It’s rare to see a complete career reinvention like what Tyler, the Creator has pulled off. From the early criticisms of his intentionally shocking horrorcore rap all the way to the lush and vibrant Flower Boy, Tyler has always aimed to surprise and elicit strong emotions in his audience.
His latest project, IGOR, comes with a written instruction manual asking fans to concentrate on the album and play it straight through with as little distraction as possible. And it’s easy to stay focused because Tyler’s story is a compelling one. We hear the Igor character experience some complicated and confusing emotions for the first time as he falls in love with a man, becomes violently angry when his love interest becomes involved with a girl, and finally realizes what he’s become, getting over the crush and hoping to remain friends.
With a wildly talented list of collaborators that includes all of Tyler’s greatest idols and influences – Santigold, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West and more – the sound of the project is essentially a much darker, more distorted Flower Boy.
On IGOR, Tyler plays around with the sunny synths of his last work and shows how far he’s come as a producer in the interim. Take Tyler’s advice and really dive into this one. It’s a dense but rewarding listen.