Release Date: May 10, 2011
Record label: XL
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap, Underground Rap, Hardcore Rap
"I'm not a fucking role model, I know this/I'm a 19-year-old fucking emotional coaster with pipe dreams," Tyler, the Creator raps on Goblin. That would be putting it lightly: With his pension for horrific lyrics, on-stage outrageousness and old-fashioned hustle, the L.A. rapper-producer behind the hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All has become an engrossing, disconcerting trending-topic.
As the mouthpiece and figurehead of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, the teenage hip-hop outfit that’s courted controversy and well-nigh governed the blogosphere for the better part of two years, Tyler the Creator is facing down an especially large degree of expectation surrounding his first major-label release. His self-released and entirely self-produced 2009 album, Bastard, made waves for its shock value, but also boasted some genuinely inspired moments that went some way toward vindicating his crew’s cult following. His new album, Goblin, is a much larger platform for Tyler’s polemical rants, and it will likely be the mainstream’s first taste of the OFWGKTA sound.
”I’m not a f—in’ role model.” So begins the debut from the breakout star of misfit rap collective Odd Future. That disclaimer doesn’t allay the blow his subsequent words dole out: Not since early Eminem has a rapper delivered lyrics so vicious, spitting graphic threats of rape (”Fish/Boppin Bitch”) and murder (”Yonkers”), though he later acknowledges that he has no intention of carrying them out. Too bad Kanye — who’s also a fan — already used the title last fall, because Goblin is one Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Two albums in, Tyler, the Creator’s rap career is starting to look like a calculated study in cognitive dissonance. Tyler’s debut album, Bastard, paired jazzy, post-Neptunes synth haze with raucous lyrics delivered in a gravelly, often devilishly pitch shifted voice that sounded bruised well beyond its years. A purely surface level reading of a song like “VCR/Wheels” might yield a pleasant listening experience.
First, a warning. This is a first-rate album, a high quality article that aims to push the boundaries of rap without diving headlong into incongruent and joyless experimentalism. This album, however, will probably offend you; it takes a very tolerant type not to flair at some of Tyler’s more testing flows – providing you don’t, you’ll find instead a great record by one of the most exciting talents in urban culture right now.
Editor’s Note: The original posted rating on this album was a site error. Tyler, the Creator’s Goblin was rated as a 4 out of 5. Apologies for the error. Hype is a tricky variable for burgeoning Hip Hop artists. While many outright flounder at game time due to misguided content or shiesty label ….
And just when you thought that the demands of the market meant that there was no place for real life mavericks in music anymore, we got Odd Future. The nerdiest, most foul-mouthed kids on the block, they’re not exactly clean cut commercial prospects. And just when you thought that hip-hop couldn’t get over the controversial peaks of its own past—the guns, the bitches, the bling, The Dreaded ‘N’ Word—we got Odd Future.
A year ago, very few people knew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The nihilistic, mostly-teenaged L.A. rap collective has been releasing free mixtapes since 2008, but until recently, they were ignored by most of the rap blogosphere. Full of pathos, humor, and hatred, the group has worked tirelessly to establish their own intricate world online-- from their YouTube account, filled with self-produced videos, to their individual Twitters, Tumblrs, Facebooks, and Formsprings, all of which they update prolifically.
Review Summary: Stabbin' any bloggin hipster with a Pitchfork? Get at me, Tyler.The key to liking Goblin is taking Tyler seriously. It’s tempting to not do this; it’s too uncomfortable to accept Tyler’s psychotic rants at face value, as the real content of his subconscious coming through his unsettling, disjointed rambles. Songs about rape, murder, homophobia, and suicide aren’t casual.
Released by the XL label in a one-album deal, Goblin is the first widely accessible release from the Odd Future crew, an outlandish alternative hip-hop consortium that was the epitome of underground hip in 2011. With social networking, video sharing, and mixtapes as their tools, Odd Future's wild mix of skateboarding culture and scatological rhymes struck a chord with the right-click-and-save crowd, who will be relieved to know that the crew’s leader delivered his aboveground debut without any sign of outside influence. Parents and defenders of good taste should be just as horrified because “God damn I love bitches/Especially when they just suck dick and do dishes” (“Transylvania”) is the way Tyler, the Creator rolls, coming incorrectly in a ski mask, irresponsibly rapping about rape, and with suicidal tendencies: the mindset, not the band.
Tyler, the Creator :: GoblinXL RecordingsAuthor: Eric SirotaOdd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, the California-based rap collective, which Tyler founded and leads, largely made up of kids twenty and younger, has generated a lot of controversy, and rightfully so. Tyler and his crew say some pretty fucked up shit, and they say it pretty often. They kill.
Last week was an interesting one for controversy in hip-hop. Fox News's feeble attempt to present Common's invitation to the White House as a threat to the republic because the thoughtful rapper was once rude about the police seemed irrelevant in light of the online debate simultaneously raging about Tyler, the Creator, the 20-year-old star player of cult LA collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and the most hotly discussed new musician of 2011. Fox's Boston affiliate, at least, acknowledged the phenomenon by reporting an unruly record-store signing where police were called to "quell the shenanigans".
“I’m fucking radical… I’m muthafucking radical. ” Depends on your definition of the word, really. Goblin isn’t a radical departure from any hip hop preceding its release – one can hear echoes of myriad artists/producers past and present in its DNA (Mobb Deep, Wu-Tang, The Neptunes, Nas, Eminem, Dre) – just as it’s not a significant step onwards from Tyler ‘the Creator’ Okonma’s solo debut, 2009’s ‘net-distributed Bastard.
It’s not often the music world is shaken so vigorously that we’re practically forced to reexamine our relationship with transgressive art, but Odd Future has become such a cultural phenomenon that this negotiation felt like a pre-requisite to speaking intelligently about rap music in 2011. In the last several months, Tyler, The Creator, the de facto leader of the adolescent L.A. collective, has seized the public consciousness by appearing on Jimmy Fallon in a ski mask, having fun with record executives tripping over themselves to capitalize on Odd Future, and getting kicked out of (and then sneaking back into) Coachella.
What kid is ever cured after their second appointment with a therapist? It’s a process that takes a lifetime of introspection, honesty, and, most importantly, a willingness to accept change into your life. Tyler, the Creator has made some small steps in the doctor’s office all while keeping his defense mechanisms raised and his aggression palpable. He opens his second LP Goblin with the lines “I’m a 19-year old fucking emotional coaster of pipe dreams” and converses on the title track with self-conscious acidity about perception, mindsets, fame, suicide, and, of course, the familiar juvenile venom OFWGTKA champions as a way of life.
TYLER, THE CREATOR and ODD FUTURE play a sold-out concert at the Phoenix on Sunday (May 15). See listing. Rating: NN Unless you've heard Tyler's last album, Bastard, you won't understand this one. That claim - a tweet from the man himself, @fucktyler - is only half true. Unless you've heard the ….
Goblin has been out for more than a month now and I feel as though this wonderful website needs something a little different to mix it up a bit, so here it goes. Goblin is going to freak you out plain and simple. There is enough creepy imagery here to make David Lynch want to call a psychiatrist for this kid. Speaking of psychiatrist, this is the second album where the primary manner in which the narrative is pushed forward is Tyler talking to his Psychiatrist.
Controversy aside, the young producer/MC is a breath of fresh air. Jen Long 2011 "We don’t f***ing make horrorcore you f***ing idiots. Listen deeper to the music before you put it in a box." Welcome to the world of Odd Future. They rap, they skate, they offend, and right now the adolescent LA crew of artists and producers can be found adorning magazine covers and tearing up stages to sold-out crowds.