▲ Scum Fuck Flower Boy. PROVIDED BY ODD FUTURE RECORDS.
Tyler, The Creator. The center of controversy. The only artist to ever be banned from entering another country since 2010. From dark beats with raunchy lyrics to sensible beats with over-the-top vulnerable stories, it is impossible to see where his artistic direction will lead. People usually had a problem with the dark side of his music, but it seems that with his new album Scum Fuck Flower Boy (2017), he might prove the haters wrong. It seems that all the criticism he has received for being homophobic might be off the mark as well. He came out.
Tyler, The Creator is a well-known rapper hailing from California. His breakout mixtape, Bastard, has been acclaimed for its dark and minimalistic production, with lyrics that flow smoothly through intense rhyme schemes. Tyler started out as a blog darling, quickly gaining the support of hipsters that were bored with the same formula of music that was flooding the mainstream. However, like all musicians do, Tyler had his own share of criticisms.
His lyrics are often hyperviolent. He rapes women, kills people, and is at times blatantly homophobic in his songs. While this allows him to make a certain vibe of music only he can do properly, it has made some listeners question Tyler’s morality. His new album Scum Fuck Flower Boy, however, seems to put off the hate that he has received for his lyrics, backed by strong musicality and incredibly vivid tales of his mental world that at times address his previously hidden homosexuality.
Scum Fuck Flower Boy kicks off with the intro “Foreword” featuring vocals from singer Rex Orange County. The eerie and soulful beat merges well with Tyler’s detailed tale of drowning, a metaphor he utilizes to explain that this record will be that of exploring the depths of his inner self.
The third track “Sometimes…” is a skit organized to sound like a radio show. There is a boy in this skit that asks the DJ to play a song about himself, which is revealed to be the next song “See You Again.” It features lyrics from Tyler lamenting his fantasy lover that only exists in his dreams. The lyrics are directed toward a he implying that the boy mentioned in the skit is his lover, making it one of his coming out moments in the album.
The overall soft atmosphere of the album switches completely on the fifth track “Who Dat Boy”. The banging beat with incredibly dense basslines with sinister synths looping in the background further enhances Tyler and the featured rapper A$AP Rocky’s harsh delivery of hard-nosed braggadocios lyrics. It seems Tyler has tried to break the stereotype that gay rappers are not able to handle brash and aggressive tracks.
The seventh track “Garden Shed” starts off with a guitar strum that completely gives way suddenly to a mellow synth lead. Then it comes back in a much more powerful electric feel. The structure of the song is composed like a musical giving off a cinematic aura. Garden shed serves as a metaphor for concealing one’s identity, which Tyler uses to reference the mentality of a closeted homosexual.
Scum Fuck Flower Boy is a smart album. Aside from his musical genius demonstrated by on-point flows and amazing production, this album also showcases the inside of Tyler, The Creator’s state of mind. The lyrics convincingly explain how the seemingly scattered ideology behind his music all makes sense. Not only will this album’s balanced yet various and entertaining nuance make the past skeptics understand his artistry, it will put it on the top shelf of his entire discography.