By Will Sexton (@willshesleeps)
I got into Tyler, the Creator through his third album Wolf. The story-telling and large concept of Tyler having loads of different characters he raps through drew me into his world and his music and I backtracked and listened to it all. Finding out his amazing talent of producing, playing loads of instruments and producing his albums almost entirely alone, while putting his own artist interpretation on everything was something I’ve always admired. 2 years ago he released CHERRY BOMB, and I had high expectations. Said to be based about the drive to the movie theater to see a movie, I was very intrigued to see how would play out.
The two lead singles from the album, the first track DEATHCAMP, and tenth track FUCKING YOUNG/PERFECT were good indications of how the album was gonna sound overall. I was very excited by DEATHCAMP as a large majority of his music before this album was hip-hop based and electronic, but having the opening chords to the album from an electric guitar got me really excited. The loud angry lyrics were back and I knew it was going to be a good album from the first few lines. Comparisons to Yeezus and Death Grips were unavoidable due to the brashness and unfiltered nature of the sound but that isn’t exactly a negative. DEATHCAMP was added to his anthem style songs that performed live would be intense!
FUCKING YOUNG/PERFECT on the other hand replaces the flashiness with a more chilled out and heartwarming aesthetic, describing this girl he fell in love who he thought was just too young for him, regardless of that fact she’s faultless in Tyler’s eyes. Having both a soft and hard hitting songs is something I always enjoy from an artist because you can see their full potential from a variety of different angles, something that the Odd Future ringleader has displayed repeatedly during his career (after all, we got Answer on the same album as Domo 23).
I was pumped for this album to come out, based on the first few songs, so when the album came out I listened to it on repeat for weeks: considering it released bang near the end of Spring, it was perfectly timed to dictate my summer listening. Playing it at parties with friends only certified that Tyler still had what it takes to orchestrate a good time. Unlike some of Tyler’s songs, the tracks that appear on Cherry Bomb still stand strong, especially the more instrumentally dense tracks like 2SEATER and FIND YOUR WINGS with the latter being the underlining meaning of the whole album. Tyler posted this in 2014, before the album came out, talking about being yourself, embracing yourself and loving yourself:
Tyler has always been brash, loud and offensive, with lyrics about rape, murder and sexual actions (which were all just through a character’s voice in his narrative!!) and that has always landed him in bad water with the media eg. being banned from performing in the UK and Australia. However, all the controversy in a way only made him a bigger star. It hasn’t put a break on his successful stab into the fashion industry with his clothing line GOLFWANG though he hasn’t given up on the music, most recently featuring on Frank Ocean’s new track Biking. The album as a whole is really good in my eyes.
However, sometimes it’s hard to hear his vocals and I know he has said the reason being is that ‘thats how I wanted to mix it so I did’ which I respect. Some of the songs haven’t carried over too well over these past two years but I’m still listening to most of the album and was only rapping along to DEATHCAMP the other night at a house party. Here’s to hoping he releases more music soon, and the ban gets lifted or ends so I can get freaky at his shows!