Creating the perfect summer soundtrack and officially coming out, Tyler the Creator releases the 46 minute long anthology, ‘Flower Boy’, in July of 2017. The tracklist includes ballads such as ‘Garden Shed’ featuring Estelle (remember American Boy with Kanye?) and ‘See You Again’ featuring our favorite Columbian goddess, Kali Uchis. Rather than using his influence for misguidance, Tyler uses this album as an invitation to accept yourself as is.
Tyler Okonma, formally known as Tyler the Creator, is a 26-year-old Ladera Heights native with a flare for the taboo. Having been banned from the U.K. for his homophobic and riotous lyrics, ‘Flower Boy’ is a shock to fans. “I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004,” says Okonma on the track ‘I Ain’t Got Time!’, while ‘Garden Shed’ is a euphemism for “the closet” which he discusses throughout the album.
‘Flower Boy’ is not only a flamboyant expression of self, but a direct commentary on boredom, depression and loneliness. Okonma’s lyrics are personal to all listeners, as these common feelings aren’t necessarily easy to cover, but relevant and necessary. Okonma employs the help of Jaden Smith on the track ‘Pothole’ where they specifically discuss the obstacles that come with being an individual. Overall, this album is an important one; the constant, humming fear surrounding millennials is calmed with an R&B style tone and comforting text, answering the questions about sexuality and sadness we all ask.
This journey of self-love and acceptance ends in a mellow track, ‘Enjoy Right Now, Today’ featuring Pharrell Williams, and leaves the audience feeling warm and at peace. From start to finish, ‘Flower Boy’ is inspiring and absolutely crucial in understanding this generation’s hopes, dreams and fears.