Before Odd Future fans received Tyler’s roller-coaster of a listen, ‘WOLF‘, we had heard ‘BASTARD‘ and ‘GOBLIN‘. What could have brought any artist to their knees from such critical reception, Tyler instead, paved a lane for his own take on contemporary Hip-Hop.
Both of the projects were produced entirely by Tyler himself, apart from some input from Left Brain, and had a very distinct sound to both of them. While ‘BASTARD’ was sloppy on production and vocal mixes and ‘GOBLIN’ leaving fans wondering where Tyler would go next with his luxurious instrumentals and ‘FUCK THE WORLD’ persona, an album that would play out like a movie in your ears was nowhere in mind.
The beginning of the album, which starts off with a breeze of keys and a harmony from Tyler leading into the word ‘FUCK’ being repeated over an over again until we transition into the Hodgy Beats featured cut ‘Jamba’.
The album plays out like a comic book only Tyler could’ve drawn. It is filled with a variety of instrumentals; from the hateful ‘IFHY’ featuring Pharrell, the horror-movie-like ‘Pigs’ with the ‘check over your shoulder’ police siren sample playing throughout and the summer breeze tune ‘Treehome95’ featuring Coco O and the always feature-pleasing miss Erykah Badu.
As the album progresses, listeners will be able to tell that Tyler’s previous albums somehow fit into the story line of ‘WOLF’. Although it isn’t as violent or creepy as ‘GOBLIN’, the albums atmosphere is dense with emotion. Heartbreak, depression, mistrust, love and all the other emotions one thought Tyler didn’t have, were ultimately proved wrong.
As well as this, Tyler’s production also sounded clearer. Although the beats were simple, he had elements of Jazz, Rock, Heavy Metal and Hip-Hop influences flying around like crazy.
However, there is no doubt that the album holds a plethora of various topics from the last moments he spent with his grandma, sitting around a GOLF WANG campfire and (fictionally) selling drugs on one of the standout tracks ’48’, which has Frank Ocean singing in the background. (No Frank Ocean feature is a bad Frank Ocean feature)
To conclude, ‘WOLF’ is a breaking point for Tyler. It shows that he is capable of mixing various genres together through only one or two instruments, that he is a great and vivid storyteller and a Hip-Hop artist who makes Hip-Hop the way they want it to sound.