Tyler, the Creator improves image of himself with new release, IGOR


Bailey Spore

The album cover was a picture of Tyler with a wig on, in black and white over a pink background.

by Bailey Spore, Editor

The short URL of the present article is: https://lhslance.org/wlchg

May 17, Tyler Okonma, A.K.A. Tyler, the Creator dropped his fourth album, IGOR. IGOR is not meant to be rap, like his other albums. Although it is very different, it exceeded my expectations.  IGOR is Tyler’s best work yet, and he really outdid himself, proving he’s on a top tier of the rap game, unlike critic reviews in the past.  I hope Tyler makes more music like this and keeps expanding this level of creativity.

I think the album is titled IGOR because Tyler wanted to portray the story of a weird, unsocial guy trying to keep a relationship together. In literature and film, Igor has been portrayed weird, weak, and a servant for a mad scientist. Although an Igor isn’t usually social, they play an important part in the story, which is what Tyler is saying with this album.

“Don’t go into this expecting a rap album. Don’t go into this expecting any album. Just go, jump into it. I believe the first listen works best all the way through, no skips. Front to back. No distractions either. Some go on walks, some drive, some lay in bed and sponge it all up,” Tyler tweeted in early May.

Instead of focusing on lyrics and rapping, Tyler focused more on the sound and production aspects, producing and writing the album alone. He is growing as an artist and maturing as a person, too. Having fun with his music is still at the core.

Reviewer Jamieson Cox, in Time Magazine, said, “Tyler, the Creator‘s career has been defined by immaturity,” but over the last few years, and especially with IGOR, Tyler has really show growth.  In many of the promotional videos for IGOR, Tyler appears in a light blue suit, blonde wig, and sunglasses, keeping the outrageousness front and center.

Tyler, the Creator’s career started with the hip hop and skateboarding group Odd Future in 2007. The group included artists such as Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt. Their music was immature with lyrics that tended to be offensive. They even had their own comedy show, Loiter Squad, where they would mess around for 15 minutes and call it entertainment. The show, along with the group’s colorful personalities helped boost their careers early on–but it was attention, more than skill.

IGOR is pleasing to listen to, with  summer vibes that are perfect for beach season. The album describes the beginning and ends of a relationship and the ups and downs in between. One of the greatest rap albums of all time is My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasies, by Kanye West. IGOR reminds me of that album in many ways. Lots of drums, synths and vocals bring the sounds together in both albums.

My favorite track comes late in the album. “Gone, Gone/Thank You” is an absolutely beautiful song about being cautious in a relationship to avoid heartbreak. The first part, “Gone, Gone” is filled with singing and ends with one of Tyler’s best verses of all time.

“Everybody making a choice according to plan and, we had two different blueprints, but understood her fluent,” Tyler raps.

Tyler uses construction work as a metaphor for how the relationship unfolded. First, he realizes that he and this person had different paths in life, but they still loved each other. Later in the verse he raps about realizing it wouldn’t work out and finding peace with it.

The album is brought together by features that make the album sound even better. These include Kanye West, Playboi Carti, and Solange.

Kanye West appears on “Puppet,” a song about being obsessive and controlling in a relationship. Playboi Carti is featured on the breakout song of the album “Earfquake.” On “Earfquake,” Tyler sings about a lover who he knows he hasn’t treated right, but still needs and doesn’t want that person to leave. Tyler uses vocals from the two of these artist, along with Solange on songs like “A Boy Is A Gun” to bring the songs together–and boost his rap credentials.

I like every song on the album–the performances are strong, the production is beautiful, and the features bring it all together. I would give IGOR a 10/10.