With a virulent wit, a deep antipathy for authority and a boiling paradox of emotions, Tyler has made some of the most controversial music of the 21st century. Far from mere shock fodder, his music reflects not only internal vulnerability and brokenness, but also the ever-fragmenting moods, morals and frustration of the millennial generation.
Oh, and it's just really funny and damn good too. For the uninitiated: Think Iggy Pop as charming hip-hop punk. He's been called violent, sexist, homophobic, sophomoric, et al -- basically every negative descriptor typically aimed at hip-hop artists, and then some. But maybe, just maybe, he's a kid having some fun not taking himself too seriously, all the while expressing the outrage and unsavory humor of America's youth. You can witness Tyler's theatrical persona and cartoon antics for yourself in the flesh, when he plays Dallas' House of Blues this Saturday. Put down the microscope and suspend your sensitivity for a moment, as we preview Tyler's performance by presenting his 10 best tracks.
Sonically, French recalls Public Enemy's apocalyptic sound design. Lyrically, it's the sort of grotesque, sexually macabre spatter that's made Tyler the fear of every right-minded parent in America.
Arguably Tyler's most hook-heavy delivery.
This cut sees Tyler's entire Odd Future troupe share the spotlight. Warm, backpack-era instrumentals background the crew as they unfold their least purple, but most knotted lyrical turns.
6. ORANGE JUICE
One of hip-hop's most fascinating pairs (Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator) at their collaborative best.
Tyler makes existential crisis seem every bit as bleak as the prickliest urban hell.
4. LEATHER HEAD
The most immersive production Tyler's ever been a part of.
"I'm not a fucking role model I'm a 19 year old fucking emotional coaster with pipe dreams"
"This is what the devil plays before he goes to sleep Some food for thought, this food for death, go ahead and fucking eat" This is Tyler at his most raw, most masochistic and most ...Tyler. He's never seemed more genuine.
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"I'm a fucking walking paradox -- No, I'm not"
Has one line ever so perfectly summed up the career of an MC?