Flower Boy, Tyler, the Creator

By Daniel Winogradoff, Albums Editor

flower boy

SCORE: 9.0

Tyler, the Creator, a rambunctious cartoon/designer/artist/Carnival coordinator, has never had issues with creating images of multi-mattered grandeur. In fact, the Ladera Heights, CA native thinks of his works — especially when he raps — as movies. From a young age, Tyler has worked tirelessly on drafting his own script, yearning as a disciple to reach self-cognizance, something that would accomplish more than any goofball caricature ever could. Those hours of drawing donuts, teaching himself how to play instruments and designing his own shoes and album covers have culminated to now, the beginning of his creative prime.

On his latest project, the self-written and produced Flower Boy, the 26-year-old pivots away from his far-gone chaotic and malevolent brain with a beautifully orchestrated masterpiece. His most accomplished and mindful work yet, Flower Boy (first advertised as Scum F*ck Flower Boy on Tyler’s social media) is a symphonic enterprise that was two years in the making, one that seemed to nurture itself through progression and unpredictability. The project is forlorn, yet vibrant and honest. It’s an assuagement from the realization of sexuality, coloring the world around him with manifestations of lyrical emotion.

The project opens up with “Foreword,” a setting-of-the-stage in which Tyler introspectively poses questions about his future. Tyler raps, “How much cooler can I get until I run out of fans?/ How many fans can I have until I turn on the AC?/ If the AC blows, well then I’m TNT, I’m gone.” At the end of the album, Tyler comes full-circle with the nifty and militarized instrumental, “Enjoy Right Now, Today,” to ensure everyone that the future is not to be worried about.

The album does exhibit quite a bit of depth with several important guest cameos, including two appearances from ultimate crooner and day-one Frank Ocean (“Where This Flower Blooms” and “911/Mr. Lonely”), A$AP Rocky (“Who Dat Boy”) Jaden Smith (“Pot Hole”) and Lil Wayne (“Dropping Seeds”). However, the best tracks are those in which Tyler maximizes his voice for the softer tunes. On the album’s best track, “Garden Shed,” Tyler uses ambience, diving Kramers and terse percussion to segue into a conversation about concealing one’s sexual orientation, drawing discussion amongst the music industry about Tyler’s own preferences. The succeeding track, the Rex Orange County assisted “Boredom,” singles out messages about Tyler’s loneliness, despite all of the riches he has acquired since becoming famous.

Tyler’s kooky production style is unmatched and incorporates several generations of genre-building that formulates an illustrious and unforgettable sound. Pre-released “I Ain’t Got Time!” is this album’s “THE BROWN STAINS OF DARKESE LATIFAH PART 6-12 (Remix)”, with an accordion-tinted melody, humanized claps and classic Tyler-esque bells, dings and pokes. Tyler’s final track with vocals is the pretty “Glitter.” Trembling vocal effects and a doozy background helps Tyler clear up his feelings for his special someone, as he sings “Firework, I feel like glitter/ And every time you come around, I feel like glitter/ You’re the one that I wanna give my life … ‘Cause I love having you around.”

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