Somewhere through the lyrics about rape, suicide, murder, depression and fire in Tyler, the Creator’s second LP release Goblin, the Los Angeles-based rapper became the whitest ever. Whiter than Lil B.
Some blame his system of dress–the Supreme five-panel, the socks, the flamboyant shirts, the cut-offs–others blame the unfunny Jimmy Fallon, or the white man’s ironic tendencies (yeah, Free Earl!). Heck, maybe it was during the moment when Sway nervously stumbled over the name of Tyler’s outfit, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, during the MTV profile of the group. (I doubt that last hypothesis. Granted, it is MTV we’re talking about, but the last relevant thing Sway has done was probably around when The Slim Shady LP dropped 12 years ago.)
Maybe white people are just tired of that cookie cutter rap out there. We all have our theories, but most are simply reading too far into Tyler’s success. Essentially, white people really just love an album where the artist rhymes about bad things in a different sounding way. It’s just fun for us.
On the 15-song album, there wasn’t much fun, though. Many white people thought that “Sandwiches,” “Tron Cat,” and “Yonkers” were pretty neat–the “Yonkers” video where Tyler stages his suicide, especially. White people loved that. But the rest of the album was a big disappointment for this white guy.
Really, though. I give kudos to Tyler and the gang for pursuing a unique style. His homemade production is admirable–but the brash, in-your-face concept gets stale before the album is through. There aren’t enough clever or introspective lines (despite the whole therapist motif) to give Tyler’s abrasiveness any depth. I would say that Goblin is like a regrettable tattoo that the 20-year-old Tyler will be embarrassed about in ten years, but he’ll be too busy counting all the money white people are throwing at him to even care.
And I say that not to sound like an asshole, but because I think Tyler is smarter than the album he released. Lyrically speaking, there should have been more songs like “Her,” where Tyler raps about swallowing his pride after getting dismissed by a girl. He shouldn’t be rapping about rape. Yeah, I know he does it in such a cartoonish way that it’s not offensive, but it doesn’t have any value, either. Eminem did all that more than a decade ago. And Eminem sucks.
Tyler’s grave delivery and sloppy flow made the longer songs like “Fish,” “Radicals,” and “Golden” especially unbearable. The beats on those tracks are too minimal and Tyler’s verses aren’t interesting enough to keep me entertained passed the 3:50 mark.
Interesting tracks were few and far between, which was such a let down. I mean, the Golf Wang videos really built me up for greatness.
In all seriousness, the OFWGKTA crew has a lot of promise. When Tyler hits (i.e. “Yonkers”), he hits hard. The production on the album is top notch. Tyler paints dark, moody scenes with one-handed synth leads and washed out drum beats. But when he misses, which was most of the time on Goblin, it’s largely unlistenable.
The group must get through some growing pains before they can release the truly great album that is hinted at here in Goblin, which was released on XL Recordings, the label of major artists like Radiohead and M.I.A. And with the youth and prolific nature of OFWGKTA, I’m certain that they will reach that height eventually.