After seeing cryptic billboards, social media posts, and leaked rumors of a soon to be album had the music world including myself buzzing in excitement for the new Tyler the Creator project. Coming off of his largest success the grammy winning album IGOR the follow up CALL ME IF GET LOST is an irreverent tribute to his own career highlighting the struggles and successes that come with fame. The Album has been out for over a week and I have been listening to it non stop, not just because I genuinely enjoy it but I wanted to make sure it was as good as I thought it was and I wasn’t just fanboying. Marquis Ashe Aka @HershyGod from The Random Gold Podcast said on their most recent episode “I feel like this new Tyler Album is a step back from his last two outs” and though this criticism sounds harsh I do have to agree due to how prolific his last two albums were. Flower Boy was when he changed his entire style into more Lo-Fi/R&B straying away from the Odd Future Choas rap that made him famous and IGOR is currently his apex which propelled him into mainstream superstardom. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is a sampler platter of the different styles of music he’s made throughout his career, while answering the questing “can he rap still?”; the question hip hop purists have been asking for two albums now. He himself has publicly made statements to his doubters, during his Grammy speech for IGOR he explicitly say “The Rap world is a world that I never felt accepted.” This project is also a great display of Tyler’s work as a producer by getting excellent performances out of all of his collaborators while elevating his own music to a consistent level of quality that few artist reach in their careers. With all that said heres everything you need to know about Tyler the Creator’s new album CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST!
DJ Drama & Friends Shine
From the opening song SIR BAUDELAIRE as well as throughout the album there is a common voice in DJ Drama narrating and hyping up each song he’s featured on: breathing life from an outside source into the veins of the project. Drama represents an era where mixtapes reined supreme and this album is an homage to that period. Bringing in someone who worked with the likes of Lil Wayne, T.I., Jeezy, and Childish Gambino presents familiarity to us the audience while creating something new with the unorthodox styles that come with a Tyler album. Drama isn’t the only feature, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST has real star power by bringing in heavy hitters like Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert, Ty Dolla $ign, YoungBoy NBA, and one of Tyler’s most influential heroes in Pharrell Williams who has obviously left a serious mark on Tyler’s music and vision. My favorite feature is from Lil Wayne in HOT WIND BLOW, his one of a kind flow is laid on top of some flutes and a smooth bass line that takes you back to 2008. The surprise from me has to come from YoungBoy NBA who spits absolute gas on WUSYANAME, an easy riding slow jam that is built on R&B background vocals. One of the things that stands out is how Tyler’s talents as a producer has enhanced his ability to up the quality of his music and the people around him. He can bring out your best.
I gush when I think about the day I saw BASTERD on Datpiff.com and heard a raw, violence laden, raunchy, LA youth who dropped out of community college to chase his dream. Ever since, his star has only grown with the expansion of GOLF le Fluer and the evolution of his music; genre morphing ever since Cherry Bomb. Before that album Tyler and his then music group Odd Future had a style to their own; controlled chaos, shocking bars, nasty flows, unique and out of the box beats. CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is a posture from Tyler showing his improved production and flow on the style that made him famous. SIR BAUDELAIRE, MASSA, LUMBERJACK, and especially MANIFESTO bringing Domo Genesis out of hibernation to hook up his homie Tyler. This track is interesting because in the age of the BLM movement Tyler comments on how white America expects every single black person to take up a cross and make a statement. In today’s world where cancel culture and doxing is real Tyler’s honesty goes very much so against the grain.
“That ain’t your religion, you just followin’ your mammy
She followed your granny, she obeyed master
Did y’all even ask her?
Questions, it’s holes in them stories
Is it holes in your blessings? Yeah, I’m bold with the message
I know I ain’t got the answer, but I ain’t gon’ cheerlead with y’all
Just to be a dancer”
-Tyler on Manifesto
This Odd Future style sounds like organized destruction jumping in and out of beats ripping verses that sound almost like a cypher due to DJ Drama hyping the song and the way Tyler jumps in and out like double dutch. Of these songs MASSA is for sure my favorite due to the lurking beat and underlying message of living life the way you want it despite societies expectations.
Up until Cherry Bomb Tyler’s music was considered to be alternative hip-hop due to the stray from formulaic beats, brutal lyrics, and endless features from the then influential ODD FUTURE Crew. The Aforementioned change in production, style, and lyrics that came with the release of Flower Boy showcasing the young Angeleno’s ability evolve his sound as a whole. Every blog and media outlet has called CMIYGL a “victory lap” for Tyler due to all his dreams and goals coming to fruition but I disagree. A victory lap would be him playing the same shit instead of pushing his skill towards improvement in the goal of perfection. Something he alluded to on his Live from Brooklyn Youtube special presented by Amazon on the 4th of July where he goes in depth to the motivations and inspirations for his newest project.
This is fitting because lyrically Tyler’s story telling skills have never been better, for me this is where I saw the most improvement. As a rapper he’s showcased skill before but from hip-hop point of view this is now proof that he has a complete toolset with impeccable delivery, lyrics with depth, and multi-syllable rhymes all tied in together with story telling skill make him lethal.
This album has two epic tracks due to length in SWEET/ I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE which has a reggae bonus track that changes the mood of the hole album giving the listener a real easy listening pallet cleanser.
The other is WILSHIRE where the character that he embodies in the album “Tyler Baudelaire” a more debonaire alter ego that is featured throughout embodies the man that came of that kid who’s been famous since 18. His themes used to toe the lines of rejection, a woman scored, sexual confusion, and anger but this track is him putting that in the past. This Tyler knows who he is, what he wants, and hates that even in all of his success and riches there are still things he can not have. In this case it is a woman, his friend’s partner to be exact. This has created speculation to whether this is the character Baudelaire or a real life situation but from the details it sounds like this could be real life.
Look, the album is really good. In terms of mixing and editing this album has some of the best quality engineering you’ll hear but my biggest criticism is the lack of cohesiveness between the tracks. This was the strength of his last two albums, all the songs worked together to create a continuous sound and theme. Though this album does have a central theme of the perils of success and growth while navigating society as an outsider but even though the transitions are well done sometimes the tracks as a collective don’t feel like they belong together. For an Artist like Tyler whose meticulousness and attention to detail are paramount, the mix having a plethora of genres and sounds is completely intentional. For me the most revealing thing about the album is a skit called MOMMA TALK that shows up on the second half featuring just his mother telling stories of Tyler growing up and it is endearing to hear the pride in her voice, her brashness, and the fact SHE TALKS IN ALL CAPS JUST LIKE HER SON. It’s a great window into the type of person Tyler is underneath and I think thats what this album is at face value.
After winning the Grammy he has seen the top of the mountain and he no longer has anything to prove to himself or others. Now he is making music that he enjoys first in hopes that the world feels the same way. We are witnessing something special because Tyler isn’t just an artist he is a whole aesthetic from his performances, clothing lines, skits, art, the whole package is larger than himself because frankly over last decade he has been a movement. CALL ME WHEN YOU GET LOST is a summary and presentation of the old Tyler seen through his new perspective that manifested from money, opulence, self discovery, and success that came with fame.