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Album review: Tyler, The Creator brags, lets out insecurities in sophomore album ‘Wolf’

Tyler, The Creator’s sophomore studio album “Wolf” leaked digitally Monday and quickly went to the top of the iTunes charts. Despite the artist, whose real name is Tyler Gregory Okonma, calling his album “wack” on Twitter, his new album and its visuals have been getting acclaim from many major names in hip-hop. 

Hip-hop royalty Kanye West was quick to post the video for Okonma’s second single off the album, “IFHY,” to his website. Okonma’s video for the song features well-respected producer Pharrell Williams, who gave him nothing but praise on Twitter for his creativity and talent.

The album comes after a two-year hiatus during which Okonma essentially became a star in the hip-hop genre without having a song on the radio due to he and his Odd Future crew’s abrasive lyrics. Okonma proceeds to boast about his newfound fame on “Wolf” as he excessively mentions the new home he has purchased and the fact that eating a cockroach in the video for his song “Yonkers” made him millions.

“I ate one roach and I made a lot of money,” Okonma said in his single titled “Domo23.”

Pretentious lyrics like these litter the album and can become quite annoying, but there is no denying Okonma brought his A-game when it comes to his flow on each and every track. The intro/title track introduces a deep-voiced character similar to the therapist character in his previous projects “Goblin” and “Bastard.” The second track, “Jamba,” really sets the tone, however, as Okonma spits a hardcore verse and rides the beat to perfection.

Moving forward, the album slows down considerably and Okonma goes into a seemingly emotional state in the songs “Awkward” and “Answer.” He has made it no secret that he feels nothing but contempt towards his father. The track “Answer” is essentially a long soliloquy about this passionate hate that sounds a lot like whining for a person who brags as much as he does.

One of the most interesting tracks on the album is the song “Colossus” that centers on Okonma’s hate for the limelight. He raps about people coming up to him to ask for pictures and one fan that takes his love for him a little too far. He continues to describe his problems with fame in the track “Rusty,” in which he raps about all the complaints he’s received from hip-hop critics.

“Hated the popular ones / Now I’m the popular one / Also hated homes ’till I started coppin’ me some,” he raps.

As far as production goes, Okonma and his pals from the group Odd Future use much of the same simple and catchy beats they’ve used on previous projects. Many of the beats on the album sound like you could make them yourself on any amateur computer system, but inevitably they get you hyped and get your head nodding. 

The features on the album stay pretty much in-house with Okonma’s usual Odd Future associates Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Domo Genesis and even L-Boy giving his usual long and ignorant speeches on some tracks. Okonma does pull a surprising feature from Erykah Badu on the track “Treehome95.”

The overall sound of the album mostly overshadows the fact that Okonma is talking mostly about all the money he has earned in the past two years. If you get past all the expletives and bragging, you can hear a lot of Okonma’s insecurities. It makes sense that a poor kid from California might want to boast a little bit after building a force in the rap game before the age of 21. 

If you enjoyed his previous two projects, there is no reason you should not enjoy “Wolf.”   


Grade: A-

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