With each new album, Tyler the Creator moves into a very different creative headspace. His latest, Call Me If You Get Lost, brings listners into the world of the rapper’s latest character creation, Tyler Baudelaire. Previous alter ego Igor was an aloof pop star. Tyler’s new one is a homage to brooding French poet Charles Baudelaire. Tyler’s fixation with Baudelaire has actually been something present in his work for a longer time than realised. After all, his brand Golf le Fleur no doubt takes knowing reference to the bleak poet’s ‘Les Fleur du Mal’. (Which is about as high-mindedly Francophile as hip hop has been since Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s N**gas in Paris.)
Tyler the Creator comes full-circle
The genre-blending Call Me If You Get Lost also marks a full-circle moment in Tyler’s career. The album is loaded with pathos and nods to his earlier work. Even so, it can readily be appreciated by an Igor-level fan. Call Me If You Get Lost is presented in a way that is not just fresh, it also shows how far Tyler come in the last 10 years.
A particularly memorable moment on the album is ‘MANIFESTO‘. There is no getting around this confessional tour de force. Which lays bare his darkest thoughts. It begins as a tirade against performative social media activists. It then delves into a provocative one man cross-examination of his own past misdeeds.
Tyler reflects on being cancelled
“I was cancelled before cancelled was with Twitter fingers,” Tyler raps. “Protestin’ outside my shows, I gave them the middle finger (F**k ’em).” This is no doubt a nod to the harsh backlash Tyler received for the several inflammatory statements made during the button-pushing peak of his Twitter troll era. “I was a teener,” he adds, “Tweetin’ Selena crazy sh*t. Didn’t wanna offend her, apologize when I seen her.” The relentless confession pulls back the curtains on Tyler the Creator’s irreverent and oftentimes callous public persona.
The album also includes a notable list of features. ‘MANIFESTO’ features a verse from past Odd Future member Domo Genesis. ‘JUGGERNAUT’ sees the return of Tyler’s longtime idol Pharrell. Newer generation rappers Lil Uzi Vert and NBA Youngboy lend some much-needed gravitas to the record’s heavier hip hop moments.
Final Thoughts on Call Me If You Get Lost
Overall, Call Me If You Get Lost is an ambitious album. it is another successful artistic endeavour for the LA rapper. Tyler continues to cement his status as one of modern music’s most interesting outsiders. Juggling themes from past and present, he shows off his compositional abilities like never before. No doubt there are a number of conceptual masterstrokes and meta twists hiding in plain sight here. The kind which only repeated listening can reveal. Call Me If You Get Lost will give continue to give fans something new each listen. As a long time fan, this writer could not be more impressed.
Tyler the Creator 'Call Me If You Get Lost'8
Baudelaire died young, victim of his gloomy outlook
High context lyrics may bamboozle casual fans
Teens on Twitter