“Flower Boy”, or “Scum Fuck Flower Boy”, is the fourth studio album from Cali rapper Tyler, The Creator. If in the slim chance you are a hip hop fan and you do not know who Tyler, The Creator is, he is the founder of the hip hop collective Odd Future (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All), who has featured artists such as Earl Sweatshirt, Frank Ocean, and Hodgy Beats. On this new Tyler, The Creator album, he has matured quite a bit- and at a surface view appears to have grown out of his Odd Future days a bit, only really notably name dropping his collective when he mentions the fictional “Golf Radio” (in reference to Golf Wang) which is hosted by actor Shane Powers. Tyler also pulls some impressive album features in Flower Boy with artists such as Frank Ocean, ASAP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith, and Pharrell Williams. Despite the numerous amount of features Tyler pulls through with on this album, Tyler manages to make this album personal and somewhat of his journey of maturity and self exploration. In support of this album Tyler released a number of singles and I reviewed each one as they came out, so during the following review I will link the single review I did over that particular song just in case you want a more in depth analysis.
The album kicks off with “Foreword”, a nice little introduction track that really gives you insight on what the album is going to be about, reflecting on life, personal belongings and the voids they do and do not fill, friends and problems with friendship, etc. The song itself begins with a nice little psychedelic guitar strum, also foreshadowing to the large amount of guitar work that is found throughout this record, which in my opinion gives it some nice little indie rock touches here and there. All around great and relevant introduction track, typically I dislike introduction tracks because they add nothing to the album, but Tyler’s intro track does thankfully.
The next track we have is “Where This Flower Blooms”, full with it’s witty sound effects, synth work, lo-fi drum beat, and most importantly a very well performed chorus sung by Frank Ocean. This song is just so good. I love how Tyler has progressed enough as a producer to know when to hold his beats back when it is needed, where as on previous tracks like “Yonkers” from Tyler’s album Goblin, he really sat on that same repetitive (but iconic) drum beat for the entire duration of the song. Tyler shows he has progressed as a lyricist as well on this track with lyrics like “Carpet was my baby mama / 80 dollar profit from the coffee I poured”, which is just a little homage to when he worked at Starbucks.
The next track I think is pretty great is “See You Again”, a love song towards what people believe to be a man based on the skit that plays before this track (good for Tyler by the way!). I love the lyrics like “You exist behind my eyelids / I don’t wanna wake up”, as well as “I Wonder if you look both ways when you cross my mind”, which reminded me of the same lyric from Kendrick Lamar’s track “Wesley’s Theory”. The way that the hook is sung by featured artist Kali Uchis is also pretty mellow and chill, I dig that.
Then we have the album’s lead single, “Who Dat Boy”, I did cover this single in several hundred words already, link here. But to summarize, the song is theatrical, grand, catchy, well produced, bombastic, and also features a phenomenal verse from ASAP Rocky, who’s contribution to this song alone makes this album better. I especially enjoy that line “Make the dick disappear, how she do that there”. This is one of two of the more hard hitting rap focused Tyler, The Creator songs on Flower Boy. I actually like that these harder songs are on this otherwise “Flowery” album, they are great songs.
“Garden Shed” kicks off with more psychedelic guitars that reverberate off of one another and even get a little fuzzy and distorted right before Tyler’s verse nearly two and a half minutes into this track. Even though this song doesn’t feature a verse until late, it does feature some of the album’s most notable lyrics that refer to Tyler’s alleged homosexuality, “Garden shed / That is where I was hidin'” “That is what love I was in / Ain’t no reason to pretend” “Garden shed for the garçons / Them feelins I was guardin”. Garçons is french for boys. Like I said, good for Tyler you know?
The track that follows is “Boredom”, I also already reviewed this single, link here. This song deals with themes of boredom, sitting in your room so long with a lack of productivity that your eyes literally turn into the dry wall you were staring at for too long. Instrumentally I enjoy this song as well. It is one of the longer songs on the album, but it is so well composed that the five and a half minutes just fly by. The next track is another previously reviewed single, “I Ain’t Got Time!” (link here), is the second hard hitting song on the album that I mentioned when talking about “Who Dat Boy”. The main focus of this song is less the beats and production and more the lyrics and what they mean. And lyrically this song deals with themes of disregarding people who have disregarded or put down Tyler himself in the past, saying he doesn’t have time for those bitches! For example, praising Converse shoes for coming through on a deal that Vans fell through on for several years. Also this song is where the lyric “I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004” comes from.
Then we have the fantastic “911 / Mr. Lonely”. This song is just incredible in my opinion. It’s kind of bluesy and has a jazz rap sort of sound mixed with an Indie R&B vibe. This song features a list of various artist contributions, including people such as, Steve Lacy, Anna of The North, and Frank Ocean on the first half, “911” to contribute vocals to the song. The second half features Schoolboy Q and ASAP Rocky in the spoken word part at the beginning of “Mr. Lonely”. Genius pointed out that every track ten on Tyler’s albums share the two songs in one dynamic, which I personally love because it shows careful planning on Tyler’s part. “911 / Mr. Lonely” is a song you won’t want to miss out on, listen if you haven’t already. Also, I already reviewed this single more in depth, link here.
I think that is about as far as this review will go, already clocking in at around 1200 words. I know I only covered 8 out of 14 of the tracks on this album, but the rest of the album is pretty decent. Maybe not on the high pedestal as the songs I covered, but they still deserve some love and listens as well, especially Pothole, November, Droppin’ Seeds. So overall, “Flower Boy”, or “Scum Fuck Flower Boy”, is probably Tyler’s best album in my opinion. He has matured as a lyricist and a producer and contributes all his effort into each and every track on this album. His two years worth of work since his last effort, “Cherry Bomb” really shines through. Give this album a listen if you haven’t already, I think this could be my favorite album out of this year.
Release Date: 21 July 17
Genres: Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop, Indie R&B, Jazz Rap.
- Where This Flower Blooms
- See You Again
- Who Dat Boy
- Garden Shed
- I Ain’t Got Time!
- 911 / Mr. Lonely
- Droppin’ Seeds
- Enjoy Right Now, Today
Track Highlights: Foreword, Where This Flower Blooms, See You Again, Who Dat Boy, Pothole, Garden Shed, Boredom, I Ain’t Got Time!, 911, Mr. Lonely.
i. e. 9.3/10