Well, it’s real now. Tyler, The Creator, front man for the much-hyped L.A. rap crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, released his record-label debut Goblin today on XL Recordings.
Goblin is cinematic from beginning to end. Tyler opens doors to the feelings he’s been dealing with since the national spotlight was hoisted upon him while still capturing the graphic and sometimes psychotic rhythm that helped propel the crew to stardom in the first place
“Yonkers dropped and left their craniums mind fucked,” Tyler raps on the opening track, admitting he’s the star of the group and the conflict it has created with the attention the rest of the team gets. He screams “fuck you” to anyone who disagrees with his subject matter and at anyone in hip-hop who has mentioned Odd Future just because the crew is in the news: “Getting co-signs from rappers that I don’t even like.”
You get a glimpse of the more vulnerable side of Tyler at the end of the track: “They claim the shit I say is just wrong / like nobody has those really dark thoughts when alone / I’m just a teenager whose suicide prone / my life is pretty good / so that date is postponed — for now”
In true Tyler fashion, Goblin also features songs that touch on love and girls. “She,” featuring the talented Frank Ocean, has Tyler clearly putting out his feelings about getting his heart broken in the past. But, the peak of the Goblin storyline arrives with “Tron Cat,” Tyler’s Anti-Hero that “tells him to do all this fucked up shit.”
The album continues with a few more solid tracks before Tyler closes with “Golden,” the perfect ending for this great album. He puts into perspective how hard it is to move forward when things have changed so much: “Now people scream ‘Free Earl’ without even knowing him / See their missing a new album / I’m missing my only friend.”
Overall, Goblin gets pretty close to a masterpiece, not in terms of quality or the rapping patterns and flow, or the subject matter, but in terms of how cohesive the entire album is, how each song is almost like a different scene in a movie. Tyler, The Creator manages to paint images in the listeners’ minds and make them feel like they just walked out of an iMax theater after three hours of watching a Tarantino/Stanley Kubrick film.