“Goblin” – Tyler, The Creator
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or OFWGKTA) front man Tyler, The Creator is to blame for the mania sweeping the music scene. It has been decades since hip-hop created such media-arrest, divulging a whole new stage in the hip-hop evolution. Goblin, Tyler’s much-anticipated second album (and ‘official debut’), has signed for a one-album deal with British Indie label XL Recording after the release of ‘Yonkers’. It will come under the categories of crude, blasphemous, dark, and just plain weird, but Tyler is one of the most intriguing figures in hip-hop right now.
Opening track ‘Goblin’ establishes the general score of the album. Tyler confesses he’s not a “role model” but a 19-year-old emotional rollercoaster with pipe dreams. Much profanity permeates the album. This is not to discourage or say profanity diminishes one’s vocabulary. If you haven’t heard Tyler’s (or Odd Future’s) work before, take this as a warning; the inky lyrics are hard to stomach, esoteric, roped with an audacious tenacity that will make you shut up and listen.
Often mistaken for horrorcore, Tyler’s beats are the emotional and creative releases of an artist trying to establish himself and come to grips with the sudden hype fame brings. Undeniably, there are elements of horror-style, but the lyrics can be metaphorical too. If you listen closely to ‘Radical’ you may hear “kill people, burn s**t, f**k school”, which is a way of saying do what you like and live how you want to. The disclaimer at the start of the song states, “Hey, don’t do anything I say in this song, okay?”. Tyler tells “White America” not to blame him if anything happens. By the end of the album, you realise that he doesn’t really care what you do, and there’s no imposition on the listener. This is the unique and fantastic thing about Tyler’s tracks; they convey an emotion rather than a point-blank literal message.
Goblin’s 15 tracks showcase monstrous humour. The simplistic beats hone the ears allowing closer attention to the lyrics. Tyler fearlessly, I might even say scarily, slams it with some of his most outrageous lyrics to date. Compared to his last album Bastard (2009), this album brings a whole new stark level of wickedness. This album weeps anger and self-assertion, some of the most galvanizing aspects of what we now call “old-school” hip-hop. This storm will sweep you up and spit you out leaving you both hypnotized and horrified.
– Natali Lambevska