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Music / Tyler, the Creator

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Tyler Gregory Okonma (born March 6, 1991), better known as Tyler, the Creator, is, among other things, an American rapper, singer, fashion designer, and co-founder of the music group Odd Future.

Tyler's career can be split up into three notable parts: the beginning era of Bastard and Goblin, chock full of homophobia, misogyny, and various other forms of violence; the transitional period of Wolf and Cherry Bomb where he strayed away from horrorcore but was still dark in his lyrics; and the much Lighter and Softer duo of Flower Boy and IGOR, which focus on nostalgia and love. Either way, a lot of Tyler's music focuses on his own life, with prominent topics including his missing father and sexual orientation. Each period correlates with Tyler's rising prominence, which was greatly helped with the Breakthrough Hit "Yonkers".



  • Bastard (2009; chopped and screwed version by Mike G, 2010)
  • Goblin (2011)
  • Wolf (2013)
  • Cherry Bomb (2015)
  • Flower Boy (2017)
  • Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
  • IGOR (2019)

Tyler, the Creator provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Flower Boy and IGOR suggest this, with the former dropping hints that Tyler was in a relationship with another male growing up while the latter features a man trying to win back his boyfriend.
  • Badass Baritone: Tyler's voice is very deep. He often manipulates it to make it sound lighter or even deeper.
  • Black Comedy: His dark imagery is very brutal and horrifying, but tongue-and-cheek enough to not be straight and subtle enough to not be Dead Baby Comedy (compared to Earl's early stuff, at least).
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves, especially in his older work. It's the name of two of his characters (Wolf Haley and Wolf of the titular album) and is part of the Word Salad Title full name of his group, "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All'''.
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  • Calling the Old Man Out: Several of Tyler's songs have him voice out his frustration towards his father, who he never met.
  • Cats Are Mean: While it's really a voice in his head, Tyler's darkest thoughts manifest themselves as Tron Cat, a creature that tells him to torture, rape, murder, and then cannibalize his victims, although not necessarily in that order.
  • Coming-Out Story: Many critics interpreted lines on Flower Boy as this for him, specifically on "Foreword", "Garden Shed", and "I Ain't Got Time!".
  • Concept Album: Tyler's first three albums have their own mythos, featuring recurring characters and an overarching narrative.
    • Tyler's first album, Bastard, starts with school therapist Dr. TC introducing himself to Tyler and all of the rapping that follows is in response to the therapist's questions. It has an overt theme about how Tyler is a bastard in the literal sense, and how he feels about it.
    • Goblin supposedly picks back up where Bastard ended, introducing Wolf Haley and Tron Cat, the evil voice in Tyler's head.
    • Wolf supposedly takes place between Bastard and Goblin with the latter starting right after Wolf. An alternate theory suggests Wolf occurs before both of them.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Samuel from Wolf was sent to the camp after "Some messed up stuff happened back home," Which is later revealed to have been Sam bringing a gun to school and committing mass murder.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • The ending to "Yonkers"'s music video has Tyler hanging himself.
    • Contemplates it at the end of "Inglorious", but doesn't follow through on it.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • The Title Track off of Bastard is just over 6 minutes long.
    • The Title Track off of Goblin is almost 7 minutes long, while "Radicals", "Nightmare", "Fish / Boppin' Bitch", "Window", and "Golden" are all over five. At 8 minutes, "Window" is the longest.
    • "PartyIsntOver/Campfire/Bimmer" off of Wolf is over 7 minutes long, although the track is a compilation of three different songs. There's also "Rusty", which is just over five.
    • "2Seater", "Fucking Young", "Smuckers", and "Okaga, CA" off of Cherry Bomb are all over 5 minutes. "2Seater" is the longest with a duration ten seconds shy of 7 minutes.
  • Genre Shift: Went from alternative rap with elements of horrorcore to straying away from said horrorcore elements to making the transition to Neo Soul.
  • Lighter and Softer: Wolf is considerably lighter-sounding than his first two albums, though no less ruthless when it comes to its lyrics. This has continued with every subsequent album.
  • Love Triangle: "Wolf" features the titular Wolf, the disgruntled Samuel (who immediately hates Wolf), and his girlfriend Salem, who takes a liking to Wolf.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Present in his older work; if the beats aren't scary, you can bet the lyrics are.
  • Misaimed Fandom: invoked Discussed in "Colossus", where Tyler meets a fan of his who claims to have resonated with "Radicals", a song he explicitly starts off by claiming not to be used as a source of inspiration.
  • Murder Ballad:
  • My God, What Have I Done?: "Window" ends with Tyler employing a Cluster F-Bomb version of this after killing the rest of Odd Future.
  • Neo Soul: He had flirted with this direction on Cherry Bomb, but Flower Boy wound up being a full jump into it and kicked off the start of the current "Flower Boy" persona, which he has maintained with IGOR.
  • Record Producer: Tyler creates most of his own beats. He also did this for his Odd Future friends back then.
  • The Reveal: Wolf Haley is an alter ego of Tyler, but the true reveal is at the end of his song "Golden": Dr. TC, in an attempt to calm Tyler after Wolf Haley forced him to kill all of his friends, tells him that TC is Wolf Haley as well as Tron Cat, the voice giving Tyler evil thoughts.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Pretty much all of Goblin after "Her". Tyler hits the Despair Event Horizon, Mode Locking on his Wolf Haley persona (the crowdless rally at the beginning of "Sandwitches" being very telling of the loss of sanity). Ultimately, Tyler snaps back to sanity after shooting the rest of Odd Future in cold blood during an intervention.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Camp Flog Gnaw, the setting of "Wolf", is backwards for "Golf Wang", a Spoonerism of "Wolf Gang".
  • Self-Deprecation: "Goblin" starts with Tyler talking about his own doubts as a rapper and paints him as a Death Seeker.
  • "Sesame Street" Cred:
    • Tyler provided raps for a one-off character in the Regular Show episode "Rap it Up." Tyler named the character in question "Blitz Comet," a play on his alter ego Wolf Haley.
    • He later contributed songs to The Grinch (2018), even releasing a whole EP featuring songs from and inspired by the movie.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: In "Rusty", he counters criticism of his homophobic lyrics by claiming that "Frank is on ten of his songs".
  • Stylistic Suck: Much of his cover and poster art, but especially the standard edition artwork for Wolf. Note that the Tyler in the background is actually in the foreground and clips over the "foreground" Tyler's hat.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Goblin has "She" (despite heavy Lyrical Dissonance), "Her" and "Analog". The latter is about lighting fireworks and swimming in a lake.
  • Thinker Pose: At the start of the "Yonkers" video.
  • Tomato in the Mirror: Wolf Haley, Tron Cat and Dr. TC are all alter egos of Tyler. And these alter egos are all the same person.
  • Troll: Tyler claims that a lot of the hateful lyrics in his earlier songs aren't actually his own beliefs; he just used them because he knew they would get a rise out of others.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Tyler plays himself on his albums as a violent psychopath with serious Daddy Issues, girl problems, loneliness, and depression. In one track he's lamenting his feelings and failures in life, and in the next he's lashing out, partying, killing people, and wreaking havoc. Goblin is at his most morbid and takes place chronologically at the end of the narrative.
    • Samuel from "Wolf" is portrayed as largely friendless, abused, and bullied, which leads to him committing a school shooting.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Especially in his older material, where pop culture references, Black Comedy and Squick are tossed around at random.


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