IGOR by Tyler, the Creator
IGOR is widely regarded as rapper Tyler, the Creator’s masterpiece. For a lot of reasons, it really is. It has the dramatic components: roaring synths (IGOR’S THEME), classic soul samples (A BOY IS A GUN), and booming bass (NEW MAGIC WAND). Thematically, it’s a continuation of the vulnerability in love and relationships that we see Tyler display on Flower Boy, except with a lot less rapping. IGOR feels like the culmination of Tyler’s journey from shock rap to becoming a versatile, mature artist. He has stripped the layers of his past and become a full-fledged musician who can not only rap, but sing, produce and emotionally move his audience in a way he couldn’t before. This album sounds like the album he has been trying to make since Cherry Bomb. An all-out love epic, complete with legendary features such as Kanye West, Jack White and Charlie Wilson.
So yes, I can see how one might make the argument that this is Tyler’s magnum opus, but I don’t necessarily agree. I don’t think Tyler plays to his strengths on IGOR. He sounds like he’s outside his comfort zone for the entirety of the album, which he probably was given how different this is from his previous work. The high pitched vocals actually sound pretty good for the most part, but they’d sound even better paired with Tyler’s raspy rapping voice (Glitter from Flower Boy comes to mind). IGOR leaves me wanting for more…more Flower Boy, because that’s where I think Tyler really found his sweet spot as an artist. On IGOR, even Tyler’s fantastic production choices cannot mask the paper-thin lyricism and amateur vocals. It’s a shame because this project really shows how much potential he has, but it doesn’t quite hit at every moment.
I applaud Tyler for trying something so new and different. Can you even classify what sub-genre of hip hop this album is? That’s a pretty cool attribute in a genre searching for new direction, filled with Young Thug lookalikes. Not many rappers can decide to compose and sing in this type of project, and it’s pretty incredible that the end result is great. While I have my grievances with IGOR, I do really, really enjoy it and I can’t wait to see what Tyler accomplishes in the future.
Favorite songs: RUNNING OUT OF TIME, EARFQUAKE, A BOY IS A GUN