Odd Future’s Tyler The Creator is one of the most creative minds in contemporary hip hop and draws on a vast, eclectic array of influences to bring us the amazing music he does.
With his beginnings in LA rap crew Odd Future often stylized OFWGKTA, Tyler The Creator has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to music. With fellow crew members including legendary names such as Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt and Flying Lotus, Tyler The Creator was just one of the many many ingenious musicians that Odd Future birthed.
Based primarily out of Ladera Heights, dubbed in a Frank Ocean song as “The Black Beverly Hills”, Tyler, together with Odd Future, really burst onto the hip hop scene in 2011. Odd Future’s distinct look came with an as distinct sound. OFWGKTA were pioneering in the way they beautifully fused LA Skate culture with hip hop. Two completely separate entities that before would have seemed incompatible, Odd Future seamlessly married. The Skate culture came through in the way they dressed and presented themselves as a collective. Often with skateboards in hands and vans, the crew wore skate clothing brands, brightly coloured tees and humorous sweatshirts but somehow made it work with hip hop.
With regards to sonics, Odd Future provided listeners with a very lo-fi, relaxing answer to East Coast hip hop. Their sound was chilled out, and it matched the crew’s demeanour and overall image. They were laid-back, chilled-out skater kids from a black suburb who just happened to rap. The crew seemed invincible before they disbanded. However, it was inevitable. With so much talent in the crew, individuals such as Tyler The Creator, Frank Ocean and Flying Lotus couldn’t thrive with the constant creative comprise that comes with being part of a larger crew.
Since his solo career beginnings around 2013, Tyler The Creator has evolved and grown. He began creating music that was primarily an extension of Odd Future, however, began to explore and collaborate a lot more, eventually finding his own niche. His 2017 project Flower Boy saw him collaborate extensively with artists from Europe, working with the likes of Estelle, Anna of The North and Rex Orange County. It was a global album featuring artists from across the world. It peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 but still went on to be platinum by the RIAA.
The rapper (real name Tyler Okonma) did the same with his 2019 album Igor. It was extremely diverse and brought together several types of African-American music to create an extremely well-rounded and wholesome body of work. From neo-soul to funk and 50s Chuck Berry-style rock, the project topped the Billboard 200 and was certified platinum.
With such an ear for music and a love for different genres from hip hop to psychedelic rock, one can only wonder from where he draws his influences and what his favourite songs are. Well, in an interview, when asked, he happily revealed his top ten songs of all time and theft are intriguing.
Tyler, The Creator’s 10 favourite songs of all time:
- ‘Frontin’ – Pharrell
- ‘Tape You’ – NERD
- ‘Mr. Me Too’ – Clipse
- ‘Gee Dee’ – Gary Davis (i think)
- ‘Same Song and Dance’ – Eminem
- ‘Kill You’ – Eminem
- ‘Maybe’ – NERD
- ‘Spaz – NERD
- ‘I Really Like You’ – Pharrell