The Evolution of Tyler, the Creator


While being one of the few artists who can say they write, produce, and direct their own work, the Westchester HS alumn has made it clear why he is Tyler, the Creator. From creating a highly successful international clothing brand, to having a successful show on Adult Swim, to being accountable for several loveable mixtapes and albums, Tyler’s success and evolution as an artist has been displayed right infront of our eyes. For someone who has kept up with Tyler since Bastard days, his growth and influence as an artist is quite spectacular. Being one of the most successful artists under 30, Tyler, the Creator’s wild but artistic imagination has allowed him to touch the sky.

His influence in the fashion world has reached worldwide, which all started when he launched his pop up shop on Fairfax Ave in 2011. It began with everyone wearing donuts and cats, but now, Tyler has a list of different catalogues under his name, and even has his own fashion shows! His permanent store is now, too, on Fairfax Ave, and has a unique interior design, all done by Tyler himself.

On May 17, 2019  Tyler dropped his 5th studio album, IGOR.

Which was a 10/10.

Many people say IGOR was something that weren’t used to hearing from him. However, if you are a fan of Tyler, the Creator and/or Odd Future, you know this is nothing out of his range. From the beginning, you can tell jazz played a huge role on the artist’s influence of sound. He often vocalizes his love for jazz, and is connected with many neo-soul artists on various tracks. However, to those who don’t keep up with Tyler’s music, their perception of him is someone who only does a darker form of rap, like in “Yonkers” or “Tron Cat”. And that’s where they’re wrong.

With him being a piano enthusiast, and producing his own work, his capability of that type of sound is showcased throughout every tape and album, whether it was through a solo project or an Odd Future tape. As time progresses, he showcases softer vocals, melodies, and lyricism, as if he grew more and more comfortable sharing that warmer side as new content releases.

….The Evolution of Tyler

Often the intro to a song sets forth the tone that will be set throughout the project. Tyler’s first 3 projects served as a story showcasing different characters. Continuing on, he was able to share other aspects of his journey through each one, thus showing impressive growth as an artist in the last decade.

Bastard (2009)

The intro begins as Tyler communicates with his fictional psychiatrist, Dr. TC, (stands for Tyler’s conscience) through 9 verses over a deep, piano beat. The meeting with Dr. TC was due to Tyler’s teacher kicking him out of class for being disruptive. It was easily recognizable that Tyler had a talent with storytelling as an artist.

It was as if he was acting out, saying outlandish things for attention.

Goblin (2011)

On “Goblin”, he has another discussion with Dr. T.C. Here he discusses the motion of his problematic lyrics and the ideal that that’s not really the person that he is.

[Interlude: Tyler The Creator, Tyler, The Creator as Dr. TC] – Goblin

“Tyler, you’ll top it, you’ll top that, you’re a very capable individual”

“Okay, you guys caught me, I’m not a fucking rapist or serial killer, I lied”

“You know, you just want attention, you’ll be fine”

“I try too hard, huh?”

“No, you don’t”  

This intro goes more into the demons he’s fighting in his personal life, and the new challenges he’s faced with his public image due to this newer lifestyle.

Wolf (2013)

On “Wolf”, you not only recognize the escalation of his piano talent, but you are introduced to some new characters, played by Tyler himself.

Sam & Wolf. Both who attend Camp Flog Gnaw, which is ran by Dr. T.C. Camp Flog Gnaw was suppose to symbolize a camp where people go for their mental issues, similar to Earl’s situation in Samoa when he was sent away.

Cherry Bomb (2015)

On “Cherry Bomb”, we hear a different approach as it’s more steered towards a punk rock type of sound, as he said was inspired by DeathGrips. This was the type of sound he wanted mosh pits to go crazy over when performed at shows. This doesn’t continue the conversation with Dr. T.C., but showcases Tyler’s success and confidence in himself. He portrayed the message of going full throttle with your own ideas, and watch them explode into something you’ve always hoped for.

Flower Boy (2017)

On Flower Boy, the first track is “Foreword”, a term also used to set the stage of what the crowd can expect from what is about to be presented. Even though at this point, he’s already experienced an impressive amount of success internationally, he’s still exploring himself. He goes through emotional confusion, and deep self thoughts, comparing his life to a pool. Uses the metaphor 10 toes down to compare himself drowning in that water, overbeared by this life. It’s time for the exploration of the deeper water.

IGOR (2019)

Safe to say, IGOR was an album to make you feel. Feel with warmth. Groove.  

“IGOR’S THEME” is the first track of the album, and has Lil Uzi repeating “Ridin round town, they gon’ feel this one”, representing the tone that is being introduced for the rest of the album.

The album that makes you feel.

For example songs such as “Are We Still Friends” can give you a feeling of a song you’ve heard in a 80’s movie at a Jr. High Dance.

From being that problematic young kid who acts out on Bastard

Which causes him to have challenges with his public image on Goblin

Which forces himself to figure out his personal self on a deeper level on Wolf

To now having confidence and belief in his moves on Cherry Bomb

To the exploration and confusion of his emotions on Flower Boy

To allowing you to finally just feel. Feel with him. Pure music. “Pure feel.” on IGOR.

The theme on all of Tyler’s albums, connects to the evolution of him as an artist and as a man.