Tyler, The Creator – Bastard

Tyler, The Creator – Bastard

4/5

2009

One of the first full-length releases from L.A. rap collective OFWGKTA, Tyler, The Creator’s Bastard is a mess of juxtapositions: vulgar and shrewd, laid-back and confrontational, dead serious and a complete joke. The album is suitably contextualized as a therapy session, and Tyler revels in causing all sorts of mischief and controversy, or, as he puts it on “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “I go to Obama rallies screaming out McCain.” It’s easy to dismiss him as an Eminem clone, particularly since both of them share the same twisted sense of humor, vulgar alter egos, homophobic slurs and parent issues, but that’s a bit patronizing. Though Tyler isn’t as verbally gifted as Slim Shady, the major difference between the two is where Eminem blurred the line between fact and fiction, Tyler makes it a bit more obvious.  In other words, when Tyler imagines throwing a girl “in the trunk, drunk” on the rape-and-coke tale “Blow,” it’s clear he is speaking in character. Hell, on the title track, he readily admits to creating the character Sarah to express anger toward his ex-girlfriend. This doesn’t make Bastard any less compelling though since his words are clever enough to linger in the mind once the shock wears off. Plus, his attempts at sincerity and introspection (the bookending tracks “Bastard” and “Inglorious”) are every bit as interesting as his character studies and dark, exaggerated fantasies. Even more impressive, he produced the whole album himself, creating a languid, relaxed yet vaguely sinister atmosphere made up of hazy synths and blunt beats. Though the lyrical subjects and production don’t vary enough to keep the album from losing a little steam during the second half, Bastard is an engaging listen, hinting at brighter things to come for the young auteur. It’s certainly not for everybody, even if you do know what’s real and what’s put-on, but regardless of what you or I think, I am positive Tyler, The Creator doesn’t care.

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Posted on March 28, 2011, in Tyler The Creator. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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