By Andres Pachon
A. Pachon, a journalist and skateboard addict, is a full-time writer for SHIT® Magazine.
Tyler Gregory Okonma, AKA Tyler The Creator is an American rapper-singer, songwriter, record producer, music video director, actor, comedian, visual artist, and fashion designer! yeah, just a few of the things this guy is good at!
He was born and raised in California, the reason why probably he gives out those vibes that could have his music have a very good relationship with skateboarding and its community, Hip hop has always been a part of the skateboarding scene, and the same as the scene, the music has evolved greatly into a creative outlet from artists like Tyler that are part of the digital era of the beatmakers that did not need a huge expensive studio to literally create and record music from scratch! Platforms life Myspace saw the beginning of a dude that proposed to change the hip hop industry and influence many of the new artists that came after him.
At a very young age, he started drawing his own album covers for SHIT® that didn’t even exist, he was already preparing to become a renowned worldwide performer before he even knew how to make music and by age 14, he had already taught himself how to play the piano, displaying a natural ability for music and creativity.
His musical career begun in 2007 when he formed the ODD FUTURE collective with a couple of friends, after the success of their work he decided to release his first solo mixtape called Bastard, he became an online sensation with the music video for Yonkers, the aesthetics Tyler aimed for stood out because it was just not your average “hip hop music video”.
The dude made a name for himself relatively quick and after the success of his first 2 solo works, he was named the best new artist of 2011 in the MTV video music awards of that year.
His music has had a constant development over the years, is never the same which makes it difficult to categorize him or pinpoint the origins of his creative process, however, one of the constant factors seen in his albums and videography is a conceptual approach to his music, a lot of his fans have been trying to untangle a not he has created tough the visual and musical stories he delivers. The dude can certainly be extremely funny and get extremely dark the next second, his persona is perfectly portrayed in the way he creates his music and visual content which makes it a whole weird trip to go and figure out the story he is trying to tell, a story that maybe only he understands.
Alternative hip hop, jazz rap, R&B, and neo-soul are some ways to describe the music the dude makes, however, we truly believe there is a whole different spectrum when it comes to the musical creation of his entire work as an artist, he drifts from one style to the other with various and mixed influences that can make it almost impossible to keep track of a specific style, another constant is the samples he uses to create beats, some of them can be found both in his early work and the latest ones.
His early work is described by some as Horrorcore, which derives from the violent and explicit content of his lyrics and visual approach, his content and lyrics now seem to be more focused on melancholy, sexuality, love, and an overall critique to the music industry and the storms formed in his own mind.
He has been a very controversial artist over his career because he stands strong in his believes and he just does not give a SHIT® about being politically correct, which as a public figure can be very risky, the dude has just not stopped being himself, a complete genius and a goof.
In addition to his many musical skills, Tyler has been skating for over a decade and he also collects BMX bicycles which shows the tremendous amount of influence California and the skateboarding lifestyle has had in him, he is also the owner and creative head of one of the most popular streetwear brands of this decade called GOLF WANG which has also had an impact in the industry, collaborating with brands like vans and converse and even having a whole line of skateboard decks and kicks for sale.
Apart from collaborating with some of the biggest names of the industry such as Jay-z and A$AP ROCKY, the man has influenced a whole new generation fo musicians that now take risks to experiment musically and visually from the old hip hop stereotype of the “gangster” he has been known for even criticizing rappers for dedicating full songs and albums to weed (which he has repeatedly stated he doesn’t smoke), and he has been musically and creatively been far from the now called MUMBLE RAP scene wich most rappers agree, lacks completely of creativity, style, and artistic merits.
His sixth and latest album released last year, its a clear example of the evolution of Tyler as a musician, he has created this character that will take you in a journey truth his creative development, still caring his unique styles and landmarks like opening songs with soft melodic (not always clean) vocals, pianos, and RNB beats with soulful back vocals to go along Tyler’s rimes that could even sound improvised at times.
The album earned Tyler his first number one on the US and the best Best Rap Album at the 62nd Grammy Awards, being definitely one of his best works to this date to the mainstream media, but depending on your taste, you might want to go for the early, darker, weirder, trippier SHIT®!
- Goblin (2011)
- Wolf (2013)
- Cherry Bomb (2015)
- Flower Boy (2017)
- Igor (2019)
This dudes work is definitely a MUST listen no matter what kind of music you like, but if you are a hip hop fan, you are definitely in for a treat if you have not heard this guys music yet! an 8 out 10 it’s as much as we can say.
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