After a rough year for the genre of hip-hop, 2021 has finally delivered us some more heat as Tyler made his much-anticipated return with a full form Odd Future-style release. Complete with a feature from former member of OF Domo Genesis and a couple of some of rap’s biggest names with Lil Uzi Vert and NBA Youngboy in surprisingly wholesome verses. Finally, we get the voices of the legendary Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, and numerous intros/outros from prolific producer DJ Drama.
In terms of pacing, the album definitely has a strong first half, proceeded by a bit of a series of interludes that lead to one of Tyler’s longest rap songs since the likes of “Colossus” from WOLF with “Wilshire”. “Lemonhead” gives us that loud abrasive tone and horn-blasting production he loved so early on in his career and that’s where Frank Ocean chimes in to remind us all of his angelic presence.
One of the most important aspects of this project is the evolution of Tyler’s lyrics. Whereas IGOR and Flower Boy provided a much more happier side of Tyler’s ongoing life success in the business, Call Me If You Get Lost gives an insight to some of the heartbreak and yearning for the unattainable in life, something that only further encapsulates his genius onto a physical track.
The weaknesses of the album are few and far between, with most listeners taken back by the obnoxious ramblings of DJ Drama. While it would be nice to hear a version with his parts taken out so that the masterly crafted beats can really ride in and out on a whim, it is all a part of the subversion of expectations that Tyler loves to grasp to. However, it could use a slight re-edit to better accentuate the smooth instrumentals with the heartfelt lyricism he presents. This feels closer to WOLF and CHERRY BOMB than it does Flower Boy and IGOR.
Favorite Tracks: “Wilshire”, “Lemonhead” ft. 42 Dugg, “WUSYANAME?” ft. NBA Youngboy & Ty Dolla Sign, and “HOT WIND BLOWS” ft. Lil Wayne