The album opens with ‘Wolf’ a beautiful piano led introduction wonderfully dirtied up in true Tyler style with the first obvious lyric being ‘Fuck. Fuck You’. Welcome to the word of Wolf, the third studio album from Tyler, The Creator. Tyler told the world three years ago that his third album would be called Wolf and despite messing around and teasing the press (like he does) he’s actually stuck with it and it’s a great follow up to the fantastic second record Goblin.
‘Jamba’ is track number two and you can catch a little clip of the video for it at the end of his newest music video (‘IFHY’, see below). This is great track. Good rhythm and a clear demonstration of Tyler’s talent. A highlight of the song, as with all the other tracks, is his blatantly crude lyrics, for example, ‘You want a tip bitch well here’s my dick for gratuity’. Despite the album being solely produced by Tyler himself he has still kept the collaborations in full flow. ‘Jamba’ features fellow Odd Future companion Hodgy Beats. This leads into ‘Cowboy’ a track with a more tangible hook: ‘I am the cowboy on my own trip’, the closest thing to a sing-along section we’re ever going to get with the rap heavy album. This track, along with a lot of others on the album, are reminiscent of old school RnB, especially with the sexy piano often laying as a bed for Tyler’s lyrics. The end of ‘Awkward’ even features some Timberlake-esque falsetto.
‘Domo23’ was the first single from Wolf and it is brilliantly aggressive. Moving from the smooth sounds previously heard to a trancey, fast-paced banger. I can see crowds shouting ‘fuck that, golf wang!’ along with Tyler at his live shows. It’s a definite highlight. Frank Ocean features not only on two of the tracks but also features in Tyler’s lyrics, more so since his coming out as bisexual. ‘Slater’ is one of the songs in which his beautiful vocals feature. Instead of overshadowing Tyler he simply compliments him and enhances the track beautifully, similarly to ‘She’ from Goblin.
‘Colossus’ is a track in which the rap lyrics steal the show. He tells the story of fans approaching him; it’s a conversation between him and an obsessed fan. Tyler puts plainly what a lot of artists must feel about people liking their music: “guarantee they didn’t even hear Bastard. They bandwagon-jumped me from a pogo”. The new single ‘IFHY’ featuring Pharrell Williams is brilliant. The video for it, in true Wolf Haley style, is delightfully weird. If you’re not creeped out by Tyler’s prosthetics then there is something wrong. It is a slower paced song compared to the first single ‘Domo23’. For those who follow Tyler, The Creator on Twitter (@fucktyler) may have noticed his ridiculing of a silly fan asking him what ‘IFHY’ stands for. Listen to the track and it’s pretty blatant.
I enjoyed listening to ‘Rusty’ because the youthful tones of Earl Sweatshirt feature. He’s great and works really well with Tyler’s sound on the track. As we near the end of the mammoth 18 track record an absolute belter titled ‘Tamale’ wakes you up again after the luls of ‘Treehome95’ and ‘Trashwang’. ‘Tamale’ is a fantastically catchy track with an awesome rhythm and literally is the pinnacle of lyrical greatness. In an interview with SPIN magazine in 2011 Tyler spoke about his song writing and sums it up perfectly. It’s better coming from the horses mouth than from someone trying to assume what’s going on in his mad head:
“With Wolf, I’ll brag a little more, talk about money and buying shit. But not like any other rapper, I’ll be a smart-ass about it. People who wanted the first album again, I can’t do that. I was 18, broke as fuck. On my third album, I have money and I’m hanging out with my idols. I can’t rap about the same shit.”
I think there are certain tracks that deserve more of my time and maybe after a couple more listens will become as stand-out as the ones aforementioned. However with an album so lengthy there are bound to be lulls amongst the greatness. Overall I would definitely believe the hype around this third record and give it the time of day it deserves, ‘Yonkers’ will always be up there as one of his best but, as Tyler says “Yonkers and yonkers, sick of hearing about yonkers, I’m grateful that it worked. I attacked and I conquered.’