Has Tyler, the Creator's musical transition gone too far?

Rapper Tyler, the Creator performs onstage during Mala Luna Music Festival at Nelson Wolff Stadium on October 27, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas.

The new Tyler, the Creator album - IGOR - is out now.

Tyler, the Creator has returned with his new album, IGOR. Ever since the multi-talented hip-hop personality rose to prominence with the Odd Future collective, fans have praised his unique and daring appeal, noting his influence across the genre over the years. His debut mixtape - Bastard - arrived in 2009 and immediately signalled the emergence of a figure teenagers would grow to cherish and parents would grow to fear. The project was edgy, provocative, and quite unlike anything else available at the time. 

Two years later, he surfaced again with Goblin, his debut studio album and one that many circles are still taking the time to discuss. The record further cemented him as a cult icon, but he was now far harder for those who despised his work to ignore. His dialogue with fictional therapist Dr. TC continued to make an appearance, but the recurring presence was put to far better use here, shaping this body of work as a confessional, deeply disturbing deep-dive, but one bursting with a personality entirely addictive. 

His second and third studio records - Wolf and Cherry Bomb, respectively - began to display some musical progression, but most of the material here is unmistakably distinct to Tyler's sound. They helped him to gain more fans, but essentially he was continuing to pull in more and more of the same demographics. Flower Boy, on the other hand, changed things considerably. 

His 2017 record saw him break into a completely new stage of maturity and creativity. Cuts like "Boredom" and "911 / Mr. Lonely" introduced new audiences to his most ambitious and palatable work yet, featuring gorgeous musical accompaniments we'd never have associated with the antagonistic provocateur beforehand.

He brilliantly bridged a gap between new fanbases deterred by his old material and existing followers who recognised his signature sound on such tracks as "I Ain't Got Time!". Everyone will have their favourite, but this was unquestionably his most accomplished body of work to date. Has he kept up appearances with IGOR?

The record has only just dropped and - as was the case with Flower Boy - more time is needed to absorb his latest offering. However, we can dive into initial thoughts, which are incredibly positive. Tyler has continued to experiment and creatively, he's hit another jackpot here.

We've always had the impression that the rapper's music taste is expansive, but we also feel that age has helped him to understand and appreciate his wealth of influences, to utilise and incorporate them rather than merely reference them. There's a respect for numerous genres here, and in terms of Tyler's own journey, this is absolutely the next logical step after Flower Boy

The evolution which he's displayed over the years has attracted attention beyond the realms of hip-hop, and IGOR is the second of his records to transcend the label. Inevitably, some fans of his older projects just aren't interested in his sound anymore, but this latest collection is the product of someone constantly in search of improvement, but that's not all...

What we truly appreciate here is Tyler's desire to immerse himself in his craft, and it's this which allows his evolution to be an enjoyable one for us all; not just those who have been down from the get-go. He's clearly enjoying himself, and this translates better here than any of his previous projects. IGOR will introduce so many more to his work, and honestly, we couldn't have anticipated such a celebratory sound from him before Flower Boy. We expect that time will lavish this record — as will we.  

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