In 2008, a 17-year-old Tyler, The Creator sent out an email to promote The Odd Future Tape. “i know your like, what the fuck is this” it opens, typed in a lacklustre grey font. ”please give it a shot. i’m tyler, by the way.” Nowadays, Tyler’s release rollouts are more elaborate than a MySpace link, with the lead-up to Call Me If You Get Lost finding him erecting billboards around LA with a phone number to ring. The suitcase he took to the 2020 Grammys even had the record’s name inscribed on the fabric.
His sixth studio albumfinds Tyler doing something completely different to previous LPs Flower Boy and Igor, but also bringing some of the best of past and present Tyler to the forefront. Leaving behind the platinum blonde wig that went along with his Igor persona, the artwork for the LP finds Tyler personifying a new alter-ego, Tyler Baudelaire. In between hard beat drops and guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi, and Brent Faiyaz, “Manifesto” tackles online performative wokeness, while “Wilshire” is a mammoth, intricately-detailed track about having feelings for someone else’s girlfriend.
Elsewhere, there’s a Sault album that’s – unfortunately – only going to exist for 99 days before disappearing, summer heat from KG featuring afrobeats and gqom, and a tape of cutting-edge electronics and R&B from George Riley.