Two years since his last release, hip-hop giant Tyler, The Creator drops the highly anticipated CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. Alex Duke gives his thoughts on Tyler's latest offering.
Following the outstanding success of 2019’s IGOR, any album or creative direction that Tyler The Creator pursued afterwards was always going to have a lot to live up to. Yet, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, released nine days after the publication of the first single Lumberjack, is a triumphant example of the increasingly rare 21st century concept album – continuing the funk-like influences and styles of IGOR without deteriorating into repetition, and also incorporating an elite standard of production and jazz-based musical composition.
Philosophically, this album taps into an intriguing narrative. It describes of the life of Tyler Baudelaire; a character created by Tyler with reference to the French writer Charles Baudelaire. Baudelaire is frequently alluded to across the album, with the cover depicting Baudelaire’s identification card. Tyler is no stranger to developing characterisation. In his last album IGOR, Tyler is entangled in a love triangle between himself, a man and another woman. Tyler references “Igor” in a number of tracks on the record, and the character often appears in both music videos and live shows.
‘No detail is spared in both the lyrical and production process – with the album maintaining a spontaneous, natural sound.’
Tyler, The Creator has arguably found his niche. An ability to encompass jazz and funk sounds, moulded intricately with outstanding lyricism and a driving flow, is what makes CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST so captivating. No detail is spared in both the lyrical and production process – with the album maintaining a spontaneous, natural sound with the critical underpinning of meticulous planning.
Tyler’s song construction is one of the most impressive aspects of the record. The eight-minute long WILSHIRE is an example of Tyler’s incredible flow and lyricism that is present throughout the album, and the use of more simplified chords and a repetitive drum beat in this particular track is symbolic of Tyler's mesmerising ability as a rapper. The final track on the record, ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?, concludes the album perfectly. The atmospheric track, made so distinctive with the use of whimsical synthesiser, neo-psychedelic guitar work and enchanting vocals, is the combined work of Tyler The Creator and renowned producer Jamie XX, and the latter’s often-blended dance and R&B approach is clearly portrayed in this track.
CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is an insightful blend of introspection and wider analysis, and is indicative of Tyler’s platform as one of the most successful and ambitious hip-hop artists in the world.
Written by: Alex Duke
Edited by: Elliot Fox