Growing up, Tyler, the Creator was always the person I would sneak and listen to on the way to class. I was first introduced to him in 9th grade. The guy I was dating at the time was a skater who loved ODD Future, so you can make the connection here. But, I didn’t just like him because of my boyfriend at the time, I could relate to Tyler with his angry teen, coming of age narrative that seemed to make everyone feel uncomfortable. You never knew whether Tyler was trolling you or those were his true feelings at the time. Nonetheless, Tyler always said the things other teens were afraid to say.
With Flower Boy, promoted as Scum Fuck Flower Boy, Tyler continues to relate to his original fan base as if he has grown up with them using this album to paint a collage of memories and daydreams as he reflects on self-improvement.
Unlike previous albums, Flower Boy is reconstructive, lovestruck and thought provoking. It’s the truest form of Tyler that listeners have yet to hear. Flower Boy is filled with sincere songs about finding someone who values who you are and ultimately finding yourself.
Tyler is able to use this album as what seems like his final attempt to come out. On the opening track, “Foreword,” Tyler finds himself apologizing to the women from his past with lyrics like:
“Shoutout to the girls that I lead on/ For occasional head and always keeping my bed warm”
He continues to rap on another track,
“Next Line will have ‘em like whoa: I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004.”
While“Garden Shed” takes listeners more into the life that Tyler tried to hide as he uses an extended metaphor to explain and confirm his sexuality.
“Ain’t no reason to pretend/ Them feelings I was guarding.”
Not only was the album used as a tool to come out the closet but it was the moment that listeners and fans are able to see the long awaited growth in Tyler as an artist. “On Where This Flower Blooms”, he accepts the fact that he is a role model in his own weird sense as he encourages kids to just be themselves.
“Tell these black kids they can be who they are / Dye your hair blue, shit, I’ll do it too / Look, I smell like Chanel.”
Now, although Flower boy is different from the rest of Tyler’s albums in the sense of his growth as an artist and the content, the album is still a Tyler, the Creator album if that makes sense, with songs of confessions about loneliness on tracks like “911/Mr. Lonely.”
Tyler takes his time with this album as it isn’t unorganized as the work everyone is used to from him. The album as a whole is arranged perfectly from the choice of lyrics to the production of each track down to the opposing frequencies on singles like “Glitter.”
Tyler, the Creator takes listeners on a journey of self-discovery while ditching personas like Wolf Haley and Ace. Tyler allows listeners to learn truly who Tyler is as a person or at least who he is becoming.