Who’d have thought Tyler, The Creator would blossom into one of hip-hop’s most adventurous and musically daring songwriters? Perhaps the foreshadowing was always evident, were people willing to look deeper. Even on his more straightforwardly “rap” projects like Goblin and Bastard, Tyler tended to favor strange and unconventional production, laden with distortion and peculiar chord progressions, seldom exploring the “minor” sound that has come to permeate hip-hop instrumentation. Yet now, IGOR has pushed his artistic sensibilities into their most daring corners thus far, unshackling himself from the expectation set by prior works:
“Igor. This is not Bastard. This is not Goblin. This is not Wolf. This is not Cherry Bomb. This is not Flower Boy. This is Igor. Pronounced EEE-GORE. Don’t go into this expecting a rap album. Don’t go into this expecting any album. Just go.”
To be fair, it’s doubtful that many were expecting a return to the violent days of Bastard, given Tyler’s clear artistic trajectory. Still, Igor remains a challenging album; not necessarily on an intellectual level, but some fans may not be accustomed to hearing music of this nature. As such, the early response has been skewing toward cautiously optimistic. An early gander of our own comment section finds largely positive responses, with many praising the album’s sonic qualities and Tyler’s production; in fact, more than a few have already drawn parallels between Igor and Yeezus.
Yet not everybody was converted. For those who came to discover Tyler through his rap-oriented work, Igor symbolized a bridge too far.
Have you spent quality time with Igor? Per Tyler’s own recommendation, the album is best consumed in one sitting, uninterrupted and focused. It makes sense, given that time and place can certainly go a long way in effecting an experience. Perhaps that might be what it takes to make this one land. Until then, however, where do you stand on Tyler’s Frankenstinian effort?