Same ‘ol Song and Dance
Homophobic. Outlandish. Explicit. All of these adjectives have been used to summarize Tyler, The Creator’s previous works, but on his 3rd release Wolf he’s aiming to mature some, or at least as much as one could expect him to. During a Spin interview in 2011, Tyler stated, “Talking about rape and cutting bodies up, it just doesn’t interest me anymore… What interests me is making weird hippie music for people to get high to.” The question on everybody’s mind though is: did he follow through?
The album starts off with the title track “Wolf” with Tyler, rattling off a bunch of “f*** you”s over a soothing piano melody later accompanied by bombastic drums, strings and horns right before saying he posits “you’re a f***ing f*g.” From here it looks like it’s business as usual for Tyler. “Want a tip b**ch/ well here’s my d*ck for gratuity” from the following track “Jamba” is the next example of how Tyler might have a weird definition of maturity and what kind of music hippies listen too.
“Awkward” serves as a weird love song discussing an uncomfortable kiss he experiences at 16. It’s moments of honesty like this with lack of “shock” lyrical content that show the true talent of Tyler. This honesty follows through into “Answer,” a song going out to his estranged father. Although he still has to sprinkle the word “faggot” throughout, it feels as though it’s just an emotional defense mechanism instead of an insulting slur.
Tyler, The Creator took the helm on production for this LP and in that role he excelled. Though some of the songs’ content might not be everyone’s cup of tea, musically, Wolf deserves an A+. Showcased on the album as usual are the fellow members of Odd Future doing what they do. Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean stand out on the tracks in which they’re guests and at times outshine Tyler. Wolf follows the tropes we’ve grown to expect from Tyler, The Creator and at times shows hints of maturity, but still you shouldn’t let him babysit.