“20/20, 20/20 vision
Cupid hit me, cupid hit me with precision
I wonder if you look both ways
When you cross my mind.”
For me, Tyler is my favourite rapper around. He’s more than just a rapper though. He’s this wild creation that can unleash anything he sets his mind to and make it the most inspiring body of art. If all you’ve ever taken from his lyrics is that he is some deranged devil worshipper, then you’ve not paid attention. On his new record, Flower Boy he has gone in an otherworldly direction. Records like Goblin were brutal and laced with dark humour. Flower Boy is somewhat the opposite. It is a body of songs that are sung more than rapped. More instrumental sounds than previous. It’s like a journey through his head- you’re standing in the shadows watching Tyler. In awe. This side Tyler shows on Flower Boy is endearing as it is powerful, and shows that he isn’t just a “rapper.” He’s something more. He’s rare and brave. Fearless and focused. More than he has been before.
Flower Boy is a fantastic record, and if you’re into end of year lists I am sure it’ll be in the top 3 and maybe (and rightfully so) it’ll be someone’s top choice. I know it’s mine, for sure. Flower Boy was highly anticipated. I started putting down my thoughts about this record into my second listen last Friday when it came out. I changed my mind on putting anything out there on the day. I wanted to really listen to this record and see what happened after listening to it almost on a loop solid for a week. My opinion is still the same, and I’m pretty confident that this record has took a massive dump on anything else that may come out this year.
What I really adore about this record is how it feels like a burst of colour. There is so much energy and life within this record. Tyler has truly made something that makes the listener feel good. He’s made something that is easy to relate to. One thing that keeps cropping up is his lyrical content this time. Some are saying he’s come out on a few songs or whatever. Who cares? I don’t care what Tyler’s sexuality is- it’s none of mine or anyone’s business. All I care about is the music.
14 songs in 46 minutes. Those 46 minutes allow you to be taken on this journey where Tyler exposes his vulnerabilities in such a gorgeous way. This is wonderfully done on the opener, Foreword. It is also apparent on November and See You Again. These two songs are the ones I keep going back to. I just love his raw honesty in general, but these two songs show a side that not many probably expected. Then again, you probably shouldn’t expect anything from Tyler- he’ll more than likely do what you least expect and that’s what makes him standout above the rest.
Flower Boy goes beyond being just a Hip Hop record. It’s in its own league. You can’t define this by labelling it lazily- that’s just disrespectful. You can truly hear how much has gone into this record, and how Tyler has carefully crafted this masterpiece. He’s one of those who really cannot do anything wrong. I mean sure he has said some questionable things. I admire his determination and his passion. I love how he has made the most exciting record of the year and wasn’t scared to step aside from the sounds on Goblin, Wolf and Cherry Bomb. Each record sounds like a gradual step to where he is now. And where is he now? Top of the world.
I have no idea what sounds have influenced Tyler on Flower Boy. What I get from it is someone who has taken time out. Took in what they’ve seen in the world and allowed the universe to be the source of inspiration. It’s a record that is so easy to have on repeat constantly and not get tired of. One week in, and I really don’t want to listen to anything else.