I’m supposed to look down on Tyler the Creator. The music is not catered to me. I’m not a skateboarder or a teenager full of angst. His music should make me smirk or shake my head when someone most likely significantly younger than me praises it but instead I’ve become the one putting on other youths to his music.
Tyler the Creator has distinguished himself from the typical array of trap/ratchet/backpack rappers through building his career and catalog by creating a sound, following and social media presence that has him on a path of being one of the more musically inclined artists of this next generation of hip hop.
From his first album Bastard to his latest release Cherry Bomb, you can see the growth of an artist through success and unlike typical artists who stick with the formula that brought them props, Tyler has progressed lyrically as you can clearly follow the evolution of the skateboarder kid to the leader of a burgeoning media conglomerate.
On the production front, there is sonically a lot going on with each Tyler album. Rock, Jazz, R&B/Soul, Alternative and Hip Hop are always on display and the fusion of all of those genres shows the versatility of Tyler. Its refreshing to see a youngin channel Stevie Wonder in terms of sound and not just sampling a hit like others. Each of the albums sound better than the last and there’s a quality and a richness to the sound that shows a dedication to the craft. The fact that luminaries like Pharrell and Kanye collaborate with him should be enough of a co-sign for the average listener.
His movement on various social networking platforms is so heavy. He doesn’t need radio play, blog interviews or big features to get the word out about his latest project. The music videos are done independently, there’s no major label push, the clothing line/merchandising has been a huge financial boom and the branding is off the charts with launch of an online radio station. And he’s not even 25 yet.
In this era of copycat producers, rappers, music video directors and radio/tv personalities Tyler the Creator has separated himself from the pack through ingenuity, hard work and talent. Go through the catalog, chart the progression, listen to the content, laugh at the absurdity and you catch yourself head nodding a lot more than you thought you would. No matter what your age it doesn’t take too much to recognize pending greatness of Tyler the Creator.