In my Grade 9 math class, a classmate first introduced me to Tyler, the Creator. The first song i heard was ‘Yonkers’, and immediately I was hooked on his sound and wanted more of his music. I got a hold of his second studio album ‘Goblin’, and listened to it repeatedly. Instead of learning geometry, I would sit in the back, put my earphones in, and listen to my new favourite artist. I was gripped by the beautiful, poetic lines, and ear-popping beats that he included in all his music. That was the beginning of my fascination and love for Tyler, and it has continued to grow each day.
Six years and five albums later, I have spent a large portion of my time listening to all of his music. I am not a music critic, but I do have a passion for Tyler, and have used that passion to create a list of his Top 10 songs.
Project: 12 Odd Future Songs
Bastard is Tyler’s greatest song. Only 18 when he recorded the song, Tyler demonstrates astonishing talent. The song is a counselling session between Tyler and his psychiatrist, Doctor T.C. He expresses some of his heavy emotions on to his psychiatrist, elaborating on his depression, family problems self-conscious issues and his father, who Tyler holds some strong anger for. As a listener, you are brought to a place that makes you feel a sense of loneliness, not only for yourself, but for Tyler. You can feel the hurt behind his voice as he speaks throughout the song. Although Tyler seems to be this all-around happy and cheerful guy, this song clearly demonstrates that he’s got some pretty messed-up underlying issues.
2. ‘IFHY’ ft. Pharrel
The track begins with Tyler reading a spoken word piece, and right off the bat it is captivating. The first minute of the song is so beautifully written, it gives me chills each time I listen. The song then changes pace, as a heavy beat begins and Tyler begins to expresses his anger about having strong feelings for a girl. He uses juxtaposition in the chorus of the song, “I f*****g hate you, but I love you,” the line is said repeatedly throughout the track. Tyler is expressing how confused and conflicted he is. The song includes a contribution from producer and musician Pharrell, and together the duo created a beautiful song.
3. ‘Rusty’ ft. Domo Genesis & Earl Sweatshirt
I believe this has the best verse Tyler has recorded. The song include Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis and their great verses surround Tyler’s two-and-a-half-minute verse. His lyrics and beat correspond, creating a poetic masterpiece. Tyler raps about how people have a preconceived idea about him, when really that’s not who he is. He sets the record straight in the track by responding to lies he has heard about himself. All together this song is absolute perfection, and one of his best.
4. ‘911 / Mr. Lonely’ ft. Frank Ocean & Steve Lacy
Project: Flower Boy
This track of Tyler’s is a gift from God above. His lyrics, the music and contributions all come together to create a symphony of sweet sounds. The song is well thought out from start to finish. Tyler raps on how he may seem happy, but he’s not. He’s lonely, so lonely he claims “I’m the loneliest man alive.” He elaborates on this. “I say the loudest in the room, is prolly the loneliest in the room, that’s me.” Tyler speaks on a topic we hardly think of, that the loud attention-seekers may just be crying out for help to receive love and company. This song includes an abundant amount of contributors: Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, ScHoolboy Q, A$AP Rocky, and Anna of the North. How could a song get any better?
I’m a sucker for songs of Tyler’s where he dives into his emotions. Lone is right up that alley. He revisits Doctor T.C., his psychiatrist, for another great track. In the beginning, Doctor T.C. talks to Tyler and asks him to open up about his emotions. Tyler agrees and begins the song rapping about his many family issues. Then we arrive at the second verse and he begins talking about the loss of his grandmother, the only person he had been close to. He elaborates on death and how it’s a confusing concept, to see someone one day and the next they’re gone forever. Throughout the song, the constant theme is loneliness, hence the title of the track.
Tyler has talked briefly about his father in multiple of his songs, but in the his song Answer he dedicates the entire four-minute track to him. Tyler grew up without his dad and has developed a passionate hate for him, because he left Tyler and his family behind. Tyler’s raps all about his frustration over his father. The track is a layout to what Tyler would tell his father is he ever had the opportunity to talk to him. The song is personal and can be a crutch for many children, who have fathers who also treated them poorly, and weren’t ever there for them.
I really enjoy this track of Tyler’s from his second studio album ‘Goblin’. He expresses his frustration over this girl he has strong feelings for, but she’s with another guy. He explains his lonely nights without her, and how when she does turn to him, it makes him overjoyed. She only turns to Tyler as her crutch when things are going south with her mister. Tyler explains that he’s sick of hearing about the complications in her relationship, and how she should leave her boyfriend and be with Tyler instead. I like seeing the side of Tyler where he talks about love. It shows his soft side, which is rarely seen.
8. ‘F*****G YOUNG / PERFECT’ ft. Charlie Wilson, Chaz Bundick, Syd Bennett, and Kali Uchis
Project: Cherry Bomb
Tyler writes this song about the girl of his dreams. She’s all-around perfect for him, but there’s one issue. She’s too young. Although the girl Tyler wrote this song about is not named, Tyler fans do have suspicions that Kendall Jenner is the mystery girl. This song, from start to finish, is beautiful. The melody and the lyrics come together to create excellence. And who can forget about all the amazing contributors Tyler includes in this song, especially Kali Uchis. Kali finishes off the song perfectly with her captivating verse. The music video is a large reason to why this is one of my top favourites. The cinematography and directing of the video comes together to create absolute perfection.
9. ‘See You Again’ ft. Kali Uchis
Project: Flower Boy
Tyler told his fans that See You Again was his favourite track on his 5th studio album ‘Scum F***, Flower Boy’. It’s not only his favourite, but also fans’, as this is Tyler’s most popular song. Tyler received his first-ever radio debut with this track, and it only continues to reach more listeners each day. The song is about how the perfect girl for Tyler is an illusion who only exist behind his eyelids. It’s heartbreaking to hear that Tyler doesn’t believe that there is the perfect person out there for him. This song shows he has giving up faith in humanity, and doesn’t believe that fate may bring him the partner of his dreams.
10. ‘SMUCKERS’ ft. Kanye West & Lil Wayne
Project: Cherry Bomb
‘SMUCKERS’ is quite an upbeat song of Tyler’s that I prefer. The beat in this song is so bumping that when you listen, you may get the sudden desire to turn it loud and drive fast in your car. There’s his verse, then Kayne’s and then Lil Wayne’s. A song can’t get much better? I think Kayne lays down one of his best verses on it. Each contributor to the track has passion in their verse which you can hear it behind each of their voices. It’s one of Tyler’s better tracks off the album Cherry Bomb.