May 27, 2013

Reader Review: Tyler, The Creator - Bastard (December 25, 2009)

(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.

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.

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.

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.

Another song from the Odd Future Tape. Skip.

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.

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.

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.

Tyler himself stated he hates this song. I do too.

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”

-SG Brando

(Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave your notes below.)


  1. AnonymousMay 27, 2013

    I no longer have netflix despite reviewing 926 titles through it and having a reviewer rank of 10 for a while and I used to get 8 movies at a time from there but I got sick of the fact that most of the movies I wanted were "unavailable" for whatever reason through the site so I cancelled my account, just in time for them to announce they were going to produce a new season of AD. Oh well, that's why I'm downloading season 4 as we speak. Hah.

    This album SUCKS and is boring as hell, and no I don't want to hear your opinions on Wolf, as I listened to half of it and hated it even more, found it 'unlistenable' (...oxymoron? I LISTENED to something UNLISTENABLE?...) for the most part. Uh. I thought it sucked. This album is at least listenable, but something about the cold, dry FruityLoops beats/presets/"random melody creator" makes the production sound so flat and dull and his voice/lyrics/flow are even worse than the worst of Cappadonna and U-God and Shorty Shit Stain COMBINED.

    I'd much rather see you review madvillainy. Come on, max! I mean I'm kinda shocked you never reviewed the DOOMSTARKS "victory laps" single, what with the Ghost connection and all, but I'm pretty damn sure you'll review the full album if it really does come out this year.

    One more thing.. Max, why is Ghostface doing a Supreme Clientele II? What is "II" about it? Does calling your album "[classic album] II" mean that it's supposed to follow up the original, thematically? Or do you think this sequel will all be exec-produced by RZA, something that hasn't happened with any Ghost albums since Supreme Clientele.. er, except 12 Reasons to Die... OR do you think it means Ghostface will go back to his abstract-as-fuck lyric style? ... I LOVE SC, it's my favorite hiphop album ever and is what got me into hiphop to begin with, I just feel weird about a sequel and I'm not sure what that suggests, just randomly placing a II (followed by "[colon] BLUE AND CREME" btw) is supposed to "mean".

    sORRY For the comment being long and thanks for this blog, I'm reader number

  2. AnonymousMay 27, 2013

    Nice review brah.

  3. Ha-ha, love the reference to Max Biggaveli

  4. holy shit that review was awesome! I remember listening to this a while ago and not liking it, so yeah.

  5. daft punks new album is boringMay 28, 2013

    albums trash just like all of odd futures releases but its

    music for all the kiddies to get into so they gonna be on the

    radar for a while

  6. AnonymousMay 29, 2013

    very nice review, indeed. this album kinda grew on me the last two years. it's not musical greatness or shit alike but it basically showed kids (including me) that you can do it all by yourself if you own a computer.

    i do not agree with your point of view on "Goblin" tho. i hate this album, it's fucking horrible. "Bastard" is way more listenable and at least a bit interesting concerning the lyrics. i think "Wolf" is better than "Goblin", too.


    salute & keep it up!
    - your 5th reader

  7. AnonymousMay 29, 2013

    Great review, btw.

  8. asdf;lkjMay 30, 2013

    This album is garbage, but it might actually be better than Goblin which was unbearably bad. I wish this whole odd future shock factor brand of rap would disappear, it's really annoying. Good review though.

  9. At one point in my life, I was genuinely interested in all of this OF nonsense. I then realized they kinda sucked.

  10. AnonymousJune 01, 2013

    frank ocean is pretty swag tho

  11. AnonymousJune 01, 2013

    Please don't ever put this "artist" on your site again. I listened to 30 seconds of one song when I first heard about this guy while talking to some people at a hookah bar. Just from his name I knew he'd be whack and probably weird.