Back in January Tyler, the Creator wrote a monologue on his Facebook page which said, among other things, "stop being scary and negative", "put that fucking blunt down and go do what the fuck you know you need to do", and "stop living for all these other fucking idiots". It was an inspirational moment and, although misconstrued by some as demonic self-belief, was one of the most educational (and caps-lock heavy, grammar-free) help posts I've ever seen. Using Tyler's own experiences as a baseplate, the main takeaway was: you can do whatever you set your mind to. Or in his own eloquent words "THERE ARE NO RULES, FUCK THE RULES. GO. FIND YOUR WINGS".
Today - Tyler, the Creator is flying. He's directed his own videos, produced his own series for Adult Swim, recorded three full-length albums and two collaborative efforts with Odd Future, written his own film, reportedly worked on a video for the new Kanye West record, and made over a "quarter-million off of socks" from his own clothing label, Golf Wang. And, since Odd Future exploded in fully formed guts'n'glory back in 2009, all that has been on his own terms.
Last night he arrived in 2015, adding to his glistening repertoire with the release of an app, a magazine, and news of a brand new album, Cherry Bomb, which will be released next week. It's clear Tyler, the Creator has never been more comfortable doing whatever the fuck Tyler, the Creator wants. I mean, just take a look at the outfits he's wearing in the video for "Fucking Young / Perfect".
This is a guy who wears what he wants, but knows how to colour coordinate.
It's the two new tracks themselves that present the biggest signs of a Tyler, the Creator who's truly found himself. Songs from previous records - "VCR" on Bastard; "Her" on Goblin; "Treehome", "Bimmer", and a host of others on Wolf - leaned toward a more instrumental sound influenced by the likes of NERD's In Search Of, Toro Y Moi, and an iPod scarce on hip-hop but brimming with jazz and soul. And those building blocks have been further realised on "Fucking Young / Perfect", a track that holds no shame in being the product of all his wildest wants, desires, and personal faves. I want to bathe in its sunrays. The second track, "Deathcamp" - released on Tyler's new Golf Wang app - takes that influence one step further, flourishing as the grown child of NERD's "Rockstar". Both tracks feature contributions from Charlie Wilson, Chaz Bundick, and Cole from Black Lips.
The two serve as an introduction to this fourth record, Cherry Bomb - which, according to the credits listed on iTunes, will feature Lil Wayne and Kanye West on the same song. While it's unclear if its narrative will continue the incredibly layered, multi-character, summer-camp and therapy sessions concept of Tyler's previous albums, the new video certainly points at it being a possibility. We see one Tyler (perhaps it's the character Wolf) watching a film starring another Tyler (maybe Sam) which could, if you want to get really deep into intertextuality, be the movie he plans to release sometime this year. More than anything though, it's another excellent self-directed video (watch below) - unlike anything else.
There's a quote from Tyler the Creator in last year's cover feature in the Fader which reads - "it's like a museum, and I know how to put the art I want in it now," maybe referring to his album, or his bedroom, or his circle, or his life. "I know how to curate it better" - and on the basis of yesterday's massive dump of material, that couldn't be more true.
Tyler's figured out how to go from being a kid who grew up listening to Pharrell, drawing up concert line-ups, and tweeting about a dream he'd had about Kanye West coming to perform "Late" with him, to, years later, turning that into reality. Pharrell reformed NERD and Kanye West performed "Late" at Camp Flog Gnaw, a festival Tyler dreamt up, put into action, and hosted. If that sort of shit isn't inspirational, then I'm sorry because you're dead inside.
Here - have a balloon.
You can find Ryan Bassil on Twitter: @RyanBassil