Tyler the Creator
Wolf


2.8
good

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
April 2nd, 2013 | 495 replies


Release Date: 04/02/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Wolf certainly leaves fans wanting and wondering why an entire record of "Yonkers" or "Domo23" can't happen.

Very few hip-hop collectives since the Wu-Tang Clan have had a popular culture impact on such a massive scale as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. With a fan base comprised primarily of sexually starved teenagers, observationally, it still means something when a not-so-far-detached from puberty teen shouts "swag" at passers-by to impress his gang of hi-top clad, neon-colored sagged-pant wearing cohorts. Why does Odd Future appeal to this demographic though, and is this an ill-informed generality? Truthfully, yes - while some fans of the crew may not fall into these tropes, it holds true in a broad sense. Odd future appeals ideally to the latent narcissistic anarchist personae that many teenagers experience at least one time throughout their tenure. Maybe not so glorious as the Anarcho-Punk movement of times past, OF has still spawned a small collection of meaningful records, singles, and performances that have all only expanded this reputation.

Tyler, The Creator, assumed leader of the collective, typifies all these stereotypes. 2009's Bastard started the hype with its dark beats and darker lyricism. Single "Yonkers" finally came to fruition in advance of his heavily anticipated follow-up, Goblin, as a logical direction from Bastard that exceeded its forebear in every way. "Yonkers" made waves online, its artistic video going viral and landing Odd Future cameos on popular late night shows. Performance-wise, Tyler and company became well known for their chaotic do-what-we-want behavior. This all came to a head on Goblin where critical expectations were at a critical mass and completely dashed by wildly inconsistent songwriting in a huge step back from his debut. Tyler's third full-length, Wolf, again had potential to re-rail the hype train after single "Domo23" dropped, an ode to hardcore rap bringing to the fore everything Odd Future stands for amidst near electro-trap production.

Unfortunately, Wolf fails in the very same manner as Goblin, albeit with slightly more class. While not completely gone, the misogynistic shock-rap laden lyricism is a lot less front and center here. This is an apparent trade off in favor of more insight and reflection (which makes sense, Tyler is older and much richer at this point). "Colossus" is particularly unbearable as a composition, but indicative of this change in behavior with a classic Eminem-esque dedication to his own "stan". His almost comedian modeled, nonchalant flow is refined as ever, showing marked improvement as a rapper. The real problem with Wolf is undoubtedly the production - which is quite unfortunate, as excellent tracks like "Jamba" and "Domo23" go hard with some imaginative electro-influenced beats. Tyler puts in a real effort to shine a light on his improved lyricism by simplifying his production even more, to dubious results at best. "Cowboy" and "Awkward" form a 1-2 punch of snore-inducing elevator music (besides content reasons, one can already tell from the title of the latter). The Pharrell featured "IFHY" actually succeeds where most of the record fails by combining the target chilled-out vibe with some interesting production choices - ultimately begging the question why isn't this par for the record?

Tyler, The Creator is at his absolute best when tearing the mic to shreds, decrying people he hates as "faggots", "bitches", and liberally expanding the standard usage of "fuck". Inconsistencies aside, Wolf is at least an improvement from Goblin (albeit minor); although, it will certainly leave fans wanting and wondering why an entire record of "Yonkers" or "Domo23" can't happen. Of all the Odd Future talent, Tyler may be the most enigmatic, but it appears Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean will be the only true legacies from the movement as a whole. Let's hope not.



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user ratings (634)
Chart.
3.4
great
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    The wolf is prowling for your ears on Tyler's latest. Just let him take 'em...

    Aziz STAFF (2.8)
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    Iain Galbraith (3)
    Tyler matures... Well a little...

  • William Lim (3.5)
    There's never been a more inappropriate time to be shouting “Golf Wang”....

    Seth Barry-Hinton (4.5)
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    knottsknocks (3.5)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Fieryfenderz
April 2nd 2013


1484 Comments


While I disagree with you, good review. I felt like this provided a nice median between the chill anger of Bastard and the outright cynicism found in Goblin.

knottsknocks
April 2nd 2013


21 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yonkers and Domo23 are his best cuts by far.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


7474 Comments


Great review!

2.8/5 - best new music

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bach
April 2nd 2013


13182 Comments


This has gone only south for me since the first listen.

Digging: Mirroring - Foreign Body

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


50960 Comments


A quality massive group like Wu-Tang Clan just can't happen in the internet age

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


15083 Comments


"domo23" is really bad.

bach
April 2nd 2013


13182 Comments


Earl is the only member that cares for making decent music.

Hep Kat
April 2nd 2013


15442 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0


This has gone only south for me since the first listen.


this

i agree with this review the most

Digging: Burning Kitchen - Many Wonder About the Meaning of Life

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

god i just,want an album of 12 yonkers so BAD

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 2nd 2013


4958 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

and it better only fucking be 12 yonkers not an 18 track standard fare hiphop record

bach
April 2nd 2013


13182 Comments


Frank as well.

klap
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


10598 Comments


Just realized the new layout markedly improves Sputnik on a phone

Digging: Charli XCX - Sucker

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

this album is important and wonderful

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


15743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7 | Sound Off

maybe im just getting nice in my old age but i found this pretty easy to listen to, and i quite enjoy tyler's voice. that said i didnt listen closely at all but hey nothing made me angry so thats an improvement for him

ILJ
April 2nd 2013


6744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i thought everybody hated domo23. glad i'm not the only one that really likes it.

Digging: FKA Twigs - LP1

bach
April 2nd 2013


13182 Comments


Domo23, Answer, and Pigs are the only tracks that reached out and grabbed my attention.

Thor
April 2nd 2013


10202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

At this point I like Tyler more than Earl. Sorry everyone.

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - The Wreckage of Stars

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2013


15083 Comments


yeah this is a good album tbh, for the most part

"colossus" honestly bothers me. i guess eminem doesnt have a trademark on that sort of concept but it's just way too close to "stan" for comfort (maybe theres some sort of meta "fan" narrative here !!)



bach
April 2nd 2013


13182 Comments


Colossus is a decent track.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
April 2nd 2013


4958 Comments

Album Rating: 2.8

i cant get into it, more than half the beats put me to sleep. it's above average b/c of the few tracks that were pretty cool. kind of in the same vein as goblin, but not as bad. yeah colossus is stupid.



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