Tyler, The Creator officially returned to the spotlight on June 25 with CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, the follow-up to 2019â€™s Grammy Award-winning album IGOR.
Crafted in the spirit of DJ Dramaâ€™s coveted Gangsta Grillz mixtape series with features from the likes of Lil Wayne, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Pharrell Williams and fellow Odd Future member Domo Genesis, the 17-track project finds Tyler leaning into his rap prowess and flexing more bars than on previous efforts like 2017â€™s critically acclaimed yet sonically lighter album Flower Boy.
As if by magic, Tyler somehow remains in the unique position where he has both mainstream appeal and the respect from underground Hip Hop nerds who appreciate his willingness to dance along the fringe of full-blown pop star.
Simultaneously, he consistently pushes the boundaries of what is considered â€œpolitically correctâ€ and revels in his ability to ruffle feathers much like he did with Odd Future. As he says on the â€œMANIFESTO,â€ he was â€œcanceled before canceled was with Twitter fingers.â€
With CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, Tyler swings between boastful bars about his â€œother other other other cribâ€and multiple Rolls-Royces to a refreshing vulnerability often underrepresented in a culture that typically expects men to be emotionless.
After being introduced to international traveler â€œSIR BAUDELAIREâ€ â€” the â€œspaced-out n-gga with the chunky earsâ€ â€” the second track â€œCORSOâ€ is a full-on confessional about his relentless attempts to woo a woman away from another relationship and the pain heâ€™s experiencing as a result, a common theme throughout the project.
â€œTurn the fuckinâ€™ noise up, ah, n-gga, my heart broken,â€ he raps. â€œRemember I was rich so I bought me some new emotions/And a new boat â€™cause I rather cry in the ocean.â€
The blatant dichotomy between emotiveness and almost blind arrogance peppers nearly every track, shedding even more light on who Tyler is beneath the surface.
And Tyler, The Creator isnâ€™t afraid to get honest â€” whether heâ€™s seemingly touching on past trysts with men on â€œMASSAâ€ (â€œEveryone I ever loved had to be loved in the shadowsâ€) or admitting he owed pop princess Selena Gomez an apology on â€œMANIFESTOâ€ (â€œApologized to Selena Gomez, back when I was trying to fuck Bieber/Justin, I say it with my chest out, you say it with your chest in).â€
As he bravely confesses on the over eight-minute â€œWILSHIREâ€ â€” recorded in one take â€” heâ€™s in love with his friendâ€™s girl and scoffs at the notion of â€œbros over hoes,â€ while urging her to delete all of their text exchanges even though thereâ€™s nothing â€œincriminating.â€
Musically, the album almost feels like stepping into an Austin Powers film with its â€™60s-inspired flutes and Quincy Jonesâ€™ 1967 â€œSoul Bossa Novaâ€ instrumental undertones. Sandwiched between the reverberating bass on songs such as â€œLEMONHEADâ€ featuring 42 Dugg and â€œJUGGERNAUTâ€ with Pharrell Williams and Lil Uzi Vert, Tyler effortlessly illustrates his versatility behind the board.
Album highlight â€œSWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE,â€ the second longest track on the record, is another example of Tylerâ€™s genre-bending abilities. Toward the middle of the track, the beat switches up into a dancehall rhythm, while still allowing Tyler, Brent Faiyaz and singer Fana Huesâ€™ vocals to take centerstage. Itâ€™s a welcomed break from the jackhammer driven into the listenerâ€™s head on the brilliant yet unrelenting â€œMANIFESTO.â€
A short five minutes later, heâ€™s back at an insane tempo with the aforementioned â€œJUGGERNAUT,â€ which features co-production from Pharrell. His contributions are painfully obvious with the raucous drums hitting much like the song â€œLEMONâ€ featuring Rihanna did from N.E.R.Dâ€™s 2017 album No One Ever Really Dies.
Then thereâ€™s Lil Wayne and Tylerâ€™s rap ping-pong on â€œHOT WIND BLOWS,â€ which drew comparisons to Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of rap on social media. But hearing Wayne still spit about lean and how it hasnâ€™t made him â€œsenileâ€ yet isnâ€™t all that impressive, although his delivery is tighter than ever. Similar to NBA YoungBoy, who feels willfully misplaced on â€œWUSYANAMEâ€ alongside the soulful crooning of Ty Dolla $ign, itâ€™s a slightly strange match (despite Wayne linking with Tyler for the Flower Boy track â€œDroppinâ€™ Seedsâ€ five years ago).
But as Tyler spells out on â€œBLESSED,â€ heâ€™s on top of the world â€” the only flaw is his â€œfucking hair wonâ€™t grow.â€ Even without the woman of his dreams, heâ€™s still grateful he fell in love. Closing out the album, â€œSAFARIâ€ ends on a high note â€” at least when it comes to Tylerâ€™s confidence in his craft.
â€œIâ€™ll keep it a buck fifty, yâ€™all canâ€™t really fuck with me (Ugh),â€ he raps. â€œBitch, I got the fuzz and Iâ€™ma own it â€™til they bury him/Only twenty-nine but Iâ€™ve been focused since thirty Mâ€ â€” and thereâ€™s no doubt he has another 30 M to go.
UMMMM THIS WAS ME LISTENING TO CALL ME WHEN IF YOU GET LOST ?????? BECAUSE WHY IS THERE NO FUCKING SKIPS â€” SWEET/ I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE â€“ IS MY FAVORITE ðŸ¥º HE REALLY DID THAT WE SEE U TYLER pic.twitter.com/20uFNhjO7P
â€” Willy | âœ¨ðŸŒ´ (@Ohh_Willyy) June 25, 2021
call me when you get lost is absolutely golden. vocals, drum breaks, loops,backup vocals,,, just genius. tyler just pulls it off better and better each time. 10/10
â€” â¿áµ˜áµ9â¿ (@n9mun) June 26, 2021
Only thing that sound good on that Tyler creator tape is drama yelling in the bacc, he trash
â€” Ron (@bluehefe1) June 30, 2021