(If you're anything like me, you've already mainlined all fifteen episodes of the new season of Arrested Development and are now on a quest to read about anything but that particular show. Here's where HHID can help: while the two of you wait patiently for me to write about Odd Future jackass Tyler, The Creator's third album Wolf, which isn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon, I figured you might appreciate the next best thing: a Reader Review for his debut, Bastard. SG Brando takes over from here, pretty much jumping right in; do your thing with the comments below.)
I know, I know, shocker, right? Because Tyler, The Creator definitely needs to be talked about more.
Offending nature of their music aside, one thing you need to understand about Tyler and his crew is that they perfectly represent the Swag Generation (which is my term for kids who came of age in the 2000’s and grew up on hip hop. The bold underline font is required. Always.) and our sense of humor. We grew up on the Internet, so instant gratification and tasteless jokes are basically our forté, feel me?
So, what’s so great about Bastard in the first place? Let me start off off top by saying if you’re a fairy nipple* who takes music seriously, you’re going to hate this. This is the type of shit the weird kid who sits in the back of class drawing dead people all day listens to, okay? And that's regardless of the fact that Tyler isn't really even about that life. But that’s neither here nor there.
* By the way, Max has told me that I shouldn't use the n-word during this write-up, so I'm going to piss him off by replacing it with random two-syllable n-words throughout.
So here’s the concept: Tyler is soooo different and angst-y that he needs to see the school counselor. From what I've gathered, Tyler grew up without a father, which gives him carte blanche to be a dick. I imagine a racist reader sighing and exclaiming out loud, “Oh, where have I heard that story before”. Shut up, racist, we discussing real nugget shit over here, brah. But yeah, as I was saying, Tyler’s a butthurt teenager that raps. Speaking of butthurt, Tyler starts off by letting us know that he’s upset with the blogs that have ignored him up to this point. But what about the music? Well, Tyler is a sick-ass producer: the thing about the Swag Generation is that we were all influenced, in some shape, form, or fashion, by The Neptunes, whose production work basically dominated the radio airwaves in the early millennium, no contest. Fight me. Tyler kicks off Bastard with an annoying five-minute-plus song with no drums, just a piano and strings. If Tyler didn’t have the voice of a sexually offensive Morgan Freeman in 1955, he would sound like a bitch-ass Nigel Thornberry. Don’t get me wrong, this song’s dope for the first 2 minutes, but then it keeps going and going, until all of a sudden you’re watching porn again, and not because you’re actually horny, just because you’re bored to death and the only thing that will save you is breasts, huge breasts. I like the fact he flat out says, “I cut my wrists and play piano 'cause I’m so depressed”: it shows that he’s self-aware. If anything, this title track sets the mood and gives a good introduction to what Tyler and the Odd Future crew stand for: random pop culture references and shock-value imagery. I give him props for shouting out Aaron Hall though. That’s amazing. Moving on...
Tyler decides to rap for 3 minutes again without a hook. This is a horrible trend in hip hop: none of you new rappers are good enough to rap a full-length song without a chorus. Tyler’s an interesting rapper, but it doesn't matter: we need a hook from Amerie (that's the first time anyone has ever written that sentence) or something, because I don’t give a fuck, homie. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad song at all, but it's also not good, either.
3. ODD TODDLERS (FEAT. CASEY VEGGIES)
This song was actually on the Odd Future Tape that came out back around 2008 or 2009, so guess what? You can skip this shit. Never mind the fact that this is another song where Tyler raps without a chorus break. Never mind the fact this beat is basically “One Beer” by MF Doom. Never mind the fact that this is boring.
4. FRENCH! (FEAT. HODGY BEATS)
Now this is what I’m talking about, my noggin. This beat bangs hard as hell, and Tyler comes in with the most memorable opening lines I’ve heard in years: “Got all the black bitches mad 'cause my main bitch vanilla”. I never understood why black women get mad when we got a white chick: it’s like yo, it’s like ice cream, feel me? I’m trying to lick as many as I can before I die. Nothing personal. This hook is dope as fuck as well. I think Hodgy is underrated as a member of Odd Future: I feel like he's the most straightforward rapper in the group, but in the Swag Generation, you've got to have a gimmick. Dope song regardless, though. Fuck with me.
Tyler tells us a story about how he doesn’t want to take a girl on a date, he just wants to rape her and do coke. I can relate, totally. Because I’m a real nicotine. (Two-syllable words, huh?) But this beat though? Shit sounds West Coast as fuck, like Dam-Funk or DJ Quik if they were using Fisher Price's My First Fruity Loops. You can’t play Bastard around bitches, man. You just can’t, unless it happens to be a weird chick who visits 4chan, but those type of girls don’t count, because they obviously are twisted and like being tied up during sex, and I can’t deal with that again. So far Tyler has two great songs in a row. Keep it up, my navy.
6. PIGS FLY (FEAT. DOMO GENESIS)
This is probably just a throwaway from Domo Genesis’ Rolling Papers album. It's a chill song, but shit was boring as hell.
This beat is really out of this world. Tyler has mastered synths, I gotta give him that. One thing I noticed about this project compared to Goblin is that Tyler obviously has nothing to actually talk about. On Goblin, Tyler tries to cope with his newfound fame, and you hear him experimenting with song structures. But on Bastard, he's all just “Hey, I’m gonna rap for forty seconds and give you hook a few times, and then the songs gonna be over, okay? And if you’re lucky, I’ll let you hear a conversation between me and myself with the pitch slowed down.” Yaaaaawn.
8 SLOW IT DOWN
Another song from the Odd Future Tape. Skip.
9. ASSMILK (FEAT. EARL SWEATSHIRT)
This song is monumental in the Odd Future catalog. Tyler and Earl trade raps back and forth over a great beat. Earl saves this song from being boring, obviously. On the outside looking in, this song is basically a circle jerk with two high school boys bragging about raping imaginary bitches. Still a dope song regardless.
10. VCR / WHEELS
This is hands down the best song on the album. If you don’t like Tyler, just play this shit. It’s sad how the first half of the track is so short: the beat is the waviest shit I’ve heard in a minute. It shows a glimpse of Tyler’s genius: even though he’s rapping about rape again, he’s undeniable from a artistic standpoint. Side note: It’s obvious this nelly got rejected a lot in school, but damn. Show me on the doll where they hurt you, brah. If you listen closely, you can hear the teardrops hit the microphone in sync with the hi-hats.
11. SESSION (FEAT. HODGY BEATS & BRANDUN DESHAY OR MIKE G. (SEE BELOW))
Okay, hilarious story: there are actually two versions of Bastard. The original has a version of “Session” with brandUN DeShay on the third verse, while the re-release replaces him with Mike G. For those who don’t know or don't care enough to know, Mike G. is the worst rapper in the Odd Future camp, and is probably the worst rapper to exist in the new millennium. I’m serious. Apparently DeShay and Tyler had beef (because Tyler’s a butthurt Nissan, like usual), which makes sense, because brandUN is a great artist, like really great (he kills Hodgy and Tyler on here), but I follow him on Twitter and he seems like a douchebag. (I’m @TrillTabernacle by the way, fuck with ya boy. *Insert more hip hop clichés here*) Anyways, this song is decent. Another hookless rap circle jerk, basically. (There seems to have been movement on the beef, because now “Session” is available with verses from both Brandun and Mike G. included. If you care.)
This shit sounds like fucking 1980’s synth pop that makes me want to shoot myself in the dick because it would feel so much better. That’s sad because I love 1980’s synth pop: “Nite and Day” by Al B. Sure is destined to be on repeat at my funeral. That and “The Mack is Back” by Kool Keith. Kool Keith is probably the worst artist to play at a social event, but fuck you, Mom and Dad, I’m edgy.
13. JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Tyler himself stated he hates this song. I do too.
14. TINA (FEAT. JASPER & TACO)
This song is brilliant. I’m serious. Odd Future basically shits on the entire hip hop game on here, with the nonsensical hook, the semi-trap beat, and the ridiculous verses. This is amazing, even though the similar “Bitch Suck Dick” on Goblin is better. Actually, everything on Bastard is done four times better on Goblin. Dude, they pause the beat so this dude can eat fucking chips. What in the fucking world.
So Tyler closes this album more butthurt than he started it. You need a fucking hug, my Nixon! Damn! If I was Tyler’s dad, I would be laughing my ass like, damn son, you still mad? Get some bitches. (I’d be a horrible father.) Can someone please do an interview with this dude’s dad? That would be the greatest thing ever. Simulcast it on MTV, VH1, and BET and make it an event, like a Kanye West video premiere. It is that important. All jokes aside, this song is kinda sad when presented with the context: this dude talking about killing himself and shit cause daddy wasn’t there and shit. That’s sad. But he also jokes about sexually abused chicks, so fuck that, I can laugh at this emo shit.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Bastard is interesting from a cultural standpoint. But is the music generally good? Hell no. If you want to see Tyler, The Creator at his best, go buy Goblin. Don’t listen to what these bloggin'-ass muthafuckas say: this album is not that good. *Grows Max B.-esque perm and rides off on a surfboard*
BUY OR BURN? (Bastard is available for free download, if, for some reason, this review has convinced you to check it out regardless of the author's actual opinions.)
BEST TRACKS: “French”; “Blow”; “VCR / Wheels”; “Parade”; “Assmilk”
(Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave your notes below.)