Tyler, The Creator is known around the music scene for his eccentric personality, flamboyant colour choices and overall brilliant taste in music creation. He’s seemingly carved out his own niche of rap fans through his production and development of multiple characters.
From Bastard to IGOR, Tyler has used characters to represent his multitude of opinions and personalities. On his album Bastard, we’re introduced to Dr. TC, his psychiatrist. His deep and ominous voice is used as a navigation tool as we unpack his deep childhood trauma. On the other hand, we have Ace, who has a dominating presence on Bastard. He represents Tyler’s built-up aggression, showing us an almost violent side.
As you continue listening to Tyler’s music, you realize that each and every track has a deeper meaning. Sometimes his lyrics are obvious and self-evident, whereas other times, we find ourselves listening to lyrics over and over again until we finally can pick out what he’s saying. Below, you will find a full rundown of Tyler’s discography, depicting each section as an emotion that we find him portraying in day-to-day life.
It would be criminal to narrow Tyler down into a specific genre of music. Honestly, it would be just as criminal, if not more, to call him simply a rapper. Tyler produces music artfully in ways that evoke passion, joy and sadness all at the same time. His music toes the line between being quirky and borderline weird to generally accepted and easily loved.
HIS MANY PERSONALITIES: CHILL
One of his many personalities is his chill persona which is laid back and seemingly carefree. This persona is on display most frequently, tied closely with his energetic side. In this category, songs like See You Again with Kali Uchis, IFHY, SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE and 911/Mr. Lonely, featuring Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy, stands the test of time.
See You Again is a dreamy track from Flower Boy, which Tyler claims is his favourite song from the project. This song represents the beginning of his more soft side, one that is more poised and sharp.
Throwing us back to 2013 is IFHY. The track was a part of Wolf, an album which addresses the critics from his ragtag teenage endeavour, Odd Future, as well as the pitfalls of fame. The album as a whole features heavy instrumentals, which can be summed up in IFHY. It’s just one of those tracks that makes you think of that certain someone, creating a dichotomy in your head.
Finally, we have SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE and 911/Mr. Lonely features Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy. Every tenth track on Tyler’s albums features a double song, with I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE being the second half of SWEET.
Both sets of two tracks display two very different sets of emotions. The first two-track song plays with a more bubbly, sugar pop tone while the second part feels more tropical, in a good vibes sort of way. The other set of tracks is deeply depressing, with the song only getting more depressing as time goes on.
HIS MANY PERSONALITIES: QUIRKY
This quirky category represents some of his more hit-or-miss songs that, on first listen, you might switch. However, his beats and flows will slowly grow on you, becoming mind-boggling as you listen.
YONKERS is his most popular example of this. Once the brain-rattling beat starts, you’ll find yourself nodding your head aggressively, forming a DMX-like snarl as you listen. “I’m a fucking walking paradox,” is the opening lyric of the track and will quickly become one of those lines that you scream at the top of your lungs.
SMUCKERS is a good introduction song for Tyler’s aggressive, almost raspy rap tone, which some find off-putting when they first hear it. As our ears are so tuned in to hearing mainstream rap, sometimes we forget that people have different sounds. On SMUCKERS, we’re able to denote Tyler’s voice from normalcy pretty quickly. However, he’s followed by Kanye West and Lil Wayne, which helps normalize it more and more.
The last track in this section is Who Dat Boy with A$AP Rocky. This track is in the same vein as SMUCKERS, although Rocky plays a different role to Ye and Lil Wayne. On this track, the beat is what’s a bit more on the quirky side, although it takes far less getting used to thins YONKERS. Simply put, it’s a Tyler song through and through.
HIS MANY PERSONALITIES: HYPED-UP
NEW MAGIC WANDA, Cash In Cash Out and Domo 23 complete Tyler’s discography autopsy. These three tracks will get you hyped up, ready to get wild or just in a great mood.
Starting with NEW MAGIC WAND, this track is well known for its ability to kick off concerts the right way. As you can see below, Tyler kicks off the track with the dynamic “ooh, ahh,” which he repeats until the beat drops. This usually causes a harmonious reaction of people going absolutely insane in the crowd. The emphatic beat paired with Tyler’s energetic ad-libs makes for a mosh pit-inducing track that you’ll never forget.
Cash In Cash Out is a song that Tyler’s voice dominates, although it’s originally 21 Savage’s track. It’s risen in popularity since its sudden use across TikTok, which people use for trends or to praise Tyler. However, this is one of those classic songs which can be played anywhere, and if you don’t know all of the lyrics, you’ll pick up on the chorus pretty fast.
Last but certainly not least, we have Domo 23, which, personally, gives me major A$AP Mob vibes strictly from the beat. Tyler’s flow is unmatched, flying through lyrics and forcing us listeners to match his energy. His sound is immaculate in this song, making it seem like he’s turning up with us as he’s rapping.
We’ve seen so many phases of Tyler’s style, but his current influence is achieved through streetwear and skate styling. When he first joined Odd Future in 2007, we saw Tyler rocking graphic T’s, snapbacks, eccentric colourways and crude photoshop basically everywhere.
Nowadays, we see a more refined style, although Tyler’s vibrant personality still shines through. He’s often caught in loafers or his very own converse, baggy pants including denim, dickies and other work wear, and a fun mix of sweater vests, graphic T’s or wild jackets.
GOLF LE FLEUR*
Tyler’s fashion label Golf Le Fleur aims to pull away from streetwear. His initial line focused primarily on mohair cardigans, summer-ready trunks, aromatic fragrances and a long list of luxurious and Tyler-esque accessories.
The brand has done countless collaborations with lifestyle and fashion brands, although the most infamous has to be Converse, hands down. Tyler linked up with the Converse team to drop a double-digit count of silhouettes and upper designs. The most popular has to be the flower-stitched One Star that came in the perfect selection of summer colours.
If you were to visit his website right now, you’d see a super fun selection of ready-to-wear accessories, including quirky sunglasses, vibrant nail polishes and luggage done by Globe Trotter.
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See also: PRAYING FOR MORE CHET LO, AND SOON