Okay before I start detailing why I love this album so much let me issue a warning. It’s going to seem like I’m fanning out at many different points of this review and that’s because I am. I don’t know what you expected, Tyler is my favorite artist of all-time. Every two years my ears get refreshed because no Tyler album sounds the same so, going into this album I had no idea what to expect. So when he drops he has my full attention and it is very hard to rip it away. At the time I’m writing this, this album has been out for two months. I have listened to at least one song from it everyday since then, I keep finding new things to love about it. Okay, now lets begin.
From the first words uttered on “SIR BAUDELAIRE” he had me hooked. “The sun beaming.” Then the beat comes in? Wow. Throughout the entire album Tyler is barring out, and it’s not like that’s anything new, but it’s the main focal point of this album. He accredited that to working with Westside Gunn from Griselda, and the more you listen to the album it’s apparent. The beat choices, the flows, the way his voice sounds like he’s still hungry even though he’s been making music for over a decade now. Oh, DJ Drama is here too. His presence is the cherry on top. There are points on this album where you’re waiting for Drama to chime in and when he does it’s always rewarding. Tyler knew just how much we needed of Drama for it not to be annoying, but keep you entertained.
This is definitely apparent on “CORSO.” Drama intros the song then comes in between the verses and adds ad-libs. It makes the song crazier than it already is. Tyler is talking cash-money-shit on this one. “my heart broken, Remembered I was rich, so I bought me some new emotions, And a new boat ’cause I’d rather cry in the ocean,” and “Find another nigga like me ’cause I ain’t seen one” are just two examples. All over this insane beat that samples “Oriental Workload” by James Asher. My favorite part is when the beat breaks down during the third verse before he asks Drama to turn the noise up to hide his emotions. Then, he says fuck that and the piano comes back in and then he ends the verse. It’s an amazing moment.
“WUSYANAME” is obviously a highlight to everyone. It captures that 90’s R&B feeling that we all know and love. Adding Ty Dolla $ign hitting vocal runs in the background is beautiful touch. Who would’ve thought that Youngboy would fit so perfectly over a Tyler beat? It sounds wild on paper, but it works so well that it makes you second-guess everything you thought you knew about music. Tyler details all the things he can do for this woman, including (but not limited to) fly her out to France, take her to Cannes, and make her some amazing French Toast. It’s a great song to yell the lyrics to, especially if you are in a relationship! Can’t relate? That’s tough.
“RUNITUP” is wild because it sounds like an early Tyler beat with those midi-horns that sound so tied to him. The synth (?) that drives the beat and can be heard in the background throughout makes it sound like the beat stepped through a time machine and 21-year old Tyler handed it to 30-year old Tyler and he added a little bit to it. This song is very fun and sounds like what “You Can Do It Too” by Pharrell tried to convey also. Everything you want to do is doable, if Tyler and P did, you can too.
“SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” is one my “AGHHHH” songs. Let me explain. We all have those songs where, when you hear it you have the same reaction wherever you’re at. You involuntarily go “AGHHHH” or make the stank face because the song is just that good. I have listened to this album all the way through a lot, and it happens every single time. Let’s talk about “SWEET” first. Those drums? Wow. The way the beat seems like it stops a second whenever the snare gets hit, the way they sound kind of sporadic, the way the hi-hats intro different parts of the beat. The synths during the intro, both bridges and when Tyler sings: “You know how I feel, baby!” AGHHHH. Brent sounds like an angel on this, too. His vocal runs make me melt. At the end when the horn comes in and the “Yeah Yeah Yeah’s” come in is the perfect ending. Then, we get to “I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE.” This part is just a solid groove. Makes you want to find somebody and two-step at a function, and y’all don’t care who sees either. The ending of this song is another part where it would be great if you have a significant other. Singing this part in unison is a moment. Those harmonies and the way the vocals are layered are insane, man.
“RISE!” is without a doubt my favorite song on this entire album for mainly one reason, those drums. Those drums, man. They are so hypnotic that sometimes I forget that there’s a song on top of them. The combo of the synth + the drums is everything to me. Also, Tyler is talking big boy shit on this song. There are rumors that this song is about A$AP Mob member Nast, and it probably is. If that’s the case, Nast really got under T’s skin. Lines like, “You ain’t where you at in your head, shit is apparent
You ain’t head nigga ’round here, you ain’t the sheriff ,You ain’t seeing shit how it is, get him some carrots” and “I will never lose any sleep, I’ll never sweat it, and I’ll always be ahead of you, nigga, don’t you forget it,” really show that Tyler felt some kind of way about being compared to people he doesn’t deem on the same level as him. Regardless of the motive, we got a great song out of it. The bridge on it features DAISY WORLD singing her heart out. Then, we go right back into Tyler talking shit. It’s great.
“JUGGERNAUT” is cool, more bragging. This time Uzi and P help out. Stellar Pharrell verse. It feels like Tyler made this beat just to get that “Big jean shorts, Enzo, big chain” energy out of P and it worked.
“SAFARI” is a GREAT way to end this album. I have to highlight that second verse, my god. Tyler fully blacks out and is just flexing on the entire Earth. Just read this sequence,
“Hov talkin’ ’bout a hundred million, nigga, loop me in
Like who that young, rich, handsome nigga with the gooey skin? (Ugh)
Mama named him Tyler and his brothers call him T
And the bank, they call him when that wire clear like season three or somethin’ (Ugh)
Skateboard named him Bunnyhop, it’s Baudelaire or Wolfie, though
The felines named him hour for how long he eat the— (Pussy) wait a minute (Ugh)
Pink loafers scuff quickly, Fiat cost a buck sixty
I’ll keep it a buck fifty, y’all can’t really fuck with me (Ugh)
Bitch, I got the fuzz and I’ma own it ’til they bury him
Only twenty-nine, but I’ve been focused since thirty M (Ugh)”
Like, what? When he says “Wolf” at the end it hits so hard. It’s acknowledgement that he killed it. Put some respect on his name, Wolf Haley just bodied every track. Gotta love it.
If I didn’t write about it, it’s because I didn’t want to or the song sucked. Sorry. I will say though, “MASSA” is really boring.
Bummer Mag: @thebummermag