Tyler, the Creator, ‘‘Wolf’’ (Odd Future/Sony/RED)
Before you listen to Tyler, the Creator’s third album, ‘‘Wolf,’’ keep this in mind: The rapper lives to offend. ‘‘Wolf’’ has enough slurs against gays to keep GLAAD busy for the next year, and he is an equal opportunity offender, doling out insults against women and others over 18 tracks.
Much like his breakthrough album, 2011’s ‘‘Goblin,’’ Tyler continues to rap with no filter, but in trying to be overly brash, he ends up detracting and distracting from what overall is a pretty good album.
When the 22-year-old isn’t dropping f-bombs, he often reflects on his childhood and his ascension from being a ‘‘dweeb’’ to becoming famous. That’s when he’s most compelling. On ‘‘Pig,’’ he tells a story about an often bullied kid who decides to carry a gun, willing to shoot the ones that constantly picked on him.
Tyler is lyrically strong on the Pharrell-assisted ‘‘IFHY,’’ confessing his hatred toward a particular female who hurt his feelings. On ‘‘Rusty,’’ with Domo Genesis and Earl Sweatshirt, he addresses his critics by sarcastically asking them why they believe he hates gays.
‘‘Look at that article that says my subject matter is wrong, saying I hate gays even though Frank is on 10 of my songs,’’ he raps, noting his Odd Future band mate is Frank Ocean, who revealed last year that his first love was a man. But that still doesn’t stop him from dropping gay slurs, in that song and others.
He and Ocean team up twice on ‘‘Wolf,’’ and they’re a good pair, particularly on the smooth ‘‘Slater,’’ as Tyler raps about having fun on his bike. Another good listen is ‘‘Treehome95,’’ featuring Quadron’s Coco O. and Erykah Badu.
In the end, Tyler shows that he is a talented lyricist on an album that is well-produced and can be very entertaining — that is, if you don’t mind the vitriol that accompanies it.
Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MrLandrum31