The Herd

Flower Boy

Carter Stevens, Staff Writer

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This album was fantastic, simply put. Tyler the Creator’s fourth studio albums finds its place among all audiences as it perfectly delivers in every single song. The album explores themes of sexuality and one-sided love, navigating childhood, and the materialism prevalent in the world of hip-hop. This is Tyler’s most well-crafted and best album to date. Tyler himself said to enjoy the album to a long car ride, and others have often speculated that the album itself functions as a metaphorical car ride. Songs like Pothole, and Boredom represents the problems that he faces in his life. In an interview put out by Tyler, he entails the idea that each song represents the questions that he poses to himself. The songs themselves function to answer his questions and express his emotion and feelings as he dives into his own psyche. Some of my favorite track off this album include “Who Dat Boy,” “See You Again,” “911/Mr. Lonely, and “Pothole.” The album has some strong features with artists like Kali Uchis, Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, Lil Wayne, and many others making an appearance. At the same time, it brings out newer artists that are fairly new to the scene such as Kevin Abstract on “Boredom” or Rex Orange County on “Foreword.” Every song compliments each other and build upon each other. “911/Mr. Lonely” is, as Tyler puts it, the saddest song he has ever wrote, but its rather upbeat melody and bridge makes it something that you can just lose yourself to. Especially since the other portion of the song Tyler states, “They say the loudest in the room is weak/ That’s what they assume, but I disagree/ I say the loudest in the room/ Is prolly the loneliest one in the room (that’s me),” which contributes to the theme of loneliness prevalent throughout the entire album, as he is engulfed in his own material possessions he can’t help but feel like the loneliest man alive. Even songs like Pothole function as more of a rap song, but dive into this development of relationships, as Tyler talks about his mother warning him that some of his friends aren’t truly his friends. That in some sense he is even looking to help other people’s careers out, but they shut him down and he feels that he should worry on his own success. This theme of success is matched with the impending feeling of loneliness as he drifts away from those he once confided in.This album was nominated for best rap album at the Grammys but lost to Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. The problem with award shows is that they focus more on popularity and mainstream appeal rather than the quality of the music. Another example from this year’s Grammy’s is the amount of awards that Bruno Mars won for an album that was subpar at best.Tyler explores this feeling as loneliness as he feels he has surrounded himself with objects and wonders what is next for him. The car is often time used to establish wealth and financial standings and such a theme is prevalent in many of the songs on the album. Overall, I think this album is worth listening to even if you aren’t traditionally a fan of Tyler the Creator, and in my own opinion should have won best rap album instead of Kendrick.

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Flower Boy