Tyler Kills It With 'Flower Boy'

August 6, 2017

Okay, let me preface this real quick.


To my many fans, I dropped the ball.


I decided to call this blog 14 Days because I wanted to give a project two weeks before I share my thoughts on it.


Friends, Tyler, the Creator's Flower Boy came out on July 21. Today is Aug. 5.


That means the first the first edition of 14 Days, is actually on the 15th day.


What can you do. Onto the review.

 So, I'm just gonna cut to the chase; this is an unreal project.


Flower Boy is Tyler's fourth album and definitely his best project to date.


The structure and overall cohesiveness of the album as a whole, puts Tyler's personal progression on display, while simultaneously displaying his growth as a bonafide artist.


Of the 14 tracks, every song is produced by Tyler.




The classic rebellious teen, Odd Future-type sound is still alive on Flower Boy, but it's finally meshing with legitimate music.


Starting with the first track, Foreword, a calm guitar is met with the vocals of Rex Orange County. Now, I had, and still have no clue who this Mr. Orange County character is, but by god, does this guy have pipes.


His soothing voice on the chorus, combined with Tyler's brutally honest lyrics, makes for a perfect (dare I say it!) foreword to an album that is essentially an elongated version of this song.


Unlike his typically obnoxious past, Tyler utilizes tranquil features from Rex Orange County, Frank Ocean, Kali Uchis, Estelle and Steve Lacy across the album.


Aside from Foreword, the songs Where This Flower Blooms, See You Again, Boredom, 911/Mr. Lonely and Glitter are all amongst the most musical we've heard from Tyler.


That being said, songs like Who Dat Boy, Pothole, I Ain't Got Time and November contain legit bars.


But it's the combination of those type of sounds that makes this album so unique compared to his previous projects. Tyler isn't trolling anymore, this is the most authentic we've gotten out of him on a studio album.


And while it's not the focal point of the album, that authenticity is highlighted by his sexuality.


There is not one glorified moment on the project that Tyler, the Creator clearly comes out of the closet, but it's pretty prevalent throughout the album that he's trying to tell people he is not who we think he is, in terms of his sexuality.


Here are a few concrete instances that I, and the majority of listeners, have noticed in regards to his sexuality:



"Shout out to the girls that I lead on / For occasional head and always keeping my bed warm / And trying their hardest to keep my head on straight"


Who Dat Boy:

"I'm currently lookin' for '95 Leo"



"Hi y'all, y'all ain't hit me all day / What the f*ck is the problem? Is it me? / 'Cause I'm not solved, I'm... bored."


I Ain't Got Time:

"Passenger a white boy, look like River Phoenix"

"Next line will have 'em like "Woah" / I've been kissing white boys since 2004"



"What if ... All my day ones turn to three, fours 'cause of track seven"


Those are just a few lines that hint at his coming out.


On the song November, Tyler seems slightly concerned that he may lose friends as a result of track seven. The seventh song on this album is called Garden Shed, and is believed to be metaphor for his sexuality.


He is hiding in the 'garden shed', but feels as though it's safe to come out and use his tools in to help others, and himself, grow.


Garden Shed:

"...garden shed / For the garden / That is where I was hidin' / That was real love I was in / Ain't no reason to pretend / Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed / Garden shed for the garçons / Them feelings that I was guardin' / Heavy on my mind"

While it's an interesting revelation for Tyler fans, the most important part about this album is not getting caught up in the drama behind his sexuality.


At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter at all, just ask Tyler.


This is an album about growing as a whole and Tyler conveys that message in more ways than one.


Firstly, the album cover paints a deep picture. It's Tyler standing high above a sunflower farm with a bee over his face.


Looking back to some of Tyler's work off of his third album Cherry Bomb, the videos for his song Perfect featuring Kali Uchis as well as F*cking Young, both show him amongst sunflowers.


The music videos portray Tyler as an adolescence at that period of time. Two years later, he is pollinating those flowers as he stands far above them.


The song Dropping Seeds featuring Lil Wayne (free Tha Carter V), really allows the listener to realize that Tyler is a highly influential figure, not only to the rap "sport" as a whole, but to the adolescence that are listening to this amongst the sunflowers, the same way he was as a teen.


Personally, I appreciate an album that is thoughtful as a project much more than just a bunch of songs thrown together.


Flower Boy does not only possess an entire album of bumpable and chilled songs, but there's a lot of thought that went into it. I've listened to it about 30 times and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon.


I'm officially declaring this the album of the summer.

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© 2019 Justin Cait