By Ethan Hamilton
It has been an eventful year for rapper/artist Tyler the Creator. He just recently wrapped up his tour for his newest album Igor. Igor was such a groundbreaking album for Tyler, it showed off his songwriting ability and production in a way that was absent in his Goblin days.
He was nominated for his first-ever Grammy for Best Rap Album. However, this nomination didn’t come without controversy. The Grammys have always had a rocky relationship with the rap genre and African Americans in general. This is shown recently when Macklemore won Best Rap Album for his album, The Heist, over Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed album, Good Kid Maad City. Much of the public felt that Lamar was robbed of this coveted award due to rap’s lack of mainstream appeal and Macklemore’s race.
In an interview after winning Best Rap Album, Tyler said that receiving his nomination was a “backhanded compliment.” He was referring to the term “urban” when used to describe black music. He said that urban is “a politically correct way to say the n-word to me”. He continued to talk about the Grammy’s lack of representation of minorities in mainstream categories such as pop.
Tyler isn’t the only artist to voice their opinion about this. Artists such as Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Puff Daddy have voiced similar concerns. In my opinion, he is absolutely right to think this way because his album Igor is far from a rap album. Tyler only had two songs on the album with rap verses: “New Magic Wand” and “A Boy is a Gun.” Nonetheless, this Grammy win was major for Tyler and might be the spark that lights his new mainstream success.
Tyler is not letting up, however. He released two new singles this past month or so titled “Plan B”and “Best Interest”.
“Best Interest”is an unfinished track off of Igor and involves him navigating through a soulful beat with crooning and raspy bars that gives a joyful atmosphere. “Best Interest”was initially supposed to be on Igor but was left unfinished and became a throwaway track that he eventually came around to finishing. I can see why this single was left off of the record because it would be very redundant compared to other songs on the album.
However, he has a similar theme with Quasimoto/Igor, and that would make it fit in right with the album. The music video was filmed on a boat excursion where Tyler performed the song acapella in a spur of the moment fling. Out of the two tracks released, this one was my favorite.
“Group B” is a short song where Tyler displays more of his rapping ability, unlike “Best Interest”. This song seems to be more of a freestyle track that was recorded recently due to him noting his Grammy nomination. Also, this track seems to give an update to Tyler’s mental state and wellbeing for the time being. I thought that this track was cool and offered some witty bars such as “I don’t do surfboards, I don’t do waves” and “Foot is on the gas, I ain’t letting off (Skrrt)/Every car is gas, pissing Greta off.”
It’s exciting watching Tyler the Creator as he continues to evolve as a person and an artist. With the much deserving success of Igor and the release of two new songs, he doesn’t seem to be easing up. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow even more and who knows maybe he will continue to surprise me and others as well.