If you were a misfit, hipster kid in the year 2011, there’s a good chance a song or two from Goblin, Tyler, The Creator’s debut album, had made its way into the soundtrack of your life. Since then, we’ve grown up and alongside our maturation, has come growth of exponential proportions from rap’s favorite oddball.
The Odd Future representative announced a tour on June 3rd, 2019, amidst success of the billboard 200 topping release of IGOR, his fifth studio album. Miami was the 18th stop scheduled on the swag studded tour, with Tyler due to be accompanied by alternative rap stars such as “Crew” singer GoldLink, and the ever-squinting Jaden Smith. The show was set to start at 7 p.m., not bad for a Sunday night in Miami, folks rarely know when to turn it in around here. However, as I drove past the arena to grab a quick pre-show dinner, patrons were seen lining up as early as 4:30. The crew, motley arrived in all shapes, sizes, and stylistic selections. Some decked in suits like Igors, some in original OF gear, and the latest collection of Lacoste designed by Tyler himself.
The concert started on time, odd for a rap show, but I wasn’t complaining. GoldLink, current beau of Justine Skye, and skilled MC, opened the event with tracks from his latest project Diaspora. For the most part, the concert-goers, took this time to grab snacks, find seats, and chat with their friends. They perked up a bit when he concluded with his most popular song, “Crew.” The floor area was covered in a sea of anxious fans. Some even sat on the bare industrial concrete, awaiting their leader.
After a brief, and I do mean brief intermission of sorts, the stage lit up again. In enters the enigma that is Jaden Smith. The self-proclaimed boyfriend of the night’s headliner. Visuals from the Hollywood bred hip-hopper’s track “K,” rolled on the big screen behind him. Jaden delivered a high-energy performance of multiple tracks from his SYRE project, that not many expected. At one point he even made his way into the stands and performed in daringly close proximity to the mass of moshing fans. “Welcome to the IGOR tour!” he chanted. Smith shaved a portion of his hair on stage, leaving fans speechless, before concluding his set with his banger “ICON.”
At this point, the anxiousness was as thick as oatmeal. The reason we had all left the comfort of our homes on a Sunday was up next. It was time for Tyler! On brand, the show started with “IGOR’S THEME.” Tyler has mastered the art of keeping his viewer’s attention and it shows. He commenced his set, center stage and still as stone. His blonde, bowl-cut bob and pastel blue prom suit indicated that he was undeniably in character as Igor, his latest alter-ego. The people roared at the slightest change in his stance. Tyler instructed his guests to quiet down until he gave the count. “One, Two, Three, Three, Three, FOUR!” The crowd sang in time to the melody of “I THINK,” the third track from IGOR.
The set design was minimalist, spartan even. No props, no set changes, and the only instrument on stage was an all-white Piano. Tyler walked over to that piano, back turned to the multitude of eyes watching his every move. His fingers struck ivory, and so began a whimsical melody. Seconds passed before the chords grew recognizable, a rendition of his latest hit “EARFQUAKE,”. A full-on karaoke moment ensued! After allowing his fans to sing the hook, two times over. The suit-clad star cued the studio version of what might be his biggest record on his latest project. Playboi Carti wasn’t in the building, but he can rest assured that the audience missed neither a bar nor beat of his verse.
Brightly colored lights heightened the movement of the overzealous, and electrified the slightest shift of the synthetic bob atop Tyler’s head. After proclaiming “NEW MAGIC WAND” as his favorite song to date, the spirit of Wolf Haley was awakened. The rapper brought forth some old goodies from his Flower Boy, and Goblin days as well. Nostalgia rang true with his rendition of “Lonely Boy,” “IFHY,” and “Boredom.” The high points of the evening were defined by the throwbacks. The devil-may-care, stage thrashing, Tyler we all know and love had arrived. Jumping atop the speakers on his otherwise bare stage, like a game of hopscotch.
Have you ever witnessed kids in blonde wigs, moshing over beats with heavy synth? It’s a sight to see. “She,” “Who Dat Boy,” and his set staple “Yonkers” were the bangers of the night. The good people of Miami were so engaged, that the Los Angeles native was able to lay down his mic a time or two. “Ay, ya’ll sing this shit for me, I’m tired,” he said. And sing they did! What year is it again? Suddenly I’m fifteen, at a “getty” with my gang, in our dirty chuck-taylors, green fitted hats, and donut-laden OF socks. “Ya’ll got a special place here, and I’m not just saying that. Six months ago I hated Miami, but I get it now. Thank you for having me.”
Thank you for coming Tyler, or should I say Wolf-Haley, but I meant IGOR!