Tyler, The Creator is freedom personified. Create what you want, fuck the labels / critics and folks who don’t believe in him, he’s doing things on his own terms. This has been his mantra since The Odd Future Tape back in 2008 and his 2009 solo Bastard tape. A decade and a bit on, Tyler has grown and evolved musically, both as a producer and an emcee. 2013’s Wolf was exceptional while 2015’s Cherry Bomb gave us an insight into his more soulful and textured production. Since then, he has released his best albums to date. 2017’s Flower Boy was a lush and mesmeric project centered around themes of love, with much more of an emphasis on sonic and visual aesthetics, bringing his film influences to the forefront on a project that was incredibly cohesive. on his 2019 project IGOR, he delved into more of a soulful, delicate sound that focused more on melody, with a heavier emphasis on his singing than his emceeing. It was a monumental time in his creative career, with critics and fans alike praising his vision and willingness to take his sound to new heights. He only seems to get better and better, and his 7th album CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST just confirms this for me. Punchy, incredibly detailed and masterfully put together, this is probably my favourite Tyler album to date.
DJ Drama is featured throughout with his legendary adlibs, making this project feel like a mixtape, and that’s a great thing. It gives him more of a freedom to create a more chaotic and upbeat project. “SIR BAUDELAIRE” featuring DJ Drama sets the tone for the album, with a cinematic, moody beat and a subdued Tyler verse. The energy on “CORSO”, from it’s thumping, dynamic beat that switches up subtly as it the track progresses, and Tyler’s introspective verses on relationships and how he’s been able to use his fame and money to cope with the void left by people he’s dated and seen. His vulnerability over the years, especially more recently has made him a much more interesting and intriguing writer to me, in comparison of his Odd Future-era music. While the 8-minute “WILSHIRE” is way too long in my opinion, it showcases his quality as a songwriter. After getting his heart broken he proclaims, “Next day I’m drivin’ ’round the city with no destination back-up / Water in my eyes kept falling like Niagara / Vill right beside me makin’ sure I didn’t crash or / Do something heinous ’cause I’m emotionally jabbed up”. It’s his openness that makes him such a captivating writer, and the vivid imagery he uses to describe his emotions. On “MANIFESTO” featuring Domo Genesis is another captivating moment on the album, this time due to the abrasive beat and Tyler’s energetic verse, addressing past controversies, and commenting on social media activism and current politics. Lil Wayne’s feature on “HOT WIND BLOWS” is the best on the entire album, and if I’m honest, one of the best I’ve heard from Weezy in years. “MASSA” is another exceptional track, with one of my favourite beats and Tyler verses on the project. “WUSYANAME” featuring YoungBoy NBA and Ty Dolla $ign is another stellar moment, while “RUNITUP” featuring Teezo Touchdown is another inspiring moment on the album, as Tyler raps words of encouragement to folks who wanna create and make the most out of their lives – “I want you to know it’s no ceilings / I want you to notice that feelin’ / I want you to leave and go for it (Yeah) / I want you to reach with no fearing.” The heavy, Neptunes-inspired beat on “LEMONHEAD” is exceptional, and features a free-flowing verse from 42 Dugg, who really kills his verse, and “RISE!” is another inspiring moment. “SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” featuring Brent Faiyaz and Fana Hues is a soulful and beautiful moment on the album, and acts as a centerpiece, spanning almost 10 minutes in length. This funky, groovy, melodic track is reminiscent of the more delicate moments on Flower Boy and IGOR, and has some incredibly catchy synth and guitar leads that perfectly complement Tyler’s playfulness throughout, as well as both features who are excellent. It’s an incredible moment on the album, while “JUGGERNAUT” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell Williams is another heavy, frantic track that brings Tyler’s heavier, more energetic side, while “SAFARI” is a smooth closer, perfectly concluding this incredible audio experience.
Tyler, The Creator is a visionary artist, able to build creative worlds, creating bridges between music, art, and film beautifully. His sound is colourful, bright, introspective and confident, and CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is an adventurous album that combines all era’s of Tyler’s sound while remaining contemporary and futuristic in sound. It’s an excellent body of work and one that further cements Tyler as a hip-hop legend. Go support!