Controversy aside, the young producer/MC is a breath of fresh air.
Jen Long 2011
"We don’t f***ing make horrorcore you f***ing idiots. Listen deeper to the music before you put it in a box."
Welcome to the world of Odd Future. They rap, they skate, they offend, and right now the adolescent LA crew of artists and producers can be found adorning magazine covers and tearing up stages to sold-out crowds. What began as bored kids posting mixtapes and albums for free download has spiralled into a tornado of hype, climaxing around the anticipated Armageddon of their leader, Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin release.
But with great hype comes great scrutiny, and Goblin is an album ready to enrage even the most liberal of listeners. Having already earned accusations of homophobia and misogyny on debut album Bastard, Tyler shows no signs of apology, instead fanning the flames he knows will burn his name with a run of shock tactics reminiscent of every past public enemy from Eminem to Marilyn Manson.
Lyrics like "Rape a pregnant b**** and tell my friends I had a threesome" (Tron Cat) leave a mark of open-mouthed stun. It’s difficult to determine whether his tongue is deep into his own cheek, but there’s certainly a knowingness here.
Radicals opens with a disclaimer: "Don’t do anything I say in this song / It’s f***ing fiction / If anything happens don’t f***ing blame me, white America." A pre-emptive strike at the inevitable backlash for a chorus chant of "Kill people, burn s***, f*** school."
There are many arguments for and against Tyler’s mouth and mind, but once the language barrier is crossed and ears become numb, the real brilliance of Goblin can be heard. It’s in Tyler’s flow, his intricate internal rhymes, wordplay, and rhythmically shifting speech patterns. His delivery is musical; playing like a melody against the self-made harsh and stripped back beats and loops, it’s more Why? than Wu.
Goblin is old school for a new generation, a passion-fuelled breath of fresh air from the stale sea of radio friendly, over-produced and clichéd rap. It goes to prove you can’t box in Tyler, because you really don’t know where he’ll go next.