The Odd Future phenomenon has taken the world by storm already, and we’re still a few days out from the official release of Tyler, The Creator’s much-hyped follow-up to Bastard, Goblin. The wolf pack has got some people who generally don’t listen to hip-hop excited for the first time in a while, and for that alone they should be commended.
And they could easily rest on that fact alone and coast through the rest of their careers as the group that brought rap music back to the indie kids. But they don’t. Instead, Tyler has put together a record that has already cemented a spot in the hip-hop hall of fame in my mind.
Goblin plays like a session with a therapist for Tyler, who reveals deep, dark feelings and violent thoughts for the world to hear. It made me think of that Seinfeld episode where George tells Jerry all his secrets, and Jerry is shown with a horrified look on his face. Initially, that was my reaction to some of the material here. But on second, third, fourth listens, as you get further into Tyler’s mind and his imagination, you realize he’s a mad genius. He does things on this release that Eminem tried to do for years and failed to accomplish.
The Creator could be considered the Laurence Sterne of the rap world. One second he’s fantasizing about killing his friends and himself, the next he’s a vampire afraid to perform cunnilingus. It’s a kind of free-association rhyming that makes every song feel fresh even, after ten spins. And the fact that he doesn’t seem to care about creating a smooth flow or letting the beats do the brunt of the work, like a lot of artists do, makes me appreciate his creativity all the more. Someone like Jay-Z could never make an album this good, because they’d be too worried about their public persona. Tyler, The Creator doesn’t give a fuck.
I don’t want to get into too many specifics about the album, because it’s really something you should discover for yourself. I will say that this is the first rap album I’ve listened to on repeat since The Chronic. That reference dates me, for sure, but it should also tell you that Goblin is an essential release-day purchase. If you don’t have this in your catalog, you will be missing out on a truly one-of-a-kind artist doing his thing. Check out this video and make up your own mind. But if you don’t buy this record you seriously need help.