Igor
Luis Perez/ Tyler The Creator/ Sony

IGOR BY TYLER THE CREATOR: WORTH THE NOMINATIONS?

Last Friday, curator and artist Tyler the Creator released his sixth album, titled Call Me if You Get Lost. When looking at many of his other projects, we see the maturity and growth that Tyler has displayed. While many of his projects have been impactful, Igor in particular received a Grammy award for best rap album of 2019. Does this project live up to its Grammy award? This is an in-depth review of Tyler the Creator’s Igor.

Igor was released on May 17th, 2019. I had heard the project a few times but I listened to it thoroughly for this review. It was a very unique take to music for Tyler. I found it particularly interesting that Tyler essentially curated this project by himself. Regardless of skill, that is something that is worth appreciating. Knowing his background with Odd Future, I never would have thought that Tyler was able to create an album as unique as Igor. I previously listened to this project from beginning to end in 2019, but that was two years ago, so have my opinions on this project changed?

WHAT I LISTEN FOR IN PROJECTS

When listening to music, I listen for the vibe, lyrics, and production of the song, and as a listener, I expect artists to get out of their comfort zones and experiment. I will be discussing lyrics, production, features, sales, and I will give this project a rating, but, as with all art reviews, my review of Igor is based on personal opinion.

IGOR: LYRICS

In terms of lyrics, this project is lyrically creative. Igor is a more soulful project. I highly applaud the overall theme in storytelling, as each part of this project ties into the next. I don’t think many artists are capable of doing such. This album is known as a “concept album”. According to Cambridge, a concept album is defined as “an album… on which all the pieces of music are based on a single idea.” I would compare this project to Kanye West’s The College Dropout in terms of having an overall theme. This project also has excerpts from comedian Jerrod Carmichael, who express themes of potential, opportunities, coming to your senses, etc. Described by Forbes, the main plot of Igor is a love story in which consists of a love triangle to which Igor’s (Tyler) lover will not commit to him nor his lover’s female companion. Through themes of love, friendship and innocence, Tyler was able to encapsulate an experience similar to watching a movie. Some of my favorite lyrics include:

*Presented by Genius and Lyric Find*

Take your hoodie off, why you hide your face from me?
Make your f***in’ mind up, I am sick of waitin’ patiently
How come you the best to me? I know you the worst for me
Boy, you sweet as sugar, diabetic to the first degree- Tyler The Creator in A Boy Is a Gun

I saw a photo, you looked joyous
My eyes are green, I eat my veggies
I need to get her out the picture
She’s really f***in’ up my frame
She’s not developed like we are- Tyler the Creator on New Magic Wand

I wanna talk, I wanna call you and talk
I wanna walk to your front door and knock
After I stop my vehicle, drive to your city ’cause we live an hour apart
Land at your driveway and put it in park
Then do the third line of this verse
Then back to my house and we pack up our bikes
And we ride through the park, chase the sun- Tyler the Creator on Puppet

MY FAVORITE SONGS

Every song on this album was worth the listen!

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS

None

10/10

IGOR: PRODUCTION

The production on this project was out of this world. Sonically, I felt that it was one of the most uniquely produced projects of 2019, and Tyler deserves praise for the production of this album. Drawing samples from Ponderosa Twins Plus One and Cullen Omori, this project had many different sounds. Each song is like a puzzle piece. With one piece of a puzzle, an individual may not understand anything other than the fact that the song was good. As a collective, this project stands out in production and lyrics. According to Who Sampled, this project also included samples on the song like Igors Theme, Puppet, etc. In terms of theme, I would say that this album is somewhat lofi or soulful in a way. Everything has a vintage sound, especially with Tyler’s utilization of samples. To summarize, Tyler’s versatility in production and music deserves critical acclaim.

10/10

IGOR: FEATURES

This project features vocals from Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Cee Lo Green, Kanye West, Solange, Pharrell, and many others. I think some of the features on this project were solely utilized almost as an aid rather than a complete feature on this album. Others were more “present” on the album. To begin, Lil Uzi Vert is someone who appeared in the intro on Igor’s Theme, but I would say that he was more of an aid. In contrast, we have Playboi Carti on earfquake and he provided a full quality verse. I really enjoyed earfquake, and many fans of Tyler and Carti went ballistic when they heard the couple on a track. Kanye West’s verse on puppet was a little difficult to hear, but it wasn’t bad. I would say that Uzi, Kanye West, and Playboi Carti were the main features, while everyone else was a background singer. According to Pitchfork, Slowthai was also credited for this album, which is very interesting as his impact is just now showing in the United States. I put him on my XXL Freshman prediction for 2021, which he, unfortunately, did not make. Overall, I think the list of features on this album was very versatile and well-executed.

9/10

SALES, RATINGS, AND OVERALL REVIEW

This project received a Grammy award for best rap album. For Tyler, this has been something he envisioned and manifested since the song Bastard, with the album having the same title. This success is significant, and for someone who has been a fan of Tyler for about a decade, I think this proves that anything is absolutely possible. If someone told me that Tyler, the rebel who discussed satanic/ demonic, homophobic and disrespectful themes would win a grammy, I would not have believed them, but he overcame the odds and won a well-deserved Grammy.

To conclude, it has been an amazing journey to have seen the themes and genres of Tyler’s discography change as he matured as an artist. Simultaneously, I saw myself grow into an adult. Many people (including myself) may have thought that he was obnoxious but equally as rebellious in a time where there was no artist willing to fill that role. Recently, I read a post discussing Odd Future. Someone discussed how interesting it was that Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, and Frank Ocean were a part of the same group. This is a testament to the maturity within each of their sounds. This was a project I never thought Tyler was capable of. I really liked how he distorted some of his vocals to make them sound more child-like in songs like Gone Gone/ Thank You, but also distorted his vocals in a way that sounds very wicked like on the song New Magic Wand. Will Call me If You Get Lost live up to this expectation? We will have to see!

10/10

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