Revisiting Tyler The Creator's 'Flower Boy'

Showcasing his evolution as an artist, Tyler, The Creator’s fourth studio album Flower Boy provided a different dimension to Tyler’s artistry beyond the shock value that he once relied on. Finally coming into his own as an artist, Tyler literally blossomed into newfound maturity. Unraveling a different side that he had once restricted, Tyler exposes a polar opposite to what fans had been accustomed to. Marking the transitional moment in his career, it was planted by the seeds from each of his previous projects in his discography to fully bloom. 

Tyler is actively seeking to expand, finding clarity into his purpose of creating. Providing a safe space for his confessionals, he passionately encourages his thoughts to be presented in insightful ways that are uncomfortably too relatable. Realizing materialism is just a superficial way to fill a void of absence, Tyler desires fulfillment, while challenging himself to reveal his feelings even when he knows it won’t be accepted. Constantly competing with the desperation of a long-awaited affection, he dwells down and comes to terms with the lack of progression but celebrates being able to unmask his emotions. 

Tyler The Creator’s career trajectory as presented on Flower Boy can be defined through the front stage vs. backstage behavior. Displaying an angsty, edgy, obnoxious like behavior for so long in his career, he had solidified his presence in the rap game, going against the norms, utilizing shock value that overshadowed his creative intention. Such actions were part of his performance to set himself apart from his peers, meanwhile masking his true identity. Ambitiously present, he balances his identity as not only as an artist, but as an individual in which he expresses himself to represent a mellow approach to his sexuality

Each song on the album cultivates a seed into the relation of various narratives. Such chapters of loneliness, heartbreak, and even braggadocio are layered upon textures of specific universal themes, but Tyler relates it back to his own personal needs. As he wants to live in the moment, he is resentful to the existing pressure of societal culture that requires more from him than he’s capable of giving. Songs like “Boredom” and “911/Mr. Lonely” acknowledges the self-awareness of being lonely as f*ck, but also having the time of your life. Conformed with living through his feelings, rather than living through experiences, Tyler is comfortable with his surroundings, reassuring his state of mind requires the expansion of new territories to evolve

Utilizing guest features and their approach to the central theme of the project, Tyler approaches the ideas of his friends as a coping technique. Since the Odd Future days, he has continuously been in the loop of his friends, surrounded by a clique of talent that it was a challenge to separate Tyler The Creator from being the friend, to be the artist. Prior to the follow up to this record, IGOR, he has bloomed with Flower Boy, allowing to continue making the music he’s always wanted to. Achieving a garden of endless possibilities, the project proved the limitless abilities Tyler has to de-center himself, and to continue to redefine his creative approach. 

A melodic refreshing sound to the mind, body, and soul, Flower Boyis a manifesto of confronting reality and accepting the truth. Contradicting the irony, Tyler The Creator rivals his past self with a bright album that unravels the complexities to his creative capabilities. Since its release, we continue to celebrate Flower Boy, and the endless possibilities of life. 


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