His Gangsta Grillz
IGOR was a turning point in Tyler’s career, the final step in his metamorphosis from indie rap troll to mainstream pop star. And while the change seems to be permanent in some ways (CMIYGL uses a large part of IGORthe vintage-synth-heavy musical palette of), the new record also reminds him of formative influences: namely, the legendary Gangsta Grillz mixtapes with Pharrell, Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. Here, Tyler uses the format to remind everyone why someone ever paid attention to him in the first place: the boy can rap. He leaves most of the vocals to the guest stars, focusing his energies on bars designed to dazzle and defile as well: Drama’s ad libs are lingering to ubiquity, just like the good old days. They are also often hilarious: “You see these excursions here? “THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE WHEN THE MOON AND THE SUN COLLECT. “
Tyler, the producer
CMIYGL finds Tyler more adept than ever at weaving different ideas into a cohesive song, rather than just squashing them together. It plays with movement in the mix, bouncing sounds between the left and right channels for an immersive headphone experience. The guest list includes big names like Lil Uzi Vert, Pharrell and Frank Ocean, but he’s never been eclipsed once, even the biggest stars fall into his geostationary orbit. And while CMIYGL has a very specific underlying narrative at the lyric level, the production styles seem to tell the story of Tyler’s entire career so far. There’s the post-Thundercat R&B yacht (“I THINK YOU WANT TO DANCE”), a Gravediggaz horror sample (“LUMBERJACK”) and a Salaam Remi flip that wouldn’t seem out of place on a Kendrick Lamar LP (“MANIFESTO “). So even though CMIYGL is a marked return to rap after the surrealist pop of IGOR, Tyler is also clearly light years away from the skeletal productions of his early LPs.
Baudelaire’s Flower Boy
Baudelaire, the character Tyler plays throughout the album, is a proxy for Tyler’s new worldliness and his inability to take advantage of that sophistication in the relationship of his dreams. The real Baudelaire was a French poet who mixed romance and realism – parts of his most famous work, the years 1857 The evil flowers (The evil flowers), were originally banned for being too explicit, and Baudelaire himself was prosecuted for indecency. So it looks like Tyler’s evolution from an angsty teenager spitting dirt for shock value to a sensitive loving man with a playful streak would culminate in this role, especially since most of those lyrics are about stealing. his friend’s daughter.
But the character of Baudelaire also offers a clue on the specifics of his growing pains. On “MASSA,” Tyler admits that at least some of his initial ignorance was healed with his passport, which allowed him to leave his bubble for the first time and experience the world. Added to the awkwardness of his metamorphoses is the fact that the transformation was not only artistic, but also physical, as he raps: