TYLER, THE CREATOR – FLOWER BOY REVIEW
WRITTEN BY JASON SEWALD
2017 has continued last year’s trend of consistently giving us strong albums by well-respected artists and on July 21st, you could say this may have been the most cluttered of them all. You had Nav and Metro Boomin’s highly anticipated collaboration album, Meek Mill, French Montana and Tyler, The Creator; the focus of today’s review. Scum Fuck Flower Boy right of the bat is easily Tyler’s lightest album, sonically speaking, yet heaviest in terms of the subject matter and content. If you been under a rock for the past few weeks, I am obviously speaking about the fact that Tyler has supposedly come out as gay, however, that is not his only focus point, which you will find out in the review so without further ado let’s get into it.
Track 1 – Foreword
The albums intro is Foreword, where Tyler questions many aspects of his motivations, his fans and his life in general, with an excellent vocal performance by Rex Orange County. There really isn’t much else he could’ve done to prepare you for the rest of the album.
Track 2 – Where This Flower Blooms
The second track features Frank Ocean. Can we move on to the next track…? On a serious note, Tyler really has this amazing and unique ability to make percussion instruments soothing and cathartic, tied in with his near perfect use of synth based sounds, coupled with Frank’s talent; you can’t go wrong.
Track 3 – Sometimes… (Interlude)
This is an interlude which is just a skit.
Track 4 – See You Again
Let me just say that every single feature on this album has given their absolute all and Tyler made the most out of them unlike other artists and producers who have dropped this year *eye emoji*. However, Tyler is clearly talking about falling in love. Tyler has never been the most lyrical rapper around, so he isn’t hard to decipher at all, but on a personal note I wish he was. Kali Uchis, like all the other features, does an incredible job giving the song just that beautiful touch it needs too which again, I can’t say much on how he could improve.
Track 5 – Who Dat Boy
The first single that came out to promote the album, the track sounds like your typical Tyler track; loud, heavy, in your face altogether with vivid imagery, including a solid feature from A$AP Rocky, who does what he always does which is ride the beat to absolute perfection.
Track 6 – Pothole
Tyler shows his vulnerable side, as he opens up about how not everyone in his team was meant to be trusted and his mother warning him about that. He also mentions how he looks up to Clancy (his manager), as he has done throughout his career. A surprise feature from Jaden Smith on the chorus didn’t disappoint either. I should also mention the synths he used make it so much better and makes this one of my 2 favourite tracks of the album.
Track 7 – Garden Shed
The infamous Garden Shed; a little story if you haven’t heard yet (you caveman!). So before the album came out, it of course leaked and because of that, the lyrics were released and in this particular song, Tyler raps some bars which suggested he is coming out… but we’re not here for that, we’re here for the music. Going back on the lyrics, this is easily where Tyler left himself at his most vulnerable and this is saying something, considering his discography includes song like “Answer” and “IFHY”, both of which are incredibly vulnerable and tackle personal and sensitive issues Tyler’s life. Estelle’s voice and the guitar riffs work wonders on the song and add a whole new emotional depth to it.
Track 8 – Boredom
Another single released as promotion for the album, Boredom tells the story of how Tyler is well… bored and how he needs and wants his friends to call him to hang out. Rex Orange County again doing a great job with the added help of Anna of the North.
Track 9 – I Ain’t Got Time!
The most hype track out of them all. The banging beat literally wakes you up from the soothing tunes you were listening to before and makes you reminiscent of the old Tyler, from Goblin or the OF tapes.
Track 10 – 911 / Mr. Lonely
Starting with 911; the track boasts the best features on the album with Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy, and as you can imagine the track did not disappoint. The summery vibe you get throughout this track literally has the ability to create butterflies in your stomach. Moving on to the second half of the song, 911 smoothly transitions into Mr. Lonely and it has Tyler highlighting how lonely he feels these days because of his success and it does pose a question; is the top really as lonely as they say?
Track 11 – Dropping’ Seeds
I’m convinced Lil Wayne saved his best verses for features and the upcoming (hopefully) Carter V, because he was dropping gems after gems on this track and that really still gives him a shout as one of Hip-Hop’s greatest.
Track 12 – November
November is another track where Tyler lays his heart bare, which has him telling the audience his personal fears; such as Clancy “possibly fucking him over.” November itself is a metaphor for ones happiest time, which has Tyler also talking about that. The track also has Tyler at his most versatile, at least flow wise. I personally have never heard him ride a beat so well before, but my favourite part of the track has to be where he has people such as A$AP Rocky and long-time friend and OF companion Jasper talk about their November and it makes it all the more beautiful.
Track 13 – Glitter
“Care free-flowerboy-black man.” That’s what the track screamed to me, which is incredibly heart-warming to see, as the movement has been going strong on social media and seeing Tyler co-signing it even though that probably wasn’t his intention (reason being that he was always one to do what he thought was right).
Track 14 – Enjoy Right Now, Today
Just like the track says that is probably the overall message of the album; enjoy each day to the fullest, forget everyone else and just enjoy you right here and right now.
In conclusion, I absolutely adore this album and will probably without a doubt be my pick for this year’s best drop (a bit presumptuous I know.) If I could have a criticism, it would be that this album really shows Tyler’s song writing ability or lack of it, specifically on a few tracks it had him reusing the same set ups. Now I never expected him to be incredibly deep but I did expect a consistent vivid picture throughout. I got that through the beats but not his lyrics, but all in all I still very much enjoyed it so I’ll be giving it an 8/10.