In his second studio album, “Goblin,” Tyler, the Creator, the frontman of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA), is not running away from the evil inside him: He embraces it.
“Goblin” is like a horror film, showing scenes of murder, suicide, rape and domestic violence. Both the opening and closing tracks of the album are essentially Tyler fighting himself, trying to deny his growing notoriety. He says he’s not having fun anymore, and making music is like work now.
Some of the songs are overwhelmingly juvenile, while others deserve a closer look. Tyler warns listeners with a “random disclaimer” at the beginning of “Radicals,” telling kids not to do what is mentioned in the song. “If anything happens, don’t f-cking blame me, white America.”
Each beat of every song is unique and bass-heavy, and there’s an unexpected neediness in Tyler’s voice. Underneath his cockiness and swagger lies a yearning for some sort of confirmation.
This album is Tyler’s cry for help but also his middle finger to mainstream America. Not one of these songs is fit for radio play. Tracks like “Her,” “She” and “Fish” have the same misogynistic vibe that got Eminem so much criticism when he started his career.
“Yonkers,” which could be called the first single off the album, shows Tyler’s disdain for many popular artists today, promoting the stabbing of Bruno Mars. This could be one of the greatest songs produced by Tyler, along with the title track and “Transylvania,” because they all embody the horror-story flavor of the album.
Tyler and his ragtag team of foul-mouthed rappers have released a string of mix tapes and albums, rising in prominence within the hip-hop community. “Goblin” is the cherry on top of the poisonous cake that is OFWGKTA. It tells the story of a young man on the path to a mental breakdown, and only in that moment will he find his purpose.