Tyler, The Creator – Goblin


Posted June 2, 2011 in Music Reviews

DDF apr-may-24 – Desktop

Ladies and gentlemen, the most anticipated rap album of our time. “Niggas had the fucking nerve to call me immature. The fuck you think I made Odd Future for? To wearing fucking suits and make good decisions? Fuck that, nigga. Wolf Gang.” That’s how Sandwitches opens, still a standout eight months after its initial appearance and three after it introduced OFWGKTA to the world on Fallon. Goblin’s high points are all shot through with this kind of recalcitrant bravado. Yonkers is still the song of the year in its new context, all Bruno Mars death-threats and floorboard-shakingly ominous beats. Tron Cat is suitably fearsome cannibal rap. Radicals’ reprise of the “Kill people, burn shit, fuck school” refrain from Earl’s Pigions is a call to arms.

Tyler’s status as a renaissance man sounds great in conversation – he writes the raps, writes and produces the tracks (without samples), makes the covers and directs the videos – but it does also mean that there’s nothing between a nineteen year old’s ideas notebook and the end product. And if we’re to believe him when he constantly tells us that he doesn’t give a fuck, that’s dangerous. Goblin’s uncompromising in ways that are to its benefit, such as its unhinged aggression, its commitment to telling a story from a unique viewpoint and its, shall we say, controversial new vocabulary for rap. But it’s also about 50% too long – 75 minutes, with six songs over 5 minutes and two over 7 – and when the Eminem-style caveat for white America on Radicals is preceded by a jingle that says “random disclaimer!”, you have to wish someone a little less excitable was there to say “are you sure you want to do this?”

But OF run shit, and Tyler runs OF, so the debut traditional Odd Future release is exactly what Tyler wanted it to be. It pulls no punches. It wants to tell you that Tyler’s not homophobic, but then to call you a faggot for thinking he was. Literally. And whether it helps to teach people to think differently about sincerity and what’s ‘real’ in rap music or it just goes down as another in a long string of menace to society records to have talk shops about, the words “Kill people, burn shit, fuck school” are on enough toilet cubicles already to guarantee its legacy.

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