Tyler, The Creator, has many influences and, as a result, is one the most versatile artists in contemporary hip-hop. However, last year, the LA native took to social media to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the song that changed his life.
On June 3rd, 2023, the Goblin musician (real name Tyler Okonma) took to Instagram to highlight his love for Pharrell Williams’ debut solo single ‘Frontin’ featuring Jay-Z which featured on his 2006 album, In My Mind.
Explaining how he came across the track and how infectious the song sounded to him as a youngster, Okonma wrote, “I was stunned. Three minutes and 57 seconds of dopamine. The groove was familiar but still sounded like the soundscapes of a different planet. The air of it; aside from ‘Grindin’ and ‘What Happened To That Boy’ the year before, my ears hadn’t heard anything with that much space in it.”
He continued, “[It had] Three percussive sounds, three bass notes, two chords, and a synthesized whistle that sounded like ice cream melting.” ‘Frontin’ was a huge club anthem and was one of many Pharrell hits.
Delving into the details of why he came to love it so much, Okonma continued, “The melodies in Pharrell’s shaky head voice were sticky. I was stunned. But what took me over the edge was the bridge. I believe the trajectory of my life changed at that moment. It’s a high chance my addiction of putting bridges on everything was cemented because of this song. I’ve subconsciously been trying to chase that high for 20 years.”
Explaining when he first saw the video Tyler, The Creator stated, “I caught the video on Cita’s World after school. I was stunned, but this time my eyes [were] recording information that would, again, change the trajectory of my life.”
He concluded, “On top of that, this was on BET, which felt like a curve ball compared to the other videos that AJ and Free were introducing. No one knew images like that would be shaping how things are 20 years later. I’ve stated this multiple times, but “Frontin'” is my favourite piece of art to grace this earth. I am forever grateful that I’m alive at the same time to experience it. I can only hope that one day something else crosses my path and makes me feel exactly how this does.”
You can listen to the track that changed Tyler The Creator’s life below.