By Ryan Asselin
Self-deprecating and introspective, deep and dark, evolving and familiar, the artist Tyler, the Creator once again takes the music industry on a dark trip with his newest album, Wolf, released April 1.
Less reliant on shock value, Tyler, the Creator demonstrates personal growth while narrating the story of Wolf as he attends a summer music camp, battles with his newly-introduced nemesis, Sam, and deals with his attraction to Sam’s girlfriend, Salem.
The story is hard to follow at times, but the more you listen, the harder it is to ignore. After a while, if you do not intently listen to the songs, the characteristic music from the Odd Future leader can be tiring, but Tyler, the Creator shows more than just passing glimpses of genius in each song. The listener must delve into the material and actively listen.
Still cursing every other second, Tyler, the Creator hasn’t shied away from his old self, and his hatred for his absent father still weighs heavily on his creative process. The rapper opens his album with a line condemning his father: “Poppa ain’t called even though he saw me on TV, it’s all good.” The death of his grandmother permeates the album as well, a loss that seems to still take a serious toll on Tyler, the Creator.
Wolf received mixed reviews from music critics, the main complaint concerning an apparent lack of departure from his previous works.
The fact that Tyler, the Creator makes every beat himself and produces the entire album on his own is an achievement in and of itself, but on top of his own raps, Wolf also features guest vocals from Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Casey Veggies, Domo Genesis, Earl Sweatshirt and Laetitia Sadier, to name a few.
Wolf is an excellent display of Tyler, the Creator’s true potential. Hard hitting beats with a mix of strings and sirens at the perfect times, mesmerizing flow and a story to be told all make Wolf, Tyler, the Creator’s third solo release, a must-buy.
Tyler, the Creator takes out all of his emotional issues and releases them for the world to relate to through his music.
Whether prompting deep thought or deep sadness, true art is thought provoking, and Wolf is the closest thing to a meaningful masterpiece that Tyler has created yet.