Tyler, the Creator blossoms on neatest introspective work ‘Flower Boy’
Tyler, the Creator’s highly anticipated record Flower Boy, promoted as Scum Fuck Flower Boy, has at last been planted in the oval-shaped membranes of its beneficiaries, those same individuals who’d been patiently awaiting a follow-up to the artist’s 2015 LP Cherry Bomb —one that seemed may never arrive.
In contrast to his previous offerings, Tyler promoted this LP and, similarly, it is brimming with composed content much different from that of his days in Odd Future, it’s obvious Tyler meticulously cared for this seedling.
Flower Boy’s release and its intent on the whole were created in part by hinting from the very beginning at a more sonically open and self-reflective attitude. This was seen on several diverse singles shared prior to its release, which includes “Who Dat Boy,” “911/Mr. Lonely,” “Boredom,” and “I Ain’t Got Time.”
But the nonchalant deliverance of Flower Boy and its intersection of production styles from that of jazz-esque tracks like “911/Mr. Lonely,” to heavy bass hitters like “I Ain’t Got Time,” is very different from the Tyler who entered the music industry several years ago.
Aligning himself with ostentatious lyrics, black-eye inducing shows, earning bans in countries like the UK, and spewing hate speech unto “fagots” and women along the way, now at 26, Tyler’s music reveals a man who’s contemplated his fair share of misgivings.
Reminiscing on Flower Boy of his life’s dealings, nostalgia for past loves, uncertainty amongst sexuality, delving into dealings of his own worth, and existential thoughts, Tyler, the Creator copes and discusses the many absurdities of life, like his loneliness and stardom on the LP.
As it’s uncertain to what degree the sincerity of this serious, mature approach is, it may remain difficult for some to separate the newly introspective artist from the once self-described “radical”. To listen to Flower Boy is not to forgive Tyler, the Creator for his assemblage of insensitive acts over the years, but to take a journey through his psyche, to remember that humans are all moseying through this thing called life together. Perhaps — though it’s not to excuse previous behavior — crudeness was once Tyler’s way of coping, and he has found a more profound way to do so now.
To call Tyler a matured artist may be an overreach speaking on behalf of the varied content of the album. At times Flower Boy remains radical like early Tyler tracks — “See You Again” and “I Ain’t Got Time” prove this to be true. Still, it is most definitely self-aware and incredibly thoughtful — indicative of that most difficult of aspirations: growth.