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Review: Tyler, The Creator – Scum Fuck Flower Boy

In Hip Hop by Brian Hildebrand

Tyler The Creator’s New Album, “Scum Fuck Flower Boy”, is incredible.

2 years since the release of Cherry Bomb, Tyler, The Creator has dropped his newest project, “Scum Fuck Flower Boy” – a title that is surprisingly unsurprising for such a diverse individual most commonly known for his disturbing, yet oddly charming music video for “Yonkers” on his debut studio album “Goblin” back in 2011. It contrasts Tyler’s alter ego’s perfectly – “Flower Boy” perhaps referring to him taking pride in who he is and embracing things that are more feminine, fittingly juxtaposing “Scum Fuck” which perhaps highlights Tyler’s more caustic and irrational personality.

Tyler, The Creator has always been very controversial in the eyes of the media and this album is no exception, with multiple sources speculating how certain tracks in this album show Tyler ‘coming out’. Either way, his music should be the main focus and boy he delivered, many fans already regarding this project as his best to date. After playing this album all the way through undisturbed, as encouraged by Tyler himself on his Twitter account, then proceeding to having it on repeat in the background all day whilst then listening to it one last time before falling asleep, I feel like I’m ready to give this album a review it deserves.

The first song on the album, “Foreword”, as the title suggests, is an introduction to the mindset of Tyler and what we will be exploring through the rest of the tracks. With an incredible feature from the relatively unknown artist Rex Orange County, providing soft vocals building up to more powerful and emotional vocals towards the end as Tyler portrays some of his suicidal tendencies and feelings of no one really caring for him (“And if I drown and don’t come back, who’s gonna know?”), this track helps set the stage perfectly for the remainder of the album.

The second track features Tyler linking up with Frank Ocean once again to form another classic entitled “Where This Flower Blooms”. Tyler uses the metaphor of a flower “blooming” to illustrate the growth of his fame, popularity and wealth, but also how people act when you are at that level. He touches upon the subject of how people should be themselves and how you should pride yourself off that, a recurring theme throughout (“Tell these Black kids they could be who they are, Dye your hair blue, shit, I’ll do it too”).

The flawless and melodic instrumentation seamlessly fades out into the 3rd track “Sometimes”, a short interlude of a conversation over the radio. A masculine voice (not Tyler’s) asks for “The one about me” in response to what song he wants the radio to play. This serves as an introduction to the next track, and my personal favourite on this album, “See You Again” featuring Kali Uchis who has featured on a plethora on Tyler’s projects, including another one of my favourites “Perfect” from his album “Cherry Bomb”.

See You Again portrays Tyler dreaming about his ideal lover. Whenever he wakes up, this person disappears, and therefore he “doesn’t want to wake up”. While he is very much in love with this person, he hates constantly waiting and chasing. The context of the track “Sometimes” and the masculine voice asking the next song to play to be “about me” suggests he is talking about a being in love with a male. Tyler also backed this theory up by cryptically tweeting “he exists behind my eyelids”, perhaps referring to the person he is dreaming about in this song.

Track five, “Who Dat Boy” featuring ASAP Rocky was released as a single shortly before the album itself. It has it’s own music video which, if you are a fan of Tyler, know how good he is at directing music videos and this one is no exception. With the heavy bassline and 808’s, this track serves as the “banger” of the album and is definitely the track to play at clubs and concerts.

The music video also gives hints following the narrative of the previous songs with the poster of Romeo and Juliet and Tyler escaping from the cops with a Romeo lookalike at the end, which along with the fact he ‘puts on a new face’, perhaps implies Tyler wanting to bring this relationship he talked about in the previous song to life, but it would involve a lot of risk and him having to change identity (which also ties in to the ‘take pride in yourself’ theme as well).

The video ends in Tyler driving away in the distance, and the next track “Pothole” ties in perfectly as Tyler discusses the other obstacles he faces in his life such as trust, the real and the fake, being bored and nostalgia, while he is driving along. “Pothole” serves as a metaphor of something that stops him in those tracks, such as the the themes I just mentioned. Another reference is made to the theme of taking pride in yourself – “Everyone is a sheep, me, a lone wolf”. This also refers to him feeling lonely.

Garden Shed, perhaps the most controversial track on the album, features Estelle, who has previously supported the LGBT community. Tyler uses a garden shed as a representation of a hiding place. This draws parallels to the phrase “coming out of the closet,” which is a metaphor for someone revealing they’re homosexual. More metaphors of coming out are also used such as a flower blooming. In the 8th track, “Boredom”, Tyler largely focuses on the state of loneliness.

This song returns to a much more smooth and melodic vibe similar to the first few tracks with features from Anna of the North, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rex Orange County and guitar work by Austin Feinstein. A close second favourite on this project. Track 9, “I Aint Got Time”, serves as an instant contrast to the lyrics of the previous song “Find some time to do something”. This time Tyler is addressing the people who are only interested in him because of his success, wealth and fame and don’t actually care about him otherwise. You can see that Tyler feels lonely because he feels most people are only around him because of his success, hence the juxtaposition.

Track 10 is split into two parts, entitled “911/Mr Lonely”. Again this follows on from the previous tracks about him feeling lonely. Tyler hints at his troubles of depression which he stated he was ‘over’ when he released Cherry Bomb as he rapped about other topics, however this is more in line with his darkest and deepest projects like “Goblin”.

The next track features a one minute interlude of Lil Wayne and Tyler collaborating together to produce “Droppin Seeds”. It’s rare nowadays to hear Lil Wayne on a jazz-type beat again and it is definitely one of the best verses he has dropped in a while. This track swiftly follows into track 12 “November” which sees Tyler longing for the past. It depicts some of Tyler’s insecurities about what will happen if music fails him and suggests that he wishes he was back in November when he didn’t worry about all of this.

The end of the song sees Tyler seeking courage to make a phone call to someone supposedly confessing his love, and the next track “Glitter” explores just this. Tyler attempts to leave a voicemail to a crush hoping to confess his love. And he begs to know how that person feels. The closing track “Enjoy Right Now, Today” is a vibrant masterpiece. It features jazzy instrumentation and vocals from Pharrell Williams. It is a perfect and fitting finale for an incredible album.

If you haven’t heard it already, I highly recommend you purchase it on itunes via the link below. Tyler, The Creator’s social medias are also linked.

 

Purchase Album On Itunes

https://twitter.com/tylerthecreator

https://facebook.com/TylertheCreatorOfficial/

https://www.instagram.com/fuckyeahtylerthecreator