Flower Boy is Tyler, the Creator’s most polished work yet


26-year-old American rapper and producer Tyler Okonma, known as “Tyler the Creator” is one who has always been known as harsh, abrasive, edgy, and rebellious among other things. His past music has blatantly rebelled against the idea of school and authority and though he’s put out more emotional themed work before, Tyler appears rough on the edges and immature. However, his newest project, appropriately titled Flower Boy, shows a side of Tyler that most haven’t seen before now.

As Tyler’s fourth studio album, Flower Boy is by far his most cohesive and polished album yet, displaying a much more mature sound than his earlier projects. In fact, the entire album was leaked eleven days prior to the release, though this doesn’t appear to have hurt sales.

Produced solely by Tyler, the album offers up a smoother and softer mood compared to his earlier work, while remnants of the old Tyler come out on tracks such as “Who Dat Boy” and “I Ain’t Got Time!”

Flower Boy is a far more introspective project, delving into the inner workings of Tyler. He covers materialism, his sexuality, fame, and fortune; he does it all scattered throughout the fourteen-song tracklist. This album could’ve benefitted from more focused tracks and centering songs around individual topics, but there is a certain fun, free air of how Tyler seems to be merely emptying his thoughts however and whenever he sees fit.

As an artist, Tyler truly shows his growth on this project. For example, 2011’s Goblin had a much darker, rougher feel to it. This aggression and energy are still present on Flower Boy, but with far cleaner production and more thoughtful lyricism, it returns in a much more polished form.

Flower Boy also features nine other artists, who add a great deal of variety to the project. “Boredom,” one of the strongest tracks on the album, features Anna of the North and Rex Orange County, and their soft, smooth melodies contrast wonderfully with Tyler’s gravelly meanderings. “Droppina�� Seeds” brings Lil Wayne onto the project with a fantastic, very laid back verse, and Frank Ocean makes appearances on both “911/Mr. Lonely” and “Where This Flower Blooms.”

One massive highlight of this album is the sheer amount of catchy hooks and choruses that are guaranteed to get stuck in the listener’s head. I found myself humming these tracks even weeks after the album released.

Overall, Flower Boy is Tyler’s best work yet and leads the way into a bright future for the artist. If he can manage to bring his talent out in future work, Tyler appears to be able to stay relevant for years to come.