Man. Tyler’s evolution has been nothing to sneeze at.
Tyler Okonma, AKA Tyler, the Creator is a Grammy award-winning rapper, producer, and fashion designer. He has been in the game since the late 2000s and has managed to reinvent himself with every release. T used his first album, Bastard, to discuss all of his mental & anger issues as if he would to a school counselor. His next album, Goblin, which was also his most controversial, sees him fully realizing his issues with Dr. TC wanting to channel it into his music. In Wolf he’s sent off to Camp Flog Gnaw and seems to be in a better place, redirecting his anger towards his group’s (Odd Future) critics and the bad things that come with fame. Cherry Bomb is… Cherry Bomb.
Flower Boy (his best album to date in my opinion) is the first of T’s albums where we get to see him in a more vulnerable state. He has everything but he still feels empty because the person he loves doesn’t love him back. He continues this on IGOR, where he’s fallen in love with a man that has a girlfriend. T struggles through the album trying to get him to love him back, even to the point where he wants to kill the girl, but he gets over it. Another thing to note is that IGOR didn’t really feature much rap, but more r&b, neo-soul. While the sound was great and I really do believe that he deserved the Grammy for IGOR, I think it was a little overrated.
So fresh off a Grammy, the question is clear: where does T go from here? There’s only one way to find out. I’m really hoping that this isn’t an IGOR part 2, and I REALLY don’t want to hear any Playboi Carti features. Nevertheless, I’m excited. Let’s go.
P.S. I’m listening to this album without knowing who the features are because I believe it enhances the listening experience. (Editor’s Note: Credits were added after the review was completed)
1. SIR BAUDELAIRE Featuring DJ Drama; Produced by Conductor Williams & Tyler, The Creator So the first thing I hear when I turn on the album is the same sample from “Michael Irvin” by Westside Gunn, from Flygod is an Awesome God 2. Oh and DJ Drama’s here. A part of me hopes he doesn’t appear too much on the album, but as long as Tyler delivers I don’t think I’ll mind too much. This song has a nice sounding ending, but I probably won’t be coming back to this very often.
2. CORSO Produced by Tyler, The Creator Sooooo… this is gonna be a full-on Gangsta Grillz tape? I guess. But unlike the last song, Drama talks on this one way too much. I would’ve much preferred a hook to his aimless rambling about how awesome they are. And the mixing is slightly lacking.
That’s the only bad thing I have to say about this track. Now let’s talk about the good because there’s quite a bit. The definition of a corso is a social promenade or a place where parties often happen. This song actually feels like a party/celebration and I enjoy it. There’s a lot going on production-wise, and T gives us great energy the entire track which makes for a compelling listen.
Turn the fuckin’ noise up, ah, nigga, my heart broken Remember I was rich so I bought me some new emotions And a new boat ’cause I rather cry in the ocean
“CORSO” – Tyler, The Creator
Sooooo… I take back what I said in the intro about T being over the events of IGOR. But still hard.
3. LEMONHEAD Featuring 42 Dugg; Produced by Tyler, The Creator T got a marching band in the studio? I like it!
Oh, you wanna see a pandemic?
“LEMONHEAD” – DJ Drama
Umm.. no. I don’t want to see a pandemic. I’ve been in the middle of one for a little under a year and a half now, why the hell would I wanna see another one? Why would you say that?? Whatever. Marching band beats are always a good way to immediately get me interested in a track. Let’s hope T does his this
Nice house, if you look out You can see some eagles and a few yachts Got a roommate, he won’t move out If you want smoke, he the cool aunt
“LEMONHEAD” – Tyler, The Creator
…did he just try to rhyme out with yacht and aunt? Nah T, that ain’t it man. I get that he’s having fun and that’s great, but that still doesn’t work.
42 Dugg caught me WAYYYY off guard. I like him though, so let’s see what he has to say.
Car go skrrt, hold on… Nigga, you got lucky
“LEMONHEAD” – 42 Dugg
Did he… run out of gas in the car he was riding in?? This song raises so many questions. Why is 42 Dugg on a Tyler song? Why did this song full of lyrical missteps come right after one that had little to none? I have no idea. The only good thing I can say about this is that the beat goes crazy and the ending is beautiful. I just wish these two did something better with it. But they’re having fun over a hopefully HBCU marching band beat, so that’s good enough for me, I guess.
4. WUSYANAME Featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again & Ty Dolla $ign; Produced by Tyler, The Creator H TOWN SAMPLE!!! LET’S GET IT!!
This is SUCH a great song. Beautiful beat work & soulful background vocals from Ty Dolla $ign, and an infectious chorus. I thought I heard Carti in the background, which made me cross my fingers and hope he didn’t have a verse on this, but then I heard NBA Youngboy’s voice. I am not a fan of Youngboy, but even still I have to admit that not only did he KILL his feature, but he also outclassed Tyler. T gave us a kinda corny pickup line at the end of his verse:
You are my type, you a bright light I’m like a moth, this is not a game
“WUSYANAME” – Tyler, The Creator
While Youngboy gives us melodies, and multiple lines to remember:
I’m tryna get down to the root of the apple The deepest I could in them jeans
Your body compared to the fashion I hope you ain’t proud of the shit that I bought (Baby) ‘Cause money, it don’t mean a thing
“WUSYANAME” – NBA Youngboy
No stranger to legal problems, he also explains that he appreciates every second he gets to spend with his girl outside their homes, as it could abruptly end in his arrest at any minute.
I value the times that I take you out One minute, it’s a beautiful scene Then it probably end with me bein’ took off
“WUSYANAME” – NBA Youngboy
HUGE props to Youngboy for that verse.
5. LUMBERJACK Produced by Tyler, The Creator I’m… not sure why this came after “WUSYANAME”. But I still like the song. Heavy 90s influence from the boom bap beat, to the overall vibe of the song. Though I have to give Tyler a little bit of heat for this line:
Call me lumberjack ’cause I wish a nigga would
“LUMBERJACK” – Tyler, The Creator
Sigh. Ok, new rap rule. If a line you come up with sounds like it could be in a book called Rapping for Dummies 101, don’t say it. T is so much better than that. But he came in the second verse with a great callback to his 2020 Grammy’s performance:
Niggas can not fuck with performance of magic, new wand
“LUMBERJACK” – Tyler, The Creator
Hard. This is also a track that I don’t mind hearing Drama yell all over. While Tyler kinda has a stale delivery throughout the song, Drama & Jasper’s ad libs inject life into it. I’m cool with this. But the signature line still sucks.
6. HOT WIND BLOWS Featuring Lil Wayne; Produced by Tyler, The Creator See now, this track I’m REALLY questioning why Drama’s here. I don’t need to know that this man is on a yacht eating vanilla ice cream with his toes out.
I’d be less irritated about it if I didn’t enjoy listening to the flute in the beginning. A trend in this album is how beautiful the production is. Where T has been lacking on this album, that’s where he makes up for it. The whistle in the middle of his verse was a great touch. But then Lil Wayne comes outta nowhere from the top rope and connects with ease, outclassing Tyler in the process. This is one of his best guest verses in a while, but I don’t know how I feel about the speedy flow at the end. And whatever that was at the end of his verse… I never want to hear again.
7. MASSA Produced by Tyler, The Creator Best song so far. In the first verse he opens up about hitting puberty & his evolution:
Yeah, when I turned twenty-three that’s when pubеrty finally hit me My facial hair started growin’, my clothing ain’t really fit mе
“MASSA” – Tyler, The Creator
Then he ties in his real-life experiences in with his album discography:
That caterpillar went to cocoon, do you get me? See, I was shiftin’, that’s really why Cherry Bomb sounded so shifty
Thoughts change so rapid, turn into a butterfly, Flower Boy happened
Mom was in the shelter when “Yonkers” dropped, I don’t say it (I don’t say it) When I got her out, that’s the moment I knew I made it (Yeah, yeah)
“MASSA” – Tyler, The Creator
His delivery gets more passionate and intense as the song goes on into the second verse, and he caps it off with a shot at all the people that don’t like his music:
You can’t relate to these things I say to these instrumentals Whether it’s wealth talk or shit that’s painful I paint full pictures of my perspective on these drum breaks Just for you to tell me, “It’s not good,” from your lunch break
“MASSA” – Tyler, The Creator
I feel a little singled out since ironically enough, I didn’t much care for IGOR, and I’m writing this on my lunch break. Awkward… anyway this is a great song. Let’s move on.
8. RUNITUP Featuring Teezo Touchdown; Produced by Tyler, The Creator This is a nice feel-good song that ultimately could’ve been done differently. The beat’s bright and puts a smile on your face, and I like that he brings up the fact that when everything seemed dark, rap gave him an outlet. But alas, the concept could’ve been executed way better, and this Teezo Touchdown guy is not getting the job done. It definitely gives you a good feeling and motivates you, but personally, I don’t see much redeeming quality from this.
9. MANIFESTO Featuring Domo Genesis; Produced by Tyler, The Creator
Lil’ white bitch gon’ say “You need to say something about that” “You need to say somethin’ ’bout black—” Bitch, suck my—
“MANIFESTO” – Tyler, The Creator
LMAOOOOO!!!! That was a helluva tone-setter for what this song turned out to be.
I actually screamed when the beat switched and Domo started rapping. Probably my second favorite moment on the album, just behind Youngboy on “WUSYANAME” (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence).
Crackin’ like broke porcelain, bitch We ocean deep if you just pour us in a portion of shit Them people try to twist my view on some contortionist shit I had to reevaluate what was important and shit
Y’all want us dead, just ’cause the skin is the black type (Ah) Teach me everything and be amazed I don’t act right What the fuck? I’m tappin’ the matrix, I’m back and they hate it I’m black and make ’em pay me capital statements, you dig? (Ching) Word on my back, I’m tryna fashion a statement I ain’t no bastard, we the master of the path that we blazin’, you dig?
“MANIFESTO” – Domo Genesis
I missed Domo so much. It’s great to hear from him, especially next to Tyler.
Black bodies hanging from trees, I cannot make sense of this (Uh) Hit some protest up, retweeted positive messages (Uh) Donated some funds then I went and copped me a necklace I’m probably a coon, and your standard’s based on this evidence Am I doin’ enough or not doin’ enough? I’m tryna run with the baton, but see, my shoe’s in the mud I feel like anything I say, dawg, I’m screwin’ shit up (Sorry) So I just tell these black babies, they should do what they want
“MANIFESTO” – Tyler, The Creator
Yeah, to say they went crazy on this is an understatement. I wouldn’t mind a T and Domo collab album. It’s also worth mentioning that I don’t mind DJ Drama on this album anymore. This is a Gangsta Grillz tape and I’m fully on board.
10. SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE Featuring Fana Hues & Brent Faiyaz; Produced by Tyler, The Creator First of all, if you told me that the first beat was made on GarageBand, I’d believe you. But I still like it. And when Brent Faiyaz started singing, I thought to myself, “He should’ve been on ‘EARFQUAKE’ instead of Carti.” But about 4:20 in, the beat switches to this funky Jamaican-influenced beat. Both halves are good in different ways, but I don’t understand why they had to be one nine-minute song. I like it, but it feels extra and I find myself counting the seconds when the song’s over almost every time I listen to it. But these beats here are awesome.
11. MOMMA TALK Produced by Tyler, The Creator Just his mom talking about how she’d beat anyone up over her baby. Lovely.
12. RISE! Featuring Daisy World; Produced by Jamie xx & Tyler, The Creator So apparently the whole first verse is a diss to A$AP NAST?
You ain’t the only nigga that be in Paris And I’ll always be ahead of you, nigga, don’t you forget it
“RISE!” – Tyler, The Creator
I think it can go either way. Besides, it’s kinda weird to me that he disses a member of his best friend’s group, but I’m not complaining if we get good music out of it. The message of rising above the people that don’t want to see you doing good is cool, so I’m perfectly fine with this. My favorite part about it is the beat. T’s been doing some great beat work out this whole album. I feel like I should have more to say about this song, but it’s pretty straightforward.
13. BLESSED Produced by Tyler, The Creator Another interlude of him talking about how blessed he is. The hair thing was funny though. As someone who can grow a full fro in about a year, can’t relate bro.
14. JUGGERNAUT Featuring Pharrell Williams & Lil Uzi Vert; Produced by Tyler, The Creator The transition from the last track to this one was really good. But this bass drop made me wanna rip a doorknob clean off a door.
I’m so motherfuckin’ dead-ass, I need some Timberlands (Woo)
“JUGGERNAUT” – Tyler, The Creator
And Uzi’s actually kinda rapping his ass off??
She try save all the plates but keep eatin’ my meat We can’t see none of ’em grow, she keep eatin’ my seeds
“JUGGERNAUT” – Lil Uzi Vert
AND PHARRELL?? What’s happening right now??
If the shit’s fake, I don’t respect it, it’s clickbait And that’s distaste like a shit shake
“JUGGERNAUT” – Pharrell Williams
Bars, flows, and fun. All over a slapping instrumental. I love it.
15. WILSHIRE Produced by Tyler, The Creator *This is a storytelling song, so if you’d like to experience the song for yourself, I’d suggest scrolling past this.*
Okay… There’s a lot to unpack in this song. Personally, if I met a girl that I vibed with like this:
Met you on a Saturday, knew it was somethin’ soon as you spoke it Eye fuckin’ across the table, don’t think anybody noticed
“WILSHIRE” – Pharrell Williams
But it turned out to be the homie’s girl, it wouldn’t be hard for me to drop it and forget that it ever happened. But Mr. Baudelaire, on the other hand…
The problem is he my friend, but if I’m honest, I’m really hopin’ you drop him It’s morals I really have, it’s lines I could never cross But you got somethin’ that make all them good intentions get lost
And they say, “Bros over hoes,” I’m like, “Mm, nah, hey” I would rather hold your hand than have a cool handshake
“WILSHIRE” – Tyler, The Creator
Wow. Bro code really is dead, isn’t it?
Inevitably, their “relationship” crashes and burns and he’s scarred for life, but personally, I have no sympathy for him. It really shouldn’t be that hard to bury your feelings toward a girl that your homie’s dating, even if you had no idea they were at first. Conversely, if you’re really hoping this girl drops him, as T does, and you had no idea about her, maybe your bond isn’t at the “bros before ho’s” level.
Relationship talk aside, I personally just don’t find this story very compelling, but there are a lot of people that will. People are wondering if the girl in question is Rihanna and the homie is A$AP Rocky since it was revealed that T and Rock haven’t spoken to each other in 5 months. If that’s true, c’mon T. You couldn’t have done that BEFORE Wang$ap??
16. SAFARI Produced by Tyler, The Creator & Jay Versace Yeah, this is a good ending. I’m getting IGOR vibes from the beginning of this one. I wish the drum pack in this song was a little more noticeable.
Sippin’ on mint tea, take my shoes off Then we take off then I snooze off
“SAFARI” – Tyler, The Creator
This is one of the things I like about Tyler. Dude just flexes different. Any other rapper in this scenario would probably either roll up a blunt, pour up some alcohol or lean, but not T. Man’s sipping MINT F*CKING TEA. Who the hell else you know brags about that?
Every car retarded, the garage look like a loony bin What coupe he in depends on the fit and the type of mood he in
“SAFARI” – Tyler, The Creator
Still not over using the R word, are we? Good to see that there’s still some old Tyler in there.
I didn’t know what to expect when this dropped, but despite this project’s flaws, I’m very happy with what I got. We kind of get a Tyler from each era on CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, which is both good and bad. Good, because T goes back to his rapping roots and ultimately finds a good middle ground between rapping and what he did on IGOR. Tracks like “CORSO”, “LUMBERJACK”, “HOT WIND BLOWS”, “MASSA”, and “MANIFESTO” feature some genuinely great rapping from T, whereas tracks like “WUSYANAME” and “SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” serve as good vibes, and breaks from the party.
Another good thing I have to point out is that no song sounds like it did at the beginning. That really shows us that T has a different mind and approach to music than anyone else. The transitions on this thing are smooth as butter.
On the bad side, it’s a little bit of a rollercoaster. That could be a good thing, but I don’t consider it to be here. The track sequencing is everywheerrreeee. I love “WUSYANAME”, but what in the WORLD is it doing in-between “LEMONHEAD” and “LUMBERJACK”? Some songs sound like a continuation of IGOR, and that wouldn’t be kinda frustrating if the sequencing was better. Whenever I get the feeling he’s actually getting away from what he did on IGOR, he goes back to it. I’m not saying you can’t have hype rapping songs and vibey love songs on the same album, but it’s not always a good idea to have them mixed in with each other. That’s probably the only thing holding this album back to me.
There’s a reason why I waited so long to review this. As SOON as this album dropped, people screamed “ALBUM OF THE YEAR”. But I wanted this album to sit and marinate with me before I made such a bold statement.
Well, it’s been almost a month since it dropped. So do I think it’s album of the year? No. But it’s a really good body of work that should keep us occupied until the next odd year he drops an album.