Tyler, the Creator, Goblin
Official release date: May 10, 2011
The Verdict: Ahh!!! Goblin leaked!!! Is the Internet still functioning?!! Can someone go check? Working? Yes? Okay, good.
So the inevitable climactic moment of every hype cycle is here for Odd Future: the proper debut, the point in time when passive bystanders sample the goods and decide whether they want to hop on the bandwagon. And after the first listen to this thing — which, by the way, counting the bonus tracks, clocks in at an ambitious 82 minutes — it seems that bandwagon might get a little cramped.
Tyler sticks to the script, mostly, but with a twist. Right off the bat, on the opening and title track, he breaks character: “Okay, you guys caught me. I’m not a fucking rapist, or a serial killer. I lied. I try too hard, huh?” It feels disappointing at first — a 20-year-old kid finally spooked by all the weird shit he was saying in public — until you realize it’s the smart move for the long run. Tyler keeps saying he doesn’t make horrorcore, and, here, it finally makes sense why: that kind of thing is predicated on increasingly greater shock value, and dude is more interested in just talking about whatever happens to be flitting through his brain.
On Goblin, sometimes, yes, that means dinosaur sex; more often, it means rapping about — like Drake and Kanye immediately before him — how it’s kind of weird being successful. He talks about not having anything to spend his money on. He sounds upset about his kickflip skills deteriorating ever since he got busier. He explains that he still masturbates a lot. He says he ignores e-mails from GZA and Plain Pat, and that he pretends to be the guy who played Avon Barksdale in order to get girls. He talks to himself in the second person about an article in Thrasher magazine that he feels conflicted about. He explains he used to be suicidal, but he’s not anymore, at least for right now. Here’s a representative couplet: “'Yonkers' dropped and left their craniums mind fucked / now competition missing like that nigga my mom fucked.” At different points, he declares himself to be both Hitler and a unicorn. There are also songs about girls — just, like, about talking to them and taking them out and stuff.
Meaning: Goblin’s altogether more pleasant and more interesting than we would have guessed, and we’re psyched to go back and give it a few dozen more spins.