Tyler, The Creator is one of contemporary hip-hop’s most innovative and respected young rappers. Initially beginning his career as part of the odd future collective of Ladeira Heights in LA, the emcee quickly became a fan favourite due to his lyricism, quirky aesthetic and funny personality. The crew spawned many artists, although musicians such as Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt remain popular. Tyler (real name Tyler Okonma) is the only ensemble member who has consistently released music.
Since his emergence, the lyricist and trend-setter has been able to collaborate with the likes of Kanye West, Pharrell and Vince Staples. Since 2014, Okonma has been a standout artist who receives vast amounts of critical acclaim for his ability to morph and integrate the sonics of hip-hop into other genres.
As part of Odd Future, Okonma was known for his rapping ability. However, as he has continued to grow, he has been recognised as an all-rounder who can also produce at an exceptional level. Tyler The Creator has released six studio albums, one EP and one solo mixtape. The rapper has had two number-one projects on the Billboard 200.
However, for one of his most exciting tracks, Okonma tracked down an extremely obscure sample. One so abstract that the song’s creator couldn’t believe the emcee found it. The audio snippet used appears in the 2019 single ‘Puppet’ featuring Kanye West from his fifth studio project, IGOR.
The sample utilised by the Los Angeles native was from a track by a British band that released one unsuccessful album in the 1970s and, until Okonma stumbled across the track in 2019, had been forgotten. The song had been buried so deep in the history books of British rock music that when the rapper attempted to clear the sample, the band’s lead singer thought it was a hoax.
In the 1970s, a UK resident named Mick Ware formed a progressive rock group called Czar. The band’s first LP featured seven songs, one of which was entitled ‘Today.’ As the penultimate track of the records B-Side, it was hidden deep, but somehow Okonma found it.
In an interview with BBC News, Ware revealed, “Well, we received an email from America from a lawyer which we thought was a scam, and they said they were representing an artist in America [and] could they use a sample of my song we had a name given to us which was Tyler, The Creator who we had never heard of!”
He continued, “I’ve no idea how they heard the track, it’s a bit obscure and not easy to get hold of. I guess they have people who go looking for this kind of thing. The album is so rare now. If you have a copy it’s valuable – not that we made any money from it at the time.” However, Mick was credited on the song and got a 10% writing credit with a royalties clearance deal for ‘Puppet’. You can hear the original and Tyler, The Creator’s rendition in the videos below.