Flower Boy: Album Review

‘Flower Boy’, known by some as ‘Scum Fuck Flower Boy’ is the fourth studio album by the always controversial Tyler, The Creator. He’s been away for quite a while, he’s worked on a lot projects such as Camp Flog Gnaw and his Golf clothing range throughout 2016, has it been worth the wait since his previous album ‘Cherry Bomb’?

We can see early on in this album that it’s the most mature version of Tyler we’ve seen. There’s no signs of rape lyrics and homophobia, quite the opposite as many believe that Tyler comes out as gay on the album, but is that really the major talking point here? Absolutely not. Being gay or straight has no effect on Tyler’s ability to create music and always push the boat out. In the past I feel like it hasn’t come off all too well, ‘Cherry Bomb’ felt very clustered, but ‘Flower Boy’ truly feels like it’s all in place, it’s not as jumbled or as long as previous projects by Tyler and it works a lot better for it. It’s as clear as day that since his initial success as a young teenager that he has evolved, he’s just worked hard and as a result we’ve got amazing production, amazing lyricism and vastly improved rapping. It kind of feels like this is Tyler’s coming out party, and I’m not talking about being gay, I’m talking about him coming out as a legitimate star.

You know full well he worked extremely hard here, he disappeared for much of 2016 and in that time he worked so hard on his own production, learning about chords and instruments, intros and outros, and as a result it’s much more than a bog standard rap album. With the help of regulars such as Steve Lacy, Kali Uchis and Frank Ocean, he’s add Rex Orange County to his entourage to make some of his most soulful work. I love when Tyler’s inspirations from the past come through and we see soulful, jazzy music, evident in tracks such as ‘Foreword’ ‘911/Mr Lonely’ and ‘Boredom’. He still goes hard on occasional tracks like ‘Who Dat Boy’ and ‘I Ain’t Got Time!’, but we are definitely seeing the direction Tyler wants to take his music, it’s a welcome sight as for so long he’s dabbled in many sub genres. Lyrically the album is a lot deeper than you might first give it credit for, especially for a Tyler album. Themes of loneliness throughout can resonate with many people whether they like to admit it or not, Tyler isn’t afraid to say how he feelsa and that’s a very endearing trait. ‘November’ is an excellent track to show off another side of Tyler, he along with friends such as Lionel, Jasper and Rocky all say what their ‘November’ is, November being a metaphor for the best times of their lives.

I said this is the album where Tyler becomes a star and I believe it to be very true, as long time fan I get a sense of pride from this album. It’s been a long road and the evolution is huge, but I finally feel like Tyler has found his home in music, a self produced, self written, alt rap album was the best thing he could’ve done, it’s where he belongs in music.

This album is 9 out of 10, for me, it’ll be a top 10 album of the year when we reach December, and to even argue that it’s not his best album by far would boggle my mind, this is a real album from an artist who has finally found his place in music, bravo to Tyler, he delivered in a big way and deserves to enjoy the months ahead for this brilliant piece of music.

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