By the way, if you need a better understanding of who they are then you must understand hiphop a whole lot deeper than lyricism, producing and other mechanics as they are extremely darker than every rapper out now yet are lyrically better than just about any rapper out now. Imagine if the Gravediggaz was as lyrical as Wu-Tang, if Nas continued down the path of the "when I was 12, I went to Hell for snuffing Jesus" line, and if MF Doom, People Under The Stairs, Tech N9ne, Brotha Lynch Hung and Sage Francis warped into a group of Black kids from California and gave less than a damn about rapping like hiphop's norm.
Tyler, The Creator has released his first album under XL Records called Goblin, a follow-up to his debut solo project Bastard. Goblin reveals the true objective of OFWGKTA: lashing out at the inability to stay teens forever and the frustration behind being extremely talented yet unexpressive. Tyler brings his group to the spotlight as just being teenagers who want to exercise, in the fullest force possible, their free speech. Meanwhile, they have roped in so many young folks who feel the same way about being able to express themselves in unorthodox ways - whether it's as a Jesus-hating, roach-eating Cali dude with an affinity for Yonkers or a Dad-less brat who has extremely mixed ideas about women (see "She," "Her" and "Bitch Suck Dick").
Speaking of "Bitch Suck Dick," here's where Tyler and Odd Future begin to sound unfortunately familiar to the wastes of talents we all know and love (i.e. Lil' Wayne, Waka Flocka, etc) from their repetitious and simplistic execution to their suggestive lyrics. Note: they are suggestive, but usually in the context of not sounding like a COMPLETE waste of time. But "Bitch Suck Dick" is just unruly to be unruly, and in turn becomes unjustifiable.
Continuing the minimalist hiphop production, Goblin shows a wide variety of musical elements that exemplifies Tyler's knowledge of music (he makes his own beats, by the way), specifically the alternative urban music sounds within hiphop. As seen in the past OFWGKTA projects, Odd Future brings the Cali sunshine flavor to hiphop music, which is usually accommodated with soothing key tunes and basslines. They also can turn around and bring some hot trunk-rattling big bass beats that originates from crunk music in the South. At times Tyler brings in 80s New Wave and electronic-style music, as well as most of the dark elements seen in old school hiphop music.
Sometimes it’s best to stay mysterious, especially when it comes to the material Odd Future puts out. Unfortunately, Tyler decides to let us know who he is and what he’s about. Goblin has an N.E.R.D Seeing Sounds kind of feel to it because Tyler’s justifying his extreme lyricism and content, which comes off as almost corny. With “Radicals,” which was unnecessarily long and extremely disclosed for even OFWGKTA, he messes up in giving the world all the details in why Tyler is Tyler. Same for “Golden” – minus Tyler, but add Ace and Thurnis Haney. Anyone who truly listens to Odd Future knows good and well those three are the same person, so there was no need for Tyler to display that explanation so blatantly. There are some of the greatest artists who would put themselves out like that, but not as lucid as Goblin. Think of any quirky, out-there artists and not one moment will come to mind when they just laid out their former or current selves in their work.
Ultimately, we learn through this album (and looking retrospectively from their discography) that OFWGKTA lashes out sarcastic lyrics that just so happen to tap into hiphop's original values and norms, letting them know that individualism is key to living, not necessarily all having the same cohesive mindset. This is a liberal mindset that hiphop has yet to grab, despite the outcry from cats like Lil' B claiming to be pretty bitches, disrespecting prominent Black "figures" like Steve Harvey, and so on. Tyler also shows his sarcasm isn't much more than someone is within the adult age range (although 20 is debatable among some) who wishes to still be a kid, so his lashing out is a form of goofiness he possesses. Fortunately for him, he has a gift of strong lyricism that can carry that silliness of not wanting to grow up on to better things. Unfortunately, and this has become a problem for hiphop lovers across the world, this leaves the question of whether or not we take these projects of groups like OFWGKTA (who just so happen to speak to an untapped audience) seriously.
I honestly blame the way these cats blew up so fast that the hype for them turned against them. Not mad though, the success may be damaging, but a talented guy like Tyler and Odd Future will figure something out.
Star's Grade: B