during the last year, being applauded for implementing live instruments and choirs into his songs. What Tyler, The Creator did on Flower Boy shouldn’t receive any less attention than Chance’s Coloring Book received. The melodies, chords, and lyrics that were all written and produced by Tyler bring together a very soothing and beautiful tune that flows for the greater part of 40 minutes. In his verses, he details how empty his life has become as a millionaire and how he uses all of his material possessions to hide his suffering.
His growth stands among some of largest leaps seen from artists today. He came on to the national scene in 2011 with the song “Yonkers” and his group Odd Future became instant media darlings as an anomaly. Odd Future became famous and popular for being an unorthodox safe space for teenagers who felt like they didn’t fit with the rest of society. The way they dressed, talked, behaved and sounded was extremely different from the norm. A lot of Tyler’s early songs were accompanied uncomfortable aggressive lyrics like “Those privileged f—s got to learn that we ain’t taking no s–t/Like Ellen Degeneres clitoris is playing with d–k” and eerie beats. In short, a lot of his music was cringe worthy and only appealed to a very specific demographic. Flower Boy is the exact opposite.
The now 26-year-old artist has matured into making a soulful, thoughtful and well-put together project that has moments like giving a tribute to The Gap’s “Outstanding” in “911.” Even Lil Wayne spits some of his best bars during his appearance on the album. Understand that Flower Boy isn’t just selling well because of a PR stunt. It’s selling well because it’s actually good.