your five point guide to tyler, the creator's new album

Pharrell, Kanye, Lil Wayne and more may be featuring on 'Cherry Bomb,' but Tyler’s the true star. We’re glad he’s back.

by Kathy Iandoli
13 April 2015, 5:56pm

Odd Future's de-facto leader Tyler, The Creator dropped his fourth studio album Cherry Bomb semi-suddenly, after announcing its official arrival during his set at Coachella this past weekend. While the project is quintessential Tyler, there are some new modifications to his style. Check out some points of note before you press play.

Tyler Must Hang Out With Pharrell A LOT
Skateboard P's DNA is splashed all across Cherry Bomb. From the heavy N.E.R.D. influence on Deathcamp and the title track, to those sing-songy vibes on Fucking Young/Perfect, and of course Keep Da O's (which features Pharrell). Sure, Neptunes zealots might write this off as copycatting, but we'd like to call it homage, since Tyler outright says that N.E.R.D. hugely influenced him. Plus, P must be okay with it if he's showing up for the party.

Praise Yeezus… Weezus Too
There were rumors that this was going to happen, and it did. And it's wonderful. Both Kanye West and Lil Wayne attack the track Smuckers, and every other artist should be jelly (Get it? Smuckers? Jelly?). The beat was really conducive for Kanye and Wayne to both snap, as Yeezy brings a hybrid of his old style and his new, which sounds immaculate. Weezy's contribution isn't as long as Ye's, but more of a back-n-forth with Tyler, which sounds just as cool.

No Golf Wang?
If you're looking for anyone else from Odd Future on this project, then you're in the wrong place. Cherry Bomb has features, but no OFWGKTA-listed collaborators. Now, maybe they're hiding on the songs and we can't hear them, but they're certainly not identified. There are some top tier collabs though. Outside of the aforementioned, Schoolboy Q brings some solid bars to The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (Remix), and let's not forget Uncle Charlie (Wilson) plus Kali Uchis on Fucking Young/Perfect.

Tyler On The Beat, Ho!
On all of Tyler, the Creator's albums, he carries the brunt of the beatmaking, but on Cherry Bomb he actually has no additional hands whatsoever. It works, because you can sense how Tyler carefully curated this project to sound exactly how he wants it. From the mellow keys on the neo-soul-sounding jams Find Your Wings and 2Seater to the cerebral beat on Pilot. You can also get a sense that Tyler very much wants to showcase his production skills outside of his rhyming, perhaps to move into full-time producer territory? Who knows. He's damn good at it though.

Style Swap
While the beats on Cherry Bomb are diverse, so is Tyler's flow. He's never been a one-trick pony, but here the switches in cadence are very direct and apparent. Run is a straight-up trap track, and yes the beat is at the heart of it, but Tyler really penetrates the cut with rhythmic bars. The aggressiveness comes out for Deathcamp and Cherry Bomb, but then he slows it all the way down on songs like Fucking Young/Perfect. It's not like he's a different person, though. Blow My Load is typical "in love, slightly perverse Tyler," and Buffalo sounds very typically Tyler too. Evolution is apparent, though, and that's perhaps the greatest element of Cherry Bomb.


Text Kathy Iandoli

tyler the creator
Cherry Bomb
Kathy Iandoli