“Authenticity is bullshit” wrote a commentator recently in Vulture, opining about Billie Eilish’s interview with Vogue in which, if you have incredibly thin skin, she appeared to be critical of hip-hop and more specifically the credentials of a lot of those producing it. The piece’s response took shots at her look – itself it claimed a dayglo-streetwear appropriation – and also the rights of an artist from the pop world to become part of the rap’s ever-seething commentariat.
Tyler, The Creator has been making headlines for all the right or wrong reasons (Take your pick) since emerging as a teenager in Odd Future, the collective who took that decades old idea and made it feel dynamic again. But let’s fast forward through lots of controversial (Yawn) shit to 2019’s Igor, a dazzling, anarchic reworking of forms that earned him a Grammy for best rap album, although making attempts at categorisation like that was pretty futile.
Call Me If You Get Lost is another furiously creative melting pot of ideas, rhymes, charachters and textures, from his own new alter ego as Tyler Baudelaire, through joints with Lil’ Wayne, Pharrell and Ty Dolla $ign to the long rolling G-funk confessional of Wilshire and the cod-reggae breakdown of Sweet/I Thought You Wanted To Dance. Authenticity might be for suckers in the rap game now, but Tyler, the Creator tells his stories as the truth and is making records that are turning that straitjacket of a handle into a relic.
You can read the full review here.