Wednesday 18 April 2012

The Creation of Radicals

You have to give it to him, Tyler The Creator has managed to tick off most of the goals he set himself while still relishing the comforts of his Grandmothers couch; 'VMA's. Grammy's. Make a lot of money. Own my own label. Start a magazine. Meet Pharrell. I did five of them', and all at the tender age of 21, my jealous eyes are faded by the sheer bravery of the Los Angeles rapper, mortal name of Tyler Okonma. With slow piano keys driving the rebellious statements Tyler channels with his heavy repetition of profanities, and offensive descriptions relating to women, homosexuals,and polititics to name but a few.

When I first learnt about Tyler The Creator, I was warned that I would be covering my ears in disgust, angry at the statements he conjures in his rhyming, however, when I finally braced myself, and pressed play with teeth clenched, I did not see an arrogant young man with a drive to earn a death certificate. What I heard did indeed carry an overdose of swearwords and sexual descriptions, but the beauty underlying in his words is unrecognised, unloved, and ignored. I heard a guy who just wants to promote sincerity, who, like many other people his age, wants to challenge the system, and reclaim his individuality. In a world where bands are commercialized and rebranded into musical zombies by their music labels, I find Tyler The Creator a breath of fresh air, an idol for all those kids out there with no goals, no tools to release their creativity, and no sign of redemption. Yes Tyler sprinkles his spits with words that most people find offensive, but he does not smoke, or drink, and invest his energy into the whole image in which his music conveys, from the artwork of his releases, to the direction of the videos he records.

Unlike most rappers, Tyler has remained stationed in the streets he used to hang around when he was but a twinkle in Hip Hop's eyes, and has even set up shop in said area to anchor him back to the ground after the ego inflaming attention of growing fans everywhere. Not to mention the ever expanding pack of 'wolves' The Creator has earnt after dreaming up Alternative Hip Hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, otherwise known as OFWGKTA, containing rappers such as Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, and Mike G, and singer Frank Ocean. This collective has produced multiple releases recorded in their own homes, with all tracks available on their website for free, this group is fast becoming famous for both the content on their tracks, and the amount of talented acts that are involved, not forgetting the explosion of energetic beats and unforgettable lyrics that you can't help but get excited about.

Tyler is not afraid to express his weaknesses in his songs, it is what makes him unique, and reminds you that he is still but a human after his claims to be the reincarnation of the Devil in his songs. In his acclaimed single 'Yonkers' he tells his fans;

'F*ck the fame and all the hype, G
I just want to know if my father would ever like me
But I don't give a f*ck, so he's probably just like me'

Not only expressing his wish to get to know his father, who walked out on his family when he was younger, and the constant drive to impress him in his work, but his hatred and bitterness towards him.

So my advise to any offended listeners of this guy, is to forget about the profanities, forget the pornographic images he delights in describing, and remember that he is just another vulnerable human being, who has turned his hurt and insecurity into passion and drive towards his effortless skills of creating some beautifully evoking music that challenges your ideas of society. After all, he says it himself in 'Radicals'...

'Hey, don't do anything that I say in this song, okay? It's f*ckin' fiction'

In his work Tyler expresses his wish for kids everywhere to ignore the ideals of society, they feel they have to conform to. He is telling his fans not to live up to their parents dreams if it is not what they want, he is the voice of freedom for kids everywhere. As someone who is the same age as The Creator, I can taste his passion for freedom of expression, I can smell his peppery distaste for oppressive rules, and I can feel his fear for society. Most critics will view The Creators songs as a list of as many stomach wrenching descriptions as possible, but I see it as a constitutional rebellion, an inspiration for young people to stand up for what they believe in.

Don't judge this guy, he is an Alternative Hip Hop genius, and you will be hearing a lot more of him. He is more than Radical.

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