Showing posts with label tyler the creator. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tyler the creator. Show all posts

Thursday, May 30, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 1, 2019 (VIDEO)

Frankly I'm surprised this video is holding up as well as it is... well, we'll see where everything lands as I work on Resonators and that Flying Lotus album - stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - june 1, 2019

So I'll admit I didn't quite predict this. I knew that Tyler, The Creator would have his album bomb - and with just enough songs to squeak into my qualifying rules, for the record - but I'll admit I did not expect DJ Khaled to do as well as he did. Now part of that is the suspicion that DJ Khaled didn't have the blowout single ready to hit beyond a song like 'No Brainer' - which was released last year, packaged on the album, and didn't re-enter the Hot 100 here - but he did see enough measurable chart success that I have to pay attention... even if I have less than zero interest in reviewing the album and it'll probably wind up on the Trailing Edge at best.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

video review: 'IGOR' by tyler, the creator

Yeah, guess it just wasn't for me...? It happens, folks.

Next up... see, it might be Megan Thee Stallion, it might be The National, we'll have to see. Stay tuned!

album review: 'IGOR' by tyler, the creator

At this point, what can you even expect from Tyler, The Creator anymore?

And I say this as someone who can admit to being more tolerant of the guy at his most foul and abrasive, but also someone who never quite celebrated him at his various peaks either, at least not in comparison to the diehard fans. Don't get me wrong, at his most shocking I've always been convinced there was more damaged pathology than even he would admit, but as much as I really dug Flower Boy, damn near the polar opposite of those early albums, it wasn't a project that stuck with me longer as much as others, or one that in this era I quite found as revolutionary as most in its content, which at points could feel underwritten. Hell, what I found most striking was the production, which had its off-kilter edge and clear influence of Pharrell, but also attracted a peculiar, homegrown beauty that Tyler could make his own. So when I heard that more than ever this project IGOR, dropped with little warning or promotion, was even further away from conventional hip-hop in his delivery and had reportedly picked up even some production elements from the messy, much-maligned but fascinating Cherry Bomb for a bittersweet breakup album... well, it was sure to be unique. So okay, how is IGOR?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 14, 2018 (VIDEO)

Okay, that took WAY too long... but in the mean time, I think I'm finally ready to talk about Panopticon, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - april 14, 2018 know, there was a time when an album bomb happened it would at least slow existing traffic on the Hot 100. But since The Weeknd's new EP only had six songs - and seems like it's already vanishing from the cultural conversation given how flat and turgid it was - aside from every single song from it breaking we also had a pretty active week regardless - at least until the next album bomb with Cardi B, and I'd put a fair amount of money on that being far more disruptive.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

video review: 'flower boy' by tyler, the creator

Should have posted this last night, but overall, really happy with this record, glad it clicked as well as it did.

Now as I said on Twitter, Billboard BREAKDOWN is delayed until tomorrow because I'm going to a concert tonight, but in the mean time, I do have another video ready, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 24, 2017

album review: 'flower boy' by tyler, the creator

I think there is a conversation surrounding Tyler, The Creator that a lot of us were not prepared to have, the sort of discussion that'll probably make those of us who consider ourselves enlightened a bit uncomfortable, maybe forcing us to reconsider norms that we once held deep down. To some who are more cynical it was inevitable, only a matter of time before projecting resolved itself into reality, but to many more it'll reveal as an about face, the sort of shift that has already sparked endless thinkpieces with respect to the culture and Tyler's place in it...

I speak, of course, about Tyler, The Creator putting out a good - or dare I even say accessible - hip-hop album - oh what, were you expecting something else? Maybe it's a consequence of me spending a lot more time in the punk and goth scene as of recently, or that I've grown up in a country not just where gay marriage has been legal but LGBT rights are protected under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but Tyler 'coming out' as gay or bi doesn't faze me one way or the other. I won't say I'm entirely surprised, but good for him, I'm happy for him that he's finding some vestige of peace there, and it definitely adds an extended dimension to previous records that fits thematically and I'd be interested in re-exploring. However, I can't say the thinkpiece-happy music press have been quite as accommodating - and I'll be blunt, they range from painfully misguided to outright offensive and authoritarian to a fluid queer culture to which a person like Tyler has clearly found difficulty embracing, both as an artist and a person. If you wonder why it might have taken so long for Tyler to do this, this sort of barely-literate masturbation and 'backlash' might have been the reason why, from the condescending 'this is how you must behave' screeds to the accusations of trolling that reflect a complete lack of understanding of the man's art! And again, as you probably all remember from when I covered Cherry Bomb, I'm no big Tyler, The Creator fan, but I think it says a lot about some music journalists' brand of 'tolerance' when a person like Tyler comes out despite a complicated legacy and persona that doesn't fit within what their rigid definitions of what queer means. 

But I think I'm getting ahead of myself here - Tyler's got a new record, which looks to be one of his most streamlined to date, and it's already getting the sort of rave critical reception from several outlets that has eluded him for years now, so you can bet I wanted to explore this. So what did I find on Flower Boy?

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 22, 2017 (VIDEO)

My lord, this was a rough week to get through. Not exactly terrible, but mediocrity is almost worse on some level.

Eh, whatever, time for something more recent, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - july 22, 2017

Okay, maybe I'm just not as in-tune with what will cross onto the Hot 100 as I thought as I was, especially when it comes to album tracks. I knew that Jay-Z's 4:44 would take the wide release to land on the Hot 100, but I did think that there'd be at least a few album tracks from Calvin Harris' last release that'd have a chance, or maybe a bit of traction for Kesha's big comeback single 'Praying'... but while of course it landed on the Canadian charts, thanks to not getting a full tracking week it just missed the Hot 100, and what we got instead... well, it's interesting, I'll say that.

Friday, April 17, 2015

video review: 'cherry bomb' by tyler, the creator

I expect this video to get a fair amount of debate, but eh, that's what happens when positions get complicated. Hell, I expect the same when I cover Kanye later this year.

Next up, I finally want to talk about Laura Marling, but first I might have a surprise coming...

album review: 'cherry bomb' by tyler, the creator

So maybe Odd Future does have a plan after all.

It certainly seems like something is up. When I reviewed Earl Sweatshirt's I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside, I speculated that Odd Future's fading buzz made the release of Earl's record feel like a bit of an anomaly, especially considering the lack of major Odd Future players on it. Well, maybe I should have known better because it wasn't a few weeks later when Odd Future 'leader' Tyler The Creator announced his own record to be released in a week's time.

Which for me was a good thing, because paradoxically while Tyler The Creator might be the leader of the Odd Future collective, he's probably one of the members of the group that I have the hardest time getting a firm handle on. His acrid contempt for critics who brand him as horrorcore given his complete lack of filter and graphic subject material does have merit, mostly because he's the most interesting when you dig deeper into the outsider mentality that exists half in hyperbole and half in unfiltered, bold-faced honesty. He's not rapping to shock, mostly because his audience won't find him shocking but relatable. Parallels have also been made in terms of subject matter to Ariel Pink, owning the image of the outsider even as the mainstream shows interest for all of the wrong reasons, at least in his view - hypocritical considering so much of his buzz has circled around his controversy, but at least he's somewhat aware of that.

And yet I'm not exactly a fan of Tyler The Creator, and it shouldn't be all that surprising why. As I've said in the past, pure unrelenting nihilism, even when shoved through the lens of confused adolescence, frequently wears out its welcome if it doesn't have a larger point behind it, and Tyler's material can struggle here. The warped therapy session of Goblin worked for what it was - entirely unsurprising from a teenage kid forced to grow up too fast and trying to burn through his issues, even if it was about four songs too long - and the 'prequel' of Wolf fleshed out a hall of twisted mirrors and alter egos that were well-developed against good production but did seem to deflect even more from who Tyler really is - and it was also about four songs too long. Incidentally, the whole convoluted 'narrative' behind Tyler's work is interesting conceptually, but I don't put a lot of stock in the execution - it's well-framed and I can overlook the continuity errors lyrically, but I'm often left feeling it's less than the sum of its parts and doesn't hit me as hard as individual moments.

In any case, when Tyler announced his new record Cherry Bomb with no guest appearances from Odd Future members, instead featuring Pharrell, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West, and also a radical departure in sound, I was curious to say the least. Earl Sweatshirt had managed to keep up an impressive level of quality with his comeback, and divorced from the twisted continuity of Tyler's earlier albums, maybe Cherry Bomb could stand up well in its own world, right?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

video review: 'doris' by earl sweatshirt

I can't honestly say this is one of my best reviews, but that's mostly because I still don't quite know how to feel with Earl Sweatshirt. Still, I tried to review the album and I think it turned out okay.

The album is pretty damn good too.

album review: 'doris' by earl sweatshirt

I have an odd relationship with Odd Future.

Keep in mind it's not like I dislike any of the associated acts, because for the most part, from what I've seen of Tyler The Creator and Frank Ocean, I've liked what I've seen. Hell, I was almost on the cusp of reviewing channel ORANGE last year, arguably one of the best albums to come out in 2012. But I didn't review channel ORANGE and I probably never will, mostly because it represents a bit of a strange problem I have when approaching Odd Future-associated acts: I have no idea how on earth I'm supposed to feel about them. 

Let me try to explain this. For starters, as good as Tyler The Creator can be, I'm not quite sure whether I should buy into the exaggerated elements of his persona or treat them almost as a parody. There's something strange about the way he delivers his lines that's very much unlike Hopsin or Eminem, who are straightforward and direct in their assaults - Tyler The Creator just seems oddly comfortable in the way he goes to shock, and once you get your brain on the same wavelength, he lacks the same ability to surprise. It's even not that I don't doubt that said things he's saying are true, either, but I'm not sure how I'm supposed to react to them, which adds that extra second where I pause to think about that, which kind of stifles my enjoyment of his material. I definitely appreciate the rawer, rougher production on his beats, but too often his flow does nothing to engage me and his content tends to feel strangely distant. 

Frank Ocean also tends to feel distant and isolated (except on heart-wrenching songs like 'Bad Religion'), but that was half of the point with channel ORANGE, most of which I remember listening to in a spaced-out haze of heat exhaustion wandering through the woods outside my house. I'd argue that on the sensory overload alone, channel ORANGE is an incredible success - which really does a disservice to the lyrics, which contain some of the most incredibly descriptive, cripplingly honest poetry put on record in a long time. Combined with the fact that channel ORANGE had plenty to say about the state of modern youth, sexuality, faith, and love, and I'm not surprised at all that people fell in love with the album.

And yet... for some reason, it never truly landed with me beyond a few songs. It's not an album I return to again and again, and for the life of me, I don't really understand why. I want to love it, but yet I feel distant from it, unable to truly connect. Part of it might be that so much of channel ORANGE feels alternatively very personal and then very disconnected from everyone, a bit of a passive observer in his own life. And strangely, I feel the same thing with Tyler The Creator as well, even despite he and Frank Ocean's wildly different deliveries and choices of subject matter. And while it might make for impeccable and effective artistic framing, it also can make for a bit of an odd listening experience that might have kept me away for this past year. 

So will the same be true of Earl Sweatshirt, the oft-absent member of Odd Future who has finally released his debut studio album Doris? Will this be the Odd Future member I finally connect with, or the first I must unfortunately consign to the trash?