I would assume that you probably know who Odd Future is by now, and if you don’t know who they are, then I would assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years. Tyler, The Creator dropped his third album, Wolf, today, and you can say I’ve been looking forward to it. I listened to both Bastard and Goblin a ton, and Wolf will also be getting regular rotation from me. Tyler’s music seems to get better the more I listen to it. I’ll admit the first time I heard “Bastard” I didn’t really like it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.
Odd Future is known for having graphic material in their songs; Bastard and Goblin both had a lot of songs about murder and rape, and while Wolf definitely has it’s fair share of outrageous lyrics, Tyler has toned it down a little bit. He has definitely moved away from the ridiculous shock raps and the “fuck everybody” punk attitude. The themes that show up on Wolf include dealing with fame and success, girl problems, having an absent father, and his career thus far. His flows are all pretty nice on this album. When it comes to the beats, Tyler has stepped his production game up – a lot. The whole album is entirely produced by him, and the beats sound great. His production style is very unique and he’s definitely created his own sound.
The single off the album “Domo 23” has Tyler bragging over mischievous horns, while the following track “Answer” is much darker with Tyler longing for his late grandmother and absent father over a relaxed guitar track and bright organs. “IFHY” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Tyler talks about his conflicted love interest over a dark organ track which evolves into electric synthesizers while the darkness is continued in the bass and drums. “Rusty” is the standout track on this album. The beat almost sounds like something RZA would’ve done in the 90’s, and Tyler’s verse is on point. He basically gives all of his critics a big “fuck you” and finishes off his verse with “Fuck buying studio time, I’ma go purchase a shrink/ record the session and send all you motherfuckers a link”.
While Tyler’s production is better than it’s ever been, his rhyming hasn’t really gotten any better. He’s definitely not a bad rapper, and it’s good that he’s moved away from the rape and murder, but his rhymes aren’t any better than they were on Goblin. With that being said the album still has some of the best songs he’s ever written. There are several tracks really dive deep into his personal matters, and “Rusty” is one of his best lyrical performances to date.
Overall, Wolf is a beautiful sounding album. The production is beyond great, and rather than venting his anger like Bastard or Goblin, Tyler has opened the doors to show off the talent behind his music.