WOLF is Tyler, the Creator’s third full-length album. Tyler often comes off as a abrasive figure, but those who take the time to look past the profanity and shock value will find one of the most interesting personas in hip-hop today. Tyler is at once both a role model and insecure, appreciative of fame yet wishing he could be a kid again.
On this album, there is more boasting of conquests as a result of Tyler’s fame. References to his four-story home and of fucking models in Europe are present in the first single from the album “Domo 23.”
Despite all the fame, Tyler still has insecurities like any 20 something year old. Angry at his father for leaving when he was a child, “Answer” is Tyler’s message to his father. Over a guitar riff and chords, Tyler repeatedly tells his father he hates him, but you can’t help but feel that Tyler would welcome him back into his life if he wanted to be in it. Hence the “I hope you answer.”
“48” is a song inspiried by Tyler’s interview with Nas, clips of which are sprinkled throughout the song. In it, Tyler laments the problems of crack from the position of a drug dealer, despite the fact that he is straight edge. Perhaps this is Tyler’s explanation of why he is straight edge, and the dangers of drug use.
On “IFHY,” Tyler describes the problems of a relationship that means the world to him, but might just drive him over the edge. Tyler uses his obtuse chords in a way that creates an ominously carnival bi-polar type atmosphere to describe his emotions, which may change at any given moment.
Some tracks on the album fall short, including the track “Treehome95,” which despite its ambitious neo-soul jazz vibe did not draw me in. The tracks such as “Parking Lot” and “Pigs” also seemed half-baked, and held little replay value for me. “PartyIsntOver/ Campfire/ Bimmer,” although ambitious fell short of my expectations. After hearing the snippet of “Bimmer” after the “Domo23” video, there was anticipation of the full version of “Bimmer,” but “PartyIsntOver/Campfire” reduce the highlight that “Bimmer” could have been.
On this album, the highlights outnumber the tracks that fall short, and overall demonstrate artistic growth. Ultimately, Wolf is demonstrative of Tyler’s progression since Bastard. It touches on the dark emotions of Bastard, and develops those concepts further with more fully fleshed out production. No one can accuse Tyler of being dishonest, as this album is an artistic expression of the changes in Tyler’s life. For those “People who wanted the first album again,” Tyler says that he “can’t do that. I was 18, broke as fuck. On my third album, I have money and I’m hanging out with my idols. I can’t rap about the same shit.”