Tyler the Creator is, by all means, an exceptional brand and creative powerhouse. Having successfully self-produced and written his new album IGOR, he entered the Billboard at #1, giving DJ KHALED a run for his money.
This upset Khaled to an extent that he publicly ranted about the status quo, throwing some shade on Tyler’s album IGOR while framing it as weird music, that doesn’t really want to be heard.
It’s easy to get into heated arguments on whether certain albums deserve the spotlight they are in.
Key to understanding how Tyler the Creator can boast with a noisy, somewhat hart to digest gem of a rap album, is taking in account the full scope of his personal and artistic brand.
A Tyler album rollout is not merely an album release, with your blitz-and-glitz of features and videos. Hell, Tyler refrained from obviously crediting his IGOR features. Among them Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Solange, Kanye West and more. He just kept it low key, and that’s just why his fans love him.
DIY is everywhere, and kids can connect to something that doesn’t scream big money.
The low-keyness present on this album, paired with an extremely flashy, yet tasty aesthetic is all part of a career-spanning trend. Remember his first Grammy win? He was rocking a Golf Wang hoodie, Supreme cap, Dickies shorts and that’s it. Next to suits and dresses and glamour and elegance, he brought the skatepark to the red carpet.
Much in line with other artists currently harnessing the power of raw, anti-established vibe (let’s just take the current #1 into account, Billie Eilish), Tyler is the embodiment of counter-intuitive ballsiness. You can be sure that Tyler will break the boundaries of what seems acceptable within a given context – and that’s what he did with IGOR.
It’s the perfect example of how non-compromise, bullshit-free releases can still peak, and outshine many other high-profile, yet smug releases. Had Tyler tried to adapt or even mimic other styles, he probably would have scared away half of his base. Possibly without gaining recognition from audiences that could like this shift of aesthetic.
Making no compromises and sticking with a very personal thrust definitely helped Tyler navigate through current shifting tides and soon passé trends.
Tyler the Creator – the entertainment brand
Two of the greatest take-aways from anything Tyler does is his single-minded aesthetic. Meaning visual continuity – and lighthearted, format-bending approach towards visual media and entertainment. The Tyler experience – apart from the album – is massively prolonged by the entertainment he offers on his side channels. Take his collaboration with Adult Swim – if you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a treat. It’s basically an extension of his inner workings. It seems a little like quirky outtakes and ideas that didn’t quite fit into his album, but quality wise on par with all of his recorded material.
Being an entertainment brand obviously isn’t for everyone. It has led to huge, organic growth of Tyler’s endeavor though – just think of his Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. Tyler is a storytelling giant, but it seems to come naturally. It doesn’t have to be induced by a forceful release of several high- gloss videos (sorry Khaled).
The biggest takeaway is probably Tyler’s willingness to offer a wide mix of content across a range of formats.