IGOR Is No Flower Boy, But Still a Damn Good Listen

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Posted: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 9:00 am

Ladera Heights’ own, Tyler Okonma, A.K.A., Tyler, the Creator is back from a two-year hiatus and releases his sixth, full-length project. Unless you have been in hiding for the last decade, you know who Tyler, the Creator is. He is the co-founder of the group, Odd Future, which has produced talents such as Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, and Syd. Syd would later go on to form the soul band known as The Internet. In my opinion, Tyler’s career got off to a shaky start. I was not the biggest fan of Bastard (2009) or Goblin (2011), and neither project seemed to have any good aspects about them. The shock factor of the lyrics and the videos left a bad taste in my mouth and I just really was not entertained by what the future of Tyler’s sound would be, but boy was I ever wrong about that.

Tyler’s next projects, Wolf (2013) and Cherry Bomb (2015) showed drastic increases in maturity as the rapper hinted at a transition from horrorcore to some soulful hip-hop, which led into the masterpiece that we know today as Flower Boy (2017). Tyler went full R&B/Soul on Flower Boy and created instant classics in “Boredom”, “See You Again”, and “Garden Shed”. The production also saw an evolution in an artist that went from being goofy and off-the-wall to focusing on making a great, cohesive project. This evolution is shown brightly on his latest project, IGOR, although I do believe that it is a step down from Flower Boy in terms of quality.

The production from start to finish is immaculate, but unfortunately, it has to carry the majority of the album. The heavy drums on the opening track, “IGOR’S THEME’, the melodic piano chords “EARFQUAKE”, and the spacy synths on “I THINK” are what really make those tracks great instead of the vocals or lyrics. There’s not much to look deeper into in terms of lyricism and I’m just not that big of a fan of the vocal manipulations. In terms of an overarching theme, I hate to throw around the term “sad boy”, but this project definitely tells the story of a man with a broken heart. It is not a dark and depressing album but love and heartbreak are the core of this project. You can make out the features of Playboi Carti, Uncle Charlie, and Kanye but I wish I could’ve heard their natural voices. This is a fun album though. While it falls short of my expectations, Tyler, the Creator’s maturity must be appreciated and I’m excited for more work in the future and see what his next steps are.