December 30, 2018

Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator shows artist in a new light

Sabrina Joseph ‘20

Image result for flower boy

California rapper and former Odd Future frontman, Tyler, The Creator has notoriously challenged his career as a solo artist and arguably became one of the most profound singer/songwriters of this generation. The recurring theme of cynicism in his music, was heavily contributed by the absence of his father, causing him to only be raised by his mother.
His distressed childhood is particularly showcased in his 2011 debut album “Goblin.” Contrasting with his earlier music, his most recent album, “Flower Boy,” is comprised of tracks with tasteful beats and a comprehensive retro-flow. Tyler has proven to mature as an artist, progressing from his primitive music that was juvenile, messy, and ultimately an uneasy listen. Recognizing these flaws in his original music has resulted in an acclaimed appreciation for his fourth album.
“Compared to his earlier work, ‘Flower Boy’ is more lax and thoughtful, which I love,” junior Noa Russo said. “This album is more personal than the predecessors and it’s clear to me why it’s his most popular project. From Tyler’s first album in 2011, he’s improved immensely in a few different ways, but the one which stands out the most to me is how he no longer pitch-shifts his voice.”
The relatable and personal thoughts Tyler incorporates into his album has cultivated a specific fanbase of outcasts, misfits and specifically the LGBTQ community. Tyler has stressed his complicated relationship with his sexuality multiple times through his music, most recently with a direct line about it in his track “Garden Shed.” In this song, many fans pointed to one lyric to be a “coming out of the closet” moment: “in the woods with flowers, rainbows, and posies.”
Although this may have been relatively new information for some fans, Tyler tweeted in 2015 that he “tried to come out, but nobody cared.” Along with these statements, there were also multiple drawings and a statement early on in his career which implied a hopeless struggle against himself.
An additional reason for the success of “Flower Boy” is the inclusion of many reputable indie artists including Rex Orange County, Frank Ocean, Kali Uchis and A$AP Rocky. Despite the feature of an artist on almost every track, the cohesiveness of album isn’t lost or dissolved with new voices.
Tyler’s distinct sound is seen in every track, from a ballad like, “Where This Flower Blooms,” to more traditional songs like “I Ain’t Got Time!” and “Who Dat Boy.”  “Flower Boy” not only collectively shows the maturity of Tyler, but also showcases multiple signs of self-discovery and the achievement of an overall, more heartfelt and uplifting album.
“Flower Boy” has been the most successful from his catalog and made its way to the number two spot on Billboard 200. From the release of the album, Tyler’s clothing line, Golf Wang, has become exceedingly popular, most notably, the launch of his shoes in collaboration with Converse, that features his flower symbol.

With the creation of “Flower Boy,” came the opportunity for Tyler to explore new sounds and ideas, with a support system bigger than ever before.

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