Saturday, May 14, 2011

Thoughts on Goblin

I was just gonna ignore this album and the rest of the group (writing about it, at least) because everyone is talking about it, and that's just kinda how I am. Usually, I'd rather try to bring some light to those I don't feel get the attention they deserve. I finally decided to sit down and listen to this album though to see what all the hype was about with these guys. Odd Future and their leader, Tyler The Creator, have developed a pretty strong cult-following that seems to be growing into a mainstream presence quickly this past year or so.

Their gimmick seems to be to say fuck everything and everyone and spit lyrics purposely littered with shock value lines to get a rise out of some people, create buzz, and garner attention for themselves. Annoying. Of course, if anyone calls Tyler out on that he'll probably say 'fuck you faggot' because he's an angry kid that can't seem to drop that defense mechanism just yet. His approach is to hate everyone and to reject them before they reject him. This definitely comes through loud and clear on Goblin. Though he's clearly self-conscious and worried about what others think, as evidenced by the three or more times he disses 2DopeBoyz apparently for not liking his music.

Some people have dubbed their sound horrorcore, which, I guess is pretty accurate, though Tyler rejects the label, probably because he doesn't wanna be associated with a failed sub-genre (and trying to bring it back), and that's understandable. I think he's fairly talented lyrically, and his approach to rhyming is interesting to me - though the voice in his head, or therapist or whatever as a recurring theme on the album is not at all original. His flow doesn't rely on corny punchlines that take the word "like" out like it's something groundbreaking either though. And aside from his 'I hate everything' attitude throughout most of the album, there is some honesty in him that especially comes out when talking about his parents - a hard-working young mother and absentee father - which lends a layer of realness to his surface of self-proclaimed madness.

The beats Tyler makes are hardcore, slow, and really stripped down. It's a sound that stands out because it's so unpolished, which, to me, makes it kinda refreshing. It also allows him to rhyme in different ways because his vocals don't have to be a slave to the beat. Now, that's giving him a lot of credit. It could be that this isn't intentional, but rather the best he can do.

After listening to Goblin from beginning to end a few times I have mixed feelings. It's not bad, but it doesn't really have a lot of replay value. I can't see myself pulling out Goblin 5 years from now. To me he kinda comes off like an immature Brotha Lynch Hung (sorry Lynch, I know you're a hundred times better). He spits his crazy thoughts with some skill no doubt, but the self-absorbed teenager throwing a tantrum is always right there in my ear, and it's pretty off putting after a while - it actually reminds me of Stewie Griffin going to high school and trying to blend in with the cool kids ("No, it's lame. Everything's lame").

But, when I think back to myself 10 years ago at age 18, I can't say I gave a fuck about much myself. And, that's probably a big part of what so many of Odd Future's young fans relate to. Someone representing musically how they feel personally at the time. It seems like a weird thing to bond over. But, it's understandable. I probably would have felt it a lot more if Goblin came out when I was in high school. But, while I'm able to enjoy it in parts, this group, and Tyler, is not for me. And that's ok. At least they don't completely suck like a lot of the young acts today that get mainstream attention. They're in their own lane for the time being, and I can say I'm interested to see where Tyler's career goes from here after all of the hype that brought him to this point.

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