Since his early beginnings, the transition that Tyler, The Creator has shown has been one of the most impressive reinventions in the hip-hop scene. Originally marked as a needlessly violent and explicit MC through the guise of his debut LP 'Goblin', he has slowly but surely stripped away the venom and visceral lyrics to become one of the most ear-pleasing and radio-friendly acts working today. And after releasing a string of brief yet brilliant rap singles over the last few months, he has now returned with his sixth studio album 'IGOR', a record that sees him ditch the rapping almost entirely.
It has always been noted that Pharrell Williams has been Tyler's biggest inspiration to become a rapper in the first place. His production on the early N*E*R*D were channeled into plenty of his initial material, but 'IGOR' feels like full-on love letter to his hip-hop hero. Removing much of his usually abrasive prose and replacing the lyrical flow with a more sombre and soulful croon, we are reminded of when Childish Gambino released 'Awaken, My Love', an album that saw the frontman transform himself from a high-octane MC into a thoughtful and provocative singer, and that is almost what we are hearing again here.
And while it may seem like a unusual detour to take, 'IGOR' manages to showcase that brilliantly emotional side of Tyler and give us a more honest and raw interpretation of the frontman's current state of mind. It certainly feels strange when you first switch onto 'IGOR', but after only a few songs, you get so into it, you'll forget that this is something he has never done before.