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Tyler the Creator's Most Recent Album: IGOR

On May 17, legendary rap artist Tyler the Creator released his highly anticipated album, IGOR. The album is written in a lively tone, similar to his 2017 album, Flower Boy, but still provides a fresh take on his sound. This album has more singing than his other works and explores themes of unrequited love and relationships where more effort is put in than received. Tyler will be performing songs from this album at his music festival in November, Camp Flog Gnaw. With the carnival themed festival weekend coming up, we wanted to dive deeper into this album before hearing it live. 

The album also has many feature artists including Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, Playboi Carti, Charlie Wilson, Jerrod Carmichael, Santigold, Kanye West, Segue, slowthai, CeeLo Green, Al Green and Pharrell Williams. However, on Spotify none of these artists are listed as features, so we’ll take you through exactly who you’ll hear on the album.

IGOR opens up with the intro song, “IGOR’S Theme,” which bounces between both a fast paced beat and a honeymoon singing chorus. The song includes feature segments from rapper Lil Uzi Vert and female music artist, Solange. Without many words other than “I’ve got my eyes open” and “Ridin’ ‘round town, they gon’ feel this one,” “IGOR’s Theme” sets the tone of the album.

The second song on the album, “Earfquake,” includes feature artists, Playboi Carti and Charlie Wilson. This piece talks about a love that is on the cusp of breaking. Tyler says, “oh you make my earth quake, Ridin around your love is shakin’ me up, and it's making my heart break,” followed by a line with Wilson, “don’t leave, it’s my fault.” These heartfelt lyrics are following the more emotional trend to Tyler the Creator’s most recent music, and fans seem to be reacting well.

As of this week, IGOR is currently the sixth album on the billboard top 200 charts. On top of that, the music video for “Earfquake” was released on the same day as the album and has already hit 14 million views on Youtube. These numbers show Tyler’s new style of added singing and enhanced emotion is hitting right with his audience.

“Earfquake” is followed by “I Think,” which shows Tyler’s realization that he’s falling in love, but is unsure how his partner feels. He sings this piece alongside female artist Solange. Tyler says, “man what the f*** is your motive?” followed by, “man, I wish you would call me.” At this point in  the album, it seems as if the relationship is one sided and Tyler may be the one putting forth more love.

This is confirmed in the next song, “Running Out of Time,” which is about Tyler running out of time to make his partner love him.

In the next song on the album, “New Magic Wand,” the rapper discusses potentially murdering a woman who is in the relationship with the person he loves. This song exposes that Tyler seems to be in a side relationship and unintentionally part of an affair. With features including Jerrod Carmichael and Santigold, this song is where issues in the relationship are brought to light. He discusses how he sees photos of his lover and the woman looking happy together. Tyler is singing about feelings we can relate to such as not being the first priority in someone's life. He sings, “this 60-40 isn’t workin’, I want a hundred of your time, you’re mine.”

The attitude of the album takes a turn  with the next song, “A Boy is a Gun,” in which Tyler is fighting with his internal feelings for his significant other. He feels as if he wants them, but doesn’t at the same time. Tyler says, “you’re a gun ‘cause I like you on my side at all times, you keep me safe,” showing a loving, positive emotion toward his lover. The artist ends the song with, “I aint gon’ repeat myself, but stay the fuck away from me.” This internal struggle between wanting someone so bad, but knowing they aren’t good for you is a motif throughout this album.

The following song, “Puppet,” features  Kanye West with a repeat appearance of Jerrod Carmichael. In the song, Tyler discusses how he isn’t sure if he is in control of his own feelings or if they are at the will of his lover. The beat speeds up with the next song, featuring Segue and slowthai and another feature from Jerrod Carmichael, “What’s Good.” Harsher beats, faster lyrics and a scratchy sound make for bitter feelings, depicting how all the emotions have lead to one huge break. Tyler explains how he’s done playing around and says at the end, “I see the light,” leaving the listener to believe he has hit the breaking point and is moving forward with a different mindset.

This switch is confirmed in the next piece “Gone, Gone / Thank you” in which Tyler talks about how his love is gone, but he has found peace. The song features CeeLo Green and Jerrod Carmichael. The chorus says, “whether it’s rain or shine, I know I’m fine for now. My loves gone,” which shows an end to the back and forth relationship. Similar to how many of us feel after a brutal break up, Tyler ends the song by singing, “thank you for the love, thank you for the joy, but I will never want to fall in love again.”

After the relationship has clearly ended, the album leaves two songs as a post-break up portion. Second to last is, “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” in which Tyler sings about his absent feelings. He is obviously feeling better, as he sings, “and I realize there’s more fish in the sea, I’ma re-up.”

The whirlwind of an album ends with a song written by both Tyler and Al Green, “Are We Still Friends?” The final song discusses the question many couples face after the wounds of love have healed, are they going to be friends or not? Tyler sings, “shake your hand, say hi” attempting to put forth the idea that he wants a civil relationship with his ex. Along with feature artist Pharrell Williams, Tyler sings of how he doesn’t want to, “end the season on a bad episode” and wraps up the piece by saying, “oh woah, can’t say goodbye,” signaling that even though the relationship may be over in a romantic sense, he can’t cut his past lover out completely.

IGOR portrays an emotionally charged love story in which listeners everywhere can relate. From being unsure how your partner  feels, to being the second choice, we can all find at least one song in the album that makes us feel less alone in our romantic struggles.

It’s no wonder this album was already on its way to being at the top of the trending scales in the music industry just weeks after its release. Tyler the Creator crafted a love story and gave everyone something to relate to. Through multiple feature voices and the different speeds and intensity of beats, this album satisfies the taste of listeners everywhere.