Tyler, The Creator – Goblin (XL Recordings)

May 18, 2011 by  

Meet Tyler Okonma, he’s the head of hip hop stable OFWGKTA who have been building a large following over the past year or so releasing more than ten albums digitally. He likes to rap about murder, rape, voyeurism, oral sex and beating up critics, which will be either a shock to you or not affect you at all. For the latter, we all know this has been in hip hop for so long now it’s just never hit the peaks of media attention, apart from when a certain white rapper released The Slim Shady LP. For the shocked listeners, this is just fiction, Tyler the Creator is not a Charles Manson wannabe, just like Eminem wasn’t the reincarnation of Ed Gein. Tyler is just a twenty year old who wants to make music the way he wants to make it, fortunately for him his sophomore release Goblin has been gobbled up by the hype monster and spat out all over the globe causing a reaction everywhere it goes.

Just like his debut album Bastard, Goblin sees Tyler wrestling with his thoughts and telling them to his ‘psychiatrist’ (Tyler with a heavily auto tuned voice). This gives out a sinister concept to the album and it is executed intelligently making Goblin more like a story then fourteen songs thrown together. The first track “Goblin” and the final track “Golden” start and finish the album brilliantly as they are played like doctor and patient sessions delving deep in to the rappers mind. Lyrically they show Tyler getting topic after topic off his chest answering listener’s silent questions, and this is where he is at his most prominent.

Tyler likes to repeatedly claim he doesn’t make Horrorcore but there are definitely traces of the sub-genre throughout the album. “Transylvania” is a perfect example of a Horrorcore track lyrically as he raps ‘I’m Dracula b****, don’t got a problem smacking a b****, kidnapping, attacking, with axes and s***’. Musically, the opener Goblin has a Horrorcore theme as well, a beat which RZA would have been proud of back in his Gravediggaz days.

The production of the album is well done, and the grimy and gritty New York sound compliments Tyler’s rage fuelled lyrics. The beats are anti-mainstream hip hop and make Goblin not at all friendly for the radio listeners, which seem to be exactly what the rapper was going for. This makes the construction of it more like an indie hip hop release, there’s more experimentation to the sounds compared to a hip hop album you see in the charts on a daily basis.

Goblin occasionally sways into childish ludicrously (“BSD”) and the length of the album could have been cut down by at least twenty minutes but overall this is a breath of fresh air for hip hop, which has been needed for quite a few years. Tracks like “Yonkers”, “Sandwitches” and “Radicals” would have been considered underground gems but instead the popularity of Tyler and the Odd Future gang has brought that raw and rugged sound back to a mainstream audience, which has been missing since the likes of Nas and Wu Tang Clan quietened down. This is Tyler, the Creator’s dark twisted fantasy, a complicated and conflicted listen for OFWGKTA’s cult following which is expanding every day, it would be rude not join them. ?

[rating:4]


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