Tyler the Creator – Goblin album review

Posted on 8 May 2011
By Matt Barden
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Who the fuck invited Mr I don’t give a fuck?

Tyler screams at the beginning of Sandwitches. The answer is a generation who have been severely lacking a rebellious artist these last few years and who have been waiting for a soundtrack to trash their rooms, wave both middle-fingers in the air to and piss off parents and teachers the world over.

It’s easy to forget its been 11 years since Slim told fans he’d Shit On You and 18 years since Kurt howled Rape Me to an unsuspecting public. It has become too easy to push new artists into musical moulds and for the industry to churn out bland replicas of their previous successes.

But The Creator is making and breaking his own mould.

Tyler and his OFWGKTA crew have been labelled everything from Horrorcore and Hip-Hop’s saviours, to over-hyped and bad for your kids’ health.

Well the hype-fuelled monster (or Goblin) that Tyler the Creator has slowly been building in his mad scientist’s lab, somewhere in LA, has taken its first breath and been launched onto a very knowing world. Time to lock up your daughters and barricade the doors people.

On opening track, Goblin, Tyler is quick to answer the haters after his lyrics have come under fire for their reference to violent sex acts and satanic rituals; ‘I’m not a fucking role model/I’m a 19 year old fucking emotional coaster with pipe dreams.’

Tyler has become the measuring stick in our self-promoting, viral world. He’s worked hard to create his own identity, giving away Odd Future albums for free on their website, and generating the kind of buzz that spreads like wildfire through online message boards, forums and video sites.

His twisted imagery and dark thoughts grabbed peoples’ attention by the throat and led to a commercial release through XL for Goblin, and there was always the worry that once he ‘made it’ the tracks would start becoming more commercially viable and less, well, like a snuff movie.

Luckily Tyler has stayed true to his own vision and not compromised one bit. Goblin is as dark and disturbing as we’ve come to expect from the OF leader and if you don’t like it well go suck a couple pimple covered dicks (his words not ours).

The album isn’t Horrocore, just the musings and twisted thoughts of an 19-year-old kid, dealing with life, fame and growing up in a very public forum. He’s not a serial killer or a rapist, but if you think he is then he’s done his job. But aside from generally pissing people off there are glimpses of what he might become.

Much like when Em burst onto the scene, spewing battle cries and angering middle-America, there was something deeper. Underneath Slim Shady was Marshall and when he was honest and passionate on wax, listeners connected with the bleach blonde MC.

Tyler owns these traits. Whether it’s when he’s talking about never present fathers (competition missing like that nigga my mom fucked/he still hasn’t called me yet/but that’s a whole different fucking argument) or absent friends (niggas saying free Earl without even knowing him/see they’re missing a new album/I’m missing my only friend), there is an engaging and honest voice.

In terms of rapping and flow, Tyler is not one of the greatest, but the desire to push boundaries and challenge the landscape of Hip-Hop and music, has to be applauded.

The misogyny and rape scenarios are uncomfortable for some critics to swallow, but they’re fictional, akin to a novelist or screenwriter crafting a literary device to shock.

But whether you agree or disagree, at least he demands an opinion.

Tyler and OFWGKTA are well and truly in the door, the album is refreshing and it will be interesting to follow the LA collective and see what they do with the hype. Goblin will not be the pinnacle of Tyler’s creative process; listeners will get to grow with the 19 year old and it could be an exciting ride.

Goblin will be released May 10th