Review: Tyler, the Creator – ‘Best Interest’

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Absorbing

The quality of Tyler, the Creator's leftovers and rough cuts demonstrate why he sits almost in a league of his own

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Last year saw the release of Tyler, the Creator’s rap-soul magnum opus IGOR, a rugged but beautiful statement of artistic growth from one of last decade’s most important musicians. Seven months on, Tyler uploaded to Youtube a charming homemade video for a track that was ultimately left off IGOR, ‘Best Interest’. Whilst obviously not enjoying the same level of polish as its parent album, ‘Best Interest’ is still a real treat of a song – brief but layered, sonically intoxicating, and dripping with emotional resonance.

The inspired use of sampling that lent IGOR its signature throwback sound returns on ‘Best Interest’, complementing Tyler’s vocals and offering a brilliant contrast to the sarcastic, biting lyrics. Despite the track and the album sharing these similar themes, ‘Best Interest’ is a much brighter offering than some cuts from IGOR, namely ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ or ‘Puppet’. Less emphasis is placed on the blown-out aesthetic of the album, relaxing into a heady daze of choir-like harmonies and soaring synths. It perhaps says more about the quality of IGOR, its thematics and pacing, that you would struggle to rearrange its tracklist to accomodate ‘Best Interest’; that said, the latter offers some extra context to the plotline of the album, with its discussion of  being a “homewrecker”, and “playing games”.

Only just reaching the two minute mark, ‘Best Interest’ is a short but exciting musical detour from one of the most intriguing characters in popular culture. The wonderful production, interesting lyricism, and even the endearing music video, ensure than not a second of time is wasted. Though potentially dwarfed by the brilliance of IGOR, ‘Best Interest’ is a testament to Tyler’s growing confidence that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.

Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Best Interest’ is out now via Columbia Records.

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Bailey studies Modern History and Politics, and spends his free time wishing the university offered a Beatles degree.

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