Music Review: Wolf by Tyler, the Creator

by Sheena Tadifa: The Odd Future leader, Tyler, the Creator, has come a long way since dropping his first studio album, Bastard. His newly released album, Wolf, is rife with personal confessions along with controversial commentaries.

“Domo23”, the album’s first single, contains a high-speed bounce as Tyler lyrically disses celebrity, something he’s quite known for. He also talks about how he ate one roach and made a lot of money which refers to his wildly popular video “Yonkers”,  the starting point of his fame. 

Moving into the song “Answer”, Tyler lashes out at his absent father and spits hatred on multiple verses before he flows into the chorus saying if his father ever were to call, he “hopes he would answer.” This shows a bit of uncertainty about what kind of content Tyler should tackle and how he should tackle it.

Featuring two members from Odd Future: Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt, “Rusty” is an autobiographical song that talks about Odd Future’s rise to fame after growing up together nearly broke. He mentions on the second verse that he “hated the popular ones, now I’m the popular one.” He also addresses his critics by sarcastically asking them why he hates gays. 

He raps, “Look at that article that says my subject matter is wrong, saying I hate gays even though Frank is on 10 of my songs.” (Note that his band mate, Frank Ocean, revealed last year that his first love was a man).

Tyler’s guests in the album go beyond his Odd Future clique, with appearances by Erykah Badu and Pharrell Williams, whom are both his heroes. Still, some of the best appearances come from those he’s most comfortable with such as Frank Ocean, who is featured in the songs “Slater” and “Bimmer.”

The somber track, “Lone,” contains one continuous verse where Tyler contrasts his current lifestyle and where he was a couple of years ago. “God I wanna quit, but I can’t, cause mother and sister can’t pay the rent.” Tyler sometimes feels that he wants to quit rapping since he finds the fame to be very annoying. But he talks about having responsibilities like paying the mortgage, and that if he quits, he wouldn’t be able to live in his home.

Tyler is his own worst enemy. He claimed on Twitter that this album was “weak”. But in the end, the result was a decent album which contains stronger writing compared to any of his other albums. Intelligence and talent wrapped up in insecurity made Tyler quite a unique lyricist, and this well-produced album can be found very entertaining, if you don’t mind the cruel and bitter criticism that accompanies it.

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