There’s less than a week to go before Tyler, the Creator’s new album, Goblin, and the hype cycle is picking up nicely: Following the full appearance of “Tron Cat” a few days ago is a live rendition of “Analog,” done alongside Tyler’s Odd Future pals Hodgy Beats and Syd the Kid for a BBC Radio 1 Live Session. Meanwhile, in the press-coverage realm, the New York Times has taken an in-depth look at Tyler mania.
So, “Analog”: There’s shock value, as usual, but this time it’s in how atypically straightforward everything is. Over a soft, unhurried beat more reminiscent of Odd Future’s MellowHype album than his own solo fare, Tyler takes turns with Hodgy asking an unnamed female to meet him by the lake, where they might do such all-American activities as watch the sun set and look up at shooting stars. Also, Tyler promises to bring sandwiches and cookies? There’s a tiny bit of hinted-at ominousness (“be cautious / this is not Dawson’s Creek“) but presumably, Tyler’s getting a kick here out of tweaking expectations — everyone’s waiting for him to stumble into a situation in which the lady’s lifeless body all of a sudden has to be dumped into the previously romantic-seeming lake, but it never actually happens. Still: Weird!
As for the Times, the piece mostly recaps the events that have catapulted Tyler and friends from “margins of the Internet toward the center of forward-thinking music circles.” It does a good job of pinning down and justifying the obsessive media coverage: “Odd Future has become the flashpoint for reigniting the culture wars in hip-hop for a generation that hasn’t previously experienced them, that didn’t realize culture wars were still a possibility.” And it also calls Goblin a “spiteful, internal, confident, vitriolic, vividly bruised stuff, a shocking — and shockingly good — album that bears little resemblance to contemporary hip-hop,” and that’s certainly good news.