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Tyler, the Creator brings great summer anthems on his new album

On “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” Tyler, the Creator doesn’t hold back when reflecting on love, race and wealth in stylish fashion

<p>“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” was released June 25, 2021.</p>

“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” was released June 25, 2021.

Last month Tyler, the Creator released his new album, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST.” His recent album follows his career-defining masterpiece “IGOR” from 2019, which earned Tyler his first number one album and Grammy Award and is considered to be one of the best albums of that year.

On “IGOR,” Tyler, the Creator informs listeners of a story of unrequited love. We learn about a love triangle between Tyler, his male love interest and his love interest’s ex-girlfriend. Even though Tyler pours his emotions out for his love interest, he receives nothing back. This progressively makes Tyler more and more upset — turning him into the monster of IGOR.

One way that Tyler differentiates himself from other rappers is he makes his music very cinematic. Not only in the visuals, but also in the way he crafts his albums. Tyler develops alter egos and characters to convey his emotions, and he utilizes a narrator to help guide the listener through the story. On “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST,” we meet the new character Tyler Baudelaire, and DJ Drama masterfully guides the listener through the storytelling process.

While “IGOR” mostly centered around love, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” combines a focus on love with other themes such as celebrity, wealth and race. Tyler’s newest release also includes amazing features by Pharell, Lil Uzi Vert, Fana Hues and others. With all these great elements in the album,  was Tyler able to create a great piece of art? Absolutely.

Like Tyler’s earlier work, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” often references themes of love and relationships — the prime example being “SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE.” At almost 10 minutes, this is the longest song on the album, and it focuses on the continuous love story of the album. Tyler tells the listeners a story about a love triangle — Tyler has fallen in love with a woman who is still connected to another male lover. On “SWEET” we see the peak of their love, which feels dream-like and fantastical. Tyler pours his emotions out for this idyllic woman in his life, and Tyler and Brent Fayiaz bring smooth vocals reminiscent of the Motown sound. All of these elements combine to create the perfect song for slow dancing on a warm summer night with your boo. 

“I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” is when we start to see cracks in the relationship. Tyler believes the woman is ready for him, but she remains apprehensive. We see a fascinating, cinematic back-and-forth conversation where Fana Hues shines as she portrays his love interest. Despite the focus on a rocky relationship, the reggae beat in the background helps to make the song feel care-free and summery.

Within the last decade many albums have centered around artists’ experiences with being a celebrity, including “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” by Kanye West, “reputation” by Taylor Swift and “After Hours” by The Weeknd, and Tyler continues this trend. One aspect of Tyler’s life that is constantly picked and prodded at by the public is his sexuality. Towards the end of one of the best tracks on the album, “WILSHIRE,” we get an interesting perspective on how celebrity and sexuality cross. 

When reflecting on his sexuality Tyler says, “And I'm mad private with this side of my life 'cause people are weirdos, and I just try to keep anyone I care about in the shadows / Safe from the commentary and spotlight and thoughts / 'Cause it's just a story for the people outside of it / But I guess you're just another chapter in the book.” With these lyrics we get to better understand where Tyler is coming from. So many people comment on his sexuality, it ends up forcing Tyler to keep his relationships private — which possibly has a negative effect on those relationships. It’s just gossip to the audience, but Tyler has to figure out how to navigate this in his real life.

Wealth is also a very important topic on this album, and we see it on both “JUGGERNAUT” and “MASSA” from very different angles. “JUGGERNAUT” is your typical rap song, as Tyler boasts about all the money and luxury brands and cars he has. With a distorted, hard-hitting beat and features from Lil Uzi Vert and Pharell, “JUGGERNAUT” is a standout track on the album.  

On “MASSA,” Tyler tells a very different story as he talks about how he was able to escape some of the pitfalls of being a Black man in America — including poverty, a lack of education and violence. Even though he is happy with his success and wealth, he acknowledges that many Black people in America will never see that kind of lifestyle. Tyler questions why the money he pays in taxes isn’t allowing for more Black people to be successful, and the calm percussion instrumentation in the background makes it feel more like a spoken word poem than a rap song.

Once again, Tyler, the Creator has made a fantastic album. With masterful instrumentation and a strong lyrical narrative, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” is the perfect summer escape.

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