Released on May 17, Tyler, the Creator’s latest album, IGOR, differentiates itself from his previous works. We witness him fully submerging himself into the art of experimentation like never before. While the album has already reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and has obtained high praise from critics, here are four things you should know before you take a listen yourself.
It’s not a rap album.
If there’s one thing that Tyler has tried to make apparent with IGOR, it’s that it isn’t your typical hip-hop album filled with traditional rap bars. One thing that die-hard fans shouldn’t go in expecting is the unrestricted, albeit abrasive at times, voice on Cherry Bomb or Wolf. Instead, Tyler’s vulnerable singing voice shines through, providing a new and emotional accompaniment to the funkiness and jazz of his new persona, Igor.
Frank Ocean is NOT featured.
Despite rumors of Frank Ocean lending his vocals to the album, these claims must be put to rest. Although the two have worked together on a handful of projects, IGOR is sans an Ocean feature. However, the album does have features from artists such as Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert to look forward to.
There are multiple Kanye West samples.
IGOR is no stranger to samples, and several happen to be from songs made popular to the public through the king of sampling himself, Kanye West. “WHAT’S GOOD” pays homage to West’s “New Slaves” by incorporating a lyric. Additionally, on “A BOY IS A GUN*,” you can hear a sample from the Ponderosa Twins Plus One’s “Bound,” which was also used by West on “Bound 2.”
IGOR is best understood through its theme.
IGOR elucidates the idea of love with its sultriness, its heartbreak and its chaos. Throughout the 39-minute duration of the piece, the anguish of unrequited love can be felt from the feeling of longing on “RUNNING OUT OF TIME” and utter hatred on “A BOY IS A GUN*.” What’s perhaps the most intriguing part of his latest work is Tyler’s ability to awaken from his dread and shed the feeling of loving someone who will never love him back.
There’s something we can all agree on after listening — IGOR isn’t anything like we’ve seen before from the 28-year-old artist. IGOR demonstrates Tyler’s keen ability to distance himself from his past to construe arguably some of his best songs to date. It’s not Goblin. It’s not Flower Boy. Its outright openness and sentiment are unlike anything else, with the intention of making it a piece to form your own opinions and moments to.