Tyler, The Creator Challenges The Norm In "Flower Boy"

As first said by Macklemore in 2012's 'Same Love,' "We've become so numb to what we're sayin' / Our culture founded from oppression / Yet we don't have acceptance for 'em." It's very rare to see hip-hop push a boundary against what may be seen as "cool" or "hip." Tyler, The Creator challenges the norm in Flower Boy, defending homosexuality and more.

There are many misconceptions about Flower Boy that lots of people are making. One such misconception is that the Tyler comes out as gay on the record. 'Foreword' leads the album in, Tyler, in the second verse, rapping, "Shout out to the girls that I lead on / For occasional head and always keeping my bed warm," but later on in 'I Ain't Got Time!' rapping "Next line will have 'em like 'Woah' / I've been kissing white boys since 2004," the line that struck out to many people as Tyler coming out. While he may very well be doing so, it seems all the more likely Tyler is speaking from a different perspective other than his own, or speaking from an alter ego. He addresses it all on 'Garden Shed,' the chill and sparkly instrumental seemingly not supporting much, but Tyler discusses the concept of sexuality and the pressures that come with it.

Sonically, this album leaves somethings to be desired. 'Boredom' is one of the strongest tracks on the record for its combination of an indie hip-hop vibe and its very chill atmosphere. Something about it feels really smooth and genuine. The aggressiveness of 'Where This Flower Blooms' adds some nice contrast to the record, though the way it constantly changes parts does make it a bit rugged. The tense nature of 'Who Dat Boy' continues to add to the sonic soundscape, and the activeness of '911 / Mr. Lonely' does the same. There's a lot of diversity on this album, even taking on some jazzy textures in 'Pothole,' and it's very nice to hear.

Tyler, The Creator challenges the norm in Flower Boy, pushing the boundaries of the normal hip-hop. He tackles some subject that are very rarely talked about and embraces them fully, continuing to prove that he will always be a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop.

Favorite Tracks: Boredom, Who Dat Boy

Least Favorite Track: Sometimes...

Rating: 77 / 100

Stream or buy Flower Boy on Apple Music: