By Jarris Jones
Igor, Igor, Igor… The only thing I associated the word Igor with was the 2008 animated horror film, but the word Igor would end up having a much greater meaning to me. Tyler, The Creator, released his fifth studio album on May 16, 2019, and at the time of its release, I was in my final weeks of high school. With my acceptance to Texas State and the thoughts of growing up filling my brain, this album came at the perfect time. I never would have imagined a made-up character could take over my entire world, but with a blonde bob and vibrant suits, IGOR did just that.
Upon first listening, I knew that Tyler gave the world a classic. I thought 12 songs and 40 minutes weren’t enough, but boy, was I wrong. I quickly became obsessed with the album, so much so that I even defended it with my life if anyone dared say anything bad about it. With the album came an amazing rollout. I didn’t want to run out of time to cop merch, so I used the little money I had from my job and bought as much as possible. With the purchase of merch, I was officially part of the campaign to “VOTE IGOR,” which was used during Tyler’s rollout of the album. IGOR took up 100% of my music time with songs such as “I think,” “Boy is a Gun,” “What’s Good” and “New Magic Wand”.
How could it not be played in my earphones all day? Each song is filled with these moments that the listener only hears once in the song, and that leaves you yearning to hear the song for the first time again. For example, the song “Puppet” has a secret Kanye West feature that you may not notice upon first listen. Like how “New Magic Wand” has this amazing build-up to the point you’ll be left singing “Please don’t leave me now” and rocking back and forth for the rest of your life. For those who collect vinyl, there is a secret track titled “Boyfriend” that was originally left off the album and features Charlie Wilson.
I see the character IGOR as a persona Tyler came up with, someone who can say what they want and release emotions that Tyler otherwise would have kept to himself. Towards the end of 2019, I met IGOR himself in concert and experienced a live performace I will never forget and had the chance to see Blood Orange as well. I even went as far as dressing up as IGOR for halloween in the year 2021. I have no idea how Tyler ran around in a wig for that long and not want to take it off!
I like to call this album my coming-of-age album. As I grow up and experience moments in life, IGOR has been right there with me; in times I want to groove, times I feel uncertain and times I just want to be. I have never been let down when I return to IGOR. Tyler somehow gave us something new yet groundbreaking and has given me something I can hold onto forever. Through good or bad, I have an album that has been there for me since its release, and reflecting upon those times, I have always been able to come out as cool as IGOR himself.
Written by: Cayla Soriano