‘Flower Boy’ blossoms with creativity

Tyler, The Creator’s latest LP is his best yet

Charlie McBrian, Staff Writer

“Scum F*ck Flower Boy” is absolutely superb. Tyler goes even harder in a neo-soul direction than his previous release and tightens up his flow for what is by far the best LP (Long Play) that Tyler, The Creator has ever… well, created.

Promotional material from Columbia Records
The cover of “Flower Boy” shows Tyler in a field of sunflowers surrounded by bees.

Tyler Okonma, better known as Tyler, The Creator, is a rapper, producer, fashion designer, music video director, and creator who rose to prominence as the leader of the infamous west coast alternative hip-hop collective, Odd Future. Throughout his career, he and his collective have been a lightning rod for controversy, whether it be his use of homophobic slurs in his lyrics (in particular the use of f****t), or accusations of misogynistic lyrics, Tyler has been the focus of many major publications for much of his career.

However, with “Flower Boy,” Tyler seems to ease up a bit. Not to say that his latest release is any less immediate than his previous work, but his lyrics explore more emotionally vulnerable themes, unrequited love, angst, nostalgic grief, consumerism as a coping mechanism, and most notably, coming out of the closet.

The album starts off with “Foreword.” This is an introspective track about Tyler’s progression in life and is a great introduction to the tone of the album.

The next two tracks are good but aren’t very memorable. However, “See You Again” is where the album starts getting great. This immaculately produced neo-soul ballad never fails to impress me. Kali Uchi’s hook is great and Tyler’s production is pure sonic bliss.

“Who Dat Boy” is a masterful banger. The sinister lyrics are reminiscent of MF DOOM. The instrumental’s marcato strings sound like hip hop’s response to Herrmann’s “Psycho.” A$AP Rocky knocks it out of the park with his verse as well.

The next song, “Pothole” is another laid-back, west-coast-flavored track. I enjoy this track a lot more than the stylistic sibling “Where This Flower Blooms,” with the motif of driving and the road being more present than any other song on the album. I especially love the driving synths and the serene percussion.

“Garden Shed” is epic. That’s the only word I can use to describe this song. The guitars are massive and expansive. Estelle lends her vocals to this track, and they are good. Tyler’s flow works really well with the ¾ time signature, and lyrically, it explores coming out of the closet.

“Boredom” is my favorite track of the album. It’s also the longest track on the album, yet it never feels it’s length, with many subtle switch-ups occurring throughout to keep it fresh. The guest vocals here are again fantastic, and add so much depth to the song.

“911/Mr. Lonely” is a two-part song that is the album’s emotional centerpiece. Lyrically, both parts delve into loneliness in general and how materialism can’t fill the void of a relationship. “911,” while lyrically solemn, is a peppy track led by watery synths and a smooth bassline. “Mr. Lonely” is a little more stripped back and somber, and on this track, Tyler really encapsulates the feeling of longing and depression in his lyrics.

“November,” and “Glitter,” are two tracks that don’t really do anything for me. They’re both pretty good tracks, but November’s a bit too dour, and Glitter’s a bit too saccharine.

The final track, “Enjoy Right Now Today” is completely instrumental. It’s punchy, snare-driven beat is very reminiscent of the closing track to N.E.R.D.’s “In Search of….” Although there are no lyrics, I think this is a great closing track to a great album.

Overall, “Flower Boy” is insanely good, and I suggest that you pick it up as soon as possible. If you’re a fan of Tyler, listen to this album. If you’re not a fan of Tyler, listen to this album. If you’re looking for some good music, listen to this album. It’s just that good.

[star rating=”4.5″]