More about: Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, the Creator has always done whatever he has wanted to do. For the rapper who spent most part of his early career being a provocateur, broke through with a song accompanied by a video where he threw up after eating a live cockroach and ended up banned from the UK for five years due to the lyrics on his 2009 mixtape Bastard, there are no rules that can’t be broken.
As the years have gone by, Tyler has moved on from being a maverick just for the sake of being a maverick. 2017’s Flower Boy and 2019’s Igor saw the aggressive rapper do what, at the time, was completely unexpected when he introduced us to a sensitive, thoughtful and melodic side we never knew he had. With his sixth studio album Call Me If You Get Lost, Tyler turns everything up-side-down again, resulting in one of the most dynamic and interesting entries in his discography so far.
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Call Me If You Get Lost is, and does, a lot. Already a master of the art of breaking genre boundaries, the album sees Tyler effortlessly move between Wolf-like beats, Flower Boy-esque soul, Goblin-levels of energy, Cherry Bomb-inspired flows and Igor-style synth melodies. The album is in a lot of ways a bag of well-curated pick-n-mix, a selection of contrasting moments of brilliance put into one big melting pot. Time and time again, Tyler merges seemingly unrelated ideas together and regardless of their style and tempo they fit seamlessly. ‘Lemonhead’, the record’s third song, appears to be a straightforward hip-hop track until trap production is swapped for a soft bossa nova-style interlude that leads straight into the '90s RnB-inspired 'WUSYANAME'. On paper it shouldn’t work, but Tyler makes it seem like the obvious thing to do.
“I don’t even like using the word ‘bitch’ / It just sounded cool,” Tyler raps at the end of ‘Corso’, an apology for his younger, provocative, self perhaps. If Flower Boy and Igor were platforms for Tyler to prove to the world that he was more than the controversial rapper he had been labelled as, Call Me If You Get Lost sees Tyler come full circle. Always a skilled rapper, Tyler reclaims his status as such, returning to his roots in a way but maintaining the sophistication we know from his recent releases throughout. Introducing us to the new alter-ego Tyler Baudelaire in ‘Sir Baudelaire’, the first song of the album, Tyler draws parallels between himself and the influential French poet with the same name, who’s explicit writing resulted in fines for indecency and offence against public morals.
Lyrically, Tyler shows delicate vulnerability one moment and doubtless confidence the next. ‘Sweet / I Thought You Wanted To Dance’, the almost 10-minute long track appearing on the second half of the record, is one of its finest moments and the culmination of the complex love story that runs throughout. Tyler Baudelaire wears his heart on his sleeve and the conflicting emotions associated with his unrequited love are unavoidable. ‘Rise!’, “dedicated to the haters, the non-believers, and the disgruntled”, on the other hand, sees Tyler assuredly and unquestionably talk about his way to the top.
There are still a lot of things left to say about Call Me If You Get Lost. It is an album where each track in itself is complex, creative and multifaceted enough to deserve a full review. Every single listen seem to make an already brilliant album even better and it will most likely remain on repeat for the foreseeable future.
Call Me If You Get Lost is out now.
More about: Tyler, The Creator