Tumblr is where tens of millions of creative people around the world share and follow the things they love.Sign up to find more cool stuff to follow
Tyler, The Creator - "Wolf" Album Review
It’s been almost 2 years since Goblin came out and Tyler, The Creator has kept me wondering how Wolf was going to turn out. I questioned this because within that time, Tyler gained a lot of money and his situation changed, completely. Of course, things did change between Bastard and Goblin, but the changes weren’t as major from Goblin till now. I didn’t like Goblin too much, but I loved Bastard. So, I feared that Wolf would turn out worse.
My biggest question was, “Will his subject matter change?”
That will be answered in this review.
1. Wolf (Intro)
Wolf opens up with “Wolf.” The instrumental has a very dreamy and outer space type of sound. Tyler is harmonizing and then tells everyone, “Fuck you”. Fuck you, him, her, “everything else I can’t see” and some other ramble, including how people think he’s crazy cause he thinks everyone is a fag (lol). By the end, Dr. TC (A persona of Tyler’s), Tyler’s shrink, introduces Sam (also Tyler) to Wolf (another Tyler). Sam lashes out on Wolf and tells him to fuck off, he doesn’t fuck with him, and leave him (Sam) alone.
Did you get a little confused there? Well, Wolf, Sam, and Dr. TC are main characters in this story that spans across all of Tyler’s albums. But the funny thing is, they’re all Tyler. It’ something that I won’t be touching on too much, cause this is merely a review. Maybe in another post I’ll bring up the back story.
“Jamba” was featured at the end of the “IFHY” video. The beat is typical Tyler, dirty, simple synths and bass (not a bad thing at all). There’s no real topic to this song. Tyler and Hodgy go in about random things. But! In the third verse, Tyler raps like he actually smokes, but then Domo cuts him off and tells Tyler that he doesn’t smoke and that he’s “weak as fuck”. Hilarious. At the very end of the song, Domo says, “Here comes that weak ass nigga Samuel”.
The next song is from Sam’s point of view.
”Knock knock, mother fucks, it’s me, Mr Clusterfuck”, Sam’s intro. What a way to come in, huh? This song touches up on Tyler’s aftermath of rising to fame. There’s this one line where he says, “You would think all this money would make a happy me, but I’m about as lonely as the crackers super models eat.” Tyler states that money has NOT changed how happy he is. The beat is more typical dirty Tyler stuff but is enlightened by the occasional piano keys. At the end of the song, Wolf asks Sam, “who’s that?” That person Wolf is referring to is Salem, Sam’s girlfriend. He tells Wolf to “stay the fuck away from her.”
“Awkward” is about how Tyler and a girl kissed because of a dare. And because of this, Tyler is in Heaven, awkward Heaven. He’s happy they kissed but now things are weird because he doesn’t know how to approach the situation after this. In one of his verses he claims he had to leave early because it was his curfew. By verse 3, things get complicated; Tyler talks about how feelings got hurt, how he thought they were automatically a couple after that kiss, he hasn’t talked to her in awhile, etc. I think they stopped seeing each other after that.Tyler mentions her name is still his password and how awkward it’s got. He breaks into singing, saying, “You’re my girlfriend, you’re my giiiiiiiirl”. In the background you can hear, “Whether you like it or not.” As if he has forced this relationship upon her.
This song may have been about Sam and Salem, if we were to follow the storyline.
“Domo23” takes a break from the story and is another completely random song from him and Domo Genesis. This song was the first single for Wolf. The instrumental is super hype. It makes you want to punch babies, do Lil’ B’s cooking dance, get drunk and jump in a lake. Can’t forget to mention, you’ll be saying, “FUCK THAT, GOLF WANG” all day.
At the end of the song, there’s a phone ringing, but nobody answers. It’s the answering machine of Thurnis Haley (another persona of Tyler’s), who answers. You can hear Tyler saying, “Fuck you, fucking bitch”. This ties in with the storyline, which I will address in the next segment.
This song pertains to a topic which we know Tyler loves to tackle, his father. And man, he goes in on this track. On Bastard, he went “ham” during the song “Inglorious”, but I feel he topped it with “Answer”. In one of the opening lines he refers to his father as dad but then corrects himself and says, wait no, faggot is a more suited name for him. In the hook, Tyler says he hopes his father answers the phone, most likely because he wants to lash out on him. I really liked the instrumental for this song. The guitar sample sounds familiar, and everything else comes together well.
To wrap this into the storyline, Thurnis Haley, the guy you heard on the answering machine earlier, is Sam’s father. Sam tried calling him but he didn’t pick up. Sam was the one saying fuck you.
This song’s instrumental gives off a mischievous vibe. Which is perfect for the subject matter. When you listen to Slater, you would think it’s about Tyler and a buddy of his doing random shit, but in actuality, Slater is Sam’s bike, which you find out by the end of the song. Frank Ocean, who compliments the song with some smooth vocals, makes fun of somebody for talking about their bike at the end of the song. That person being Sam.
“48” is Tyler’s point of view of being a drug dealer. Other than the topic and the nice instrumental, there isn’t much to say about this song. But you do find something out later in the album, which makes this song tie in with the storyline. Stay tuned.
Do you guys remember Eminem’s song, “Stan”? Well this is Tyler’s take on it. These kids approach Tyler at Six Flags (an amusement park) and tell him about their obsession with him. Just like “Stan” the obsession gets out of hand when the guy says he thinks about Tyler without even trying to. He wants to hide Tyler in his basement, he cuts holes in the mouths of posters of Tyler and sticks his dick in it, and a bunch of other really weird stuff. Unlike “Stan”, the song doesn’t end with the fan killing himself, instead it’s just Tyler agreeing to a photo and asking them to leave him alone.
10. Party Isn’t Over / Campfire / Bimmer
These next 3 songs were put on the same track. In an interview, Tyler said there were songs that weren’t finished and I’m going to assume it was these 3 because they are incomplete for their own reasons. You would think “Party Isn’t Over” is about Tyler asking a girl to keep dancing with him, but in the booklet Wolf came with, Tyler said this song is actually about him losing his virginity.
“Campfire” is about making smores. That’s about it.
“Bimmer”, the better song of the 3, was featured after the Domo23 video. I really like this song. Tyler is comparing a girl to car. The instrumental is great, it’s a very summer-esque sound, and Frank does his things with the vocals.
At the end of the 3 song mash-up, Lionel/L-Boy asks Sam where he’s been. Sam tells him that he had to make a “drop-off”. This is where you learn Sam is a drug dealer and that “48” was about him. Sam asks L-Boy if he saw Salem. L-Boy tells Sam that he saw her with Wolf and they went down to the lake. Sam is pissed.
The 2nd single for Wolf. The song is about how Tyler loves a girl but also hates her. How somebody can make you the happiest, but also the saddest. He does it in a very straight forward, “fuck you…I love you” tone. The instrumental sounds like it can be the background score for a haunted circus location at night. I like it. In the chorus, he talks about how hard it is to keep his emotions bubbled up, and how good they (Tyler and the girl) are at having a bad relationship. I love Pharrel’s verse and vocal back-up towards the end.
At the end of the song, there’s a conversation between Wolf and Salem. Wolf asks Salem why Sam is such a dick and Salem tells Wolf that he (Sam) actually isn’t that hardcore. Sam just ran away from home because of something you’ll find out later in the album.
“Pigs” tells us why Sam is so fucked up in the head. Then it talks about what kids like Sam do when they’re fed up. Bullying and other problems are what lead to shootings, riots, kids going crazy, etc. Later in the song, Tyler introduces “The Four Dead Sams”. If you listen to the song, the four dead Sams killed all the bullies and people who fucked with them. By the end of the song, TFDS tells us why they did it, and actually wouldn’t hurt a fly, regardless of the fact they murdered people. They were just pushed over the edge.
TFDS have a major roll in the storyline. It’ll all be revealed later.
13. Parking Lot
This is another random song on the album, Tyler talks about him and the Loiter Squad crew. Most of you should know Loiter Squad is their show on Adult Swim. What happens at the end of the song is important, though.
L-Boy tells Wolf that Sam is coming for him. Wolf asks why, and L-Boy tells him it’s because of him and Salem hanging out. Sam is clearly jealous and wants Wolf dead. L-Boy tells Wolf that Sam is going to kill him, but Wolf replies, “Not if I get to him first”.
Domo and Tyler go in on this song. I never heard Domo go so hard on a track. Tyler also does his thing. They spit verses as if they were still on the come up. Near the end, Earl starts to spit a verse and during it all, Sam comes into the mix, insulting Earl as he goes on.
Earl mentions a pistol, Sam says, “PISTOL? I GOT ONE OF THOSE”, takes it out, and kills Earl. You can people crying and shit in the background. Sam says, “SAMUEL’S HERE”. He asks where Wolf is and that Salem is HIS girlfriend.
Man, this song is fucking awesome…besides a certain verse. This is Tyler’s shot at Trap music. Trap music is common down South. Stuff you can hear from Gucci, Flocka, etc. The beat is simple but it works, it bumps. Just like “Bitch Suck Dick”, it’s some of the NON-RAPPING Odd Future members trying to rap, other than Tyler, of course. Features include Nakel, Jasper, Taco, Left Brain, L-Boy…and Lucas. I really didn’t like Lucas’ verse on this. Even if it was just for fun, it’s horrible. He sounds horrible, the deliver is horrible. I rather hear a WHOLE ALBUM with just Jasper and Taco rapping. Other than that, hype ass song. The chorus is super catchy.
At the end of the song, you hear Salem say, “What the fuck was that?”
It then transitions to Salem asking everyone if they wanted to hear her song, which isn’t finished. The actual song is really not finished. The song has a nice Jazzy vibe. Erykah Badu is on this joint and she does her thing, vocally. Tyler and her actually do a duet during some of the song. Personally, I feel this is a Erykah featuring Tyler song. She had way more shine than him.
I really don’t like Tamale too much. The beat is way too wild and random. Maybe a few more plays and I’ll like it, but for now, it’s at the bottom of the pile.
At the end of the song, (from what I was told) the guy talking to Tyler is Clancy. Clancy says, “Clean that shit up, we’re going to the office.”
Dr. TC addresses Wolf at the beginning of this song. I’m going to assume Clancy sent Wolf (Tyler) to “the office”, and this is where he’s talking to Dr. TC. This song includes Wolf talking to Dr. TC about his problems, the death of Tyler’s grandmother, fame, and him wanting to quit the game. The instrumental is very nice. It’s a cool, calm, relaxing, jazzy beat.
At the very end, Dr. TC is talking to Wolf (Tyler), telling him he’s sorry for the death of his grandma. Then he asks Wolf if he knows that Samuel is looking for him and if he seen him. Wolf ends the album saying, “Nah, but if I see that nigga, I would kill him.”
To sum up my opinion of the album, I’d have to say I really enjoyed it. I find it way better than Goblin, not as dark as Bastard, but it’s quality stuff. And to answer the question I asked myself in the beginning…No, Tyler’s subject matter did not change. And I’m happy for that. Tyler has proven money hasn’t changed him. Even with all the money, he’s not as happy as he wants to be. He talks about the same stuff from Goblin and Bastard, and he’s the same crazy kid from when he started.
Wolf is more than an album, it’s a story. Listen to it all the way through, not piece by piece and you’ll get sucked into the world Tyler created.
The album gets an 8/10 from me.