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Tyler The Creator
Goblin John Doran , May 10th, 2011 04:56

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Our friend and writer for The Stool Pigeon and this organ Kev Kharas recently went to interview Tyler The Creator. The mewling twit (Mr Creator not the Boy Kharas) threw such a passive-aggressive fit at having to do what his English label XL had flown him in from America to do (promote his fairly decent new album Goblin), thus preventing him from going outside in the sunshine to play, that he smashed his own skateboard to pieces. He later called his interrogator a "faggot" on Twitter. Most people should be able to judge whether Tyler The Creator is for them or not based solely on this information, thus side-stepping the whole "rape" and "faggots" "controversy". For Tyler The Creator is 20 years old, and you are probably not. You could be forgiven for not realizing the awesome creeping horror of 'Nightmare', a swirling whirlpool of David Lynch and HP Lovecraft meet Company Flow sickness, was made by one so young. But, on the other hand, there's the insufferable misogyny of 'She', which is the hyuck-hyuck locker room humour of insecure young men at its worst - imagine mainstream smooth R&B that liberally calls the object of its desires "cunt". Elsewhere Tyler jokes that raping a pregnant woman is like having a threesome. Oh Oscar, with these bon mots, you are really spoiling us.

Why can't we have the former without the latter, people perhaps not unreasonably ask? Well, if this was the case, it's probably a given that broadsheet journalists like Hermione Hoby (for the Guardian) and (mea culpa) rock critics like myself would less likely to be writing about him. I could act like a Daily Mail journalist blustering away in outrage with one eye on the readership figures but this level of nihilism and disgust in modern popular music isn't even particularly that novel. Y'know, compared to Ill Bill or Anal Cunt. (It's amusing to hear Tyler get his panties in a twist over people calling his music horrorcore. Yeah, I'm so sorry for offending you by slightly mis-classifying your subgenre of hip hop: It's backpacker hip hop with Southern/horrorcore hip hop and witch house stylings.) There's nothing quite as lame as pedestrian transgression though. At its worst, Goblin is like a Jimmy Carr or Russell Brand stand-up routine with lots of neat, well-executed internal rhymes. Did you hear the one about the rapist? If only there was only one but there's a whole hour's worth here. Isn't it time for some real transgression? The gay Wu Tang Clan. Now that's something that would stop everyone dead in their tracks. We need rap's answer to Gaahl, now more than ever.

So what's the music like? Well, it's alright. If you've heard anything by Tyler before it's probably the Goth Wang anthem 'Sandwitches' (ft Hodgy Beats), which is so cheap and nasty sounding it's probably causing a whole new abyssal depth of offence to analogue synthesizer obsessives. Likewise the infectious beat of 'Yonkers', but they both pale into insignificance next to 'Fish', which has rapping as good as you're likely to hear all year. And lyrical content as abysmal as you're likely to hear in the same time period, given that it's breaking new ground in the field of extended fisherman/rapist metaphors. But, y'know, Tyler had an absent dad, or his dad beat him or something. He was perhaps lacking in firm moral guidance and now just look at his desensitization. Look at it! Dude, he's waving it in your face! It's palpable! Tyler always reminds me of the Cali punk coughing up blood after a hashed liquor store robbery in Alex Cox's Repo Man: "The lights are growing dim. I know a life of crime led me to this sorry fate. And yet, I blame society. Society made me what I am." Just to have Emilio Estevez tell him: "That's bullshit! You're a white suburban punk, just like me." Except Tyler is a black, suburban middle class skater. He is a brilliant rapper. He is genuinely miles ahead in his field. It's just that this is the fairly narrow field of teen nihilism: his medium is getting upset about having to tidy his room. He's Tracey Emin in a green balaclava.

"Kill people burn shit fuck school" is the refrain of 'Radical'. It's the kind of lame-arsed sentiment you'd hear on a recent Marilyn Manson or Insane Clown Posse track. Distorted vocals and sub sub sub Salem gothic synths and stumbling crunk beats make the first half appalling, mere new nu-metal for lazy mall nihilists. About half way through the seven minute running time - around the time Tyler utters the priceless line "I'm a fucking unicorn. Fuck anyone who says I'm not" - the track dissolves into limpid-Plaid style electronica with voices intoning gently, "You gotta let 'em go." For such a supposed badass, Tyler actually spends a lot of this song in exposition mode: "I'm not saying just to go out and do some stupid shit [like] commit crimes." He goes to lengths to explain to young acolytes that his credo is one of self-will, rather than mindlessness. A fair few of the songs here come in different "parts" or "movements" and it's so long it will try the patience of most but the fanatical. It's backpack rap's Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son. You really could cut the final four songs without losing much of the effect at all.

However, Goblin revels in constantly pulling the rug from under your feet and is actually brilliant in this respect. Just when you think you're about to smash something in inchoate rage, the lyrical conceits reaching a lysergic level of offensiveness and occasionally outright (if guilty) hilarity. You hit an unexpected lucid interval, where he lays it out straight for you: "Random Disclaimer. Hey. Don't do anything I say in this song Ok? It's fucking fiction. If anything happens don't blame me white America." But then this is also tiresome late post-modernism taken to its conclusion. There is no objective truth anymore. Nothing can be pinned down to any one meaning: "I'm a fucking walking paradox - no I'm not." As his shrink says: "You're gonna have to cut down on using that word." Causing Tyler to sigh: "I'm not homophobic... faggot."

The person who Tyler The Creator reminds me of the most is not Eminem at his Relapse-era most amoral; certainly not the Geto Boys, Necro, 2LiveCrew, Cannibal Corpse, or Whitehouse. Neither is it Anal Cunt, XXXManiak, GG Alin, or Gorerotted. Instead, its Charles Bukowski. On one hand this Redondo Beach bum was a truly objectionable misogynist who wrote about rape, violence against women and "low sex" (amongst other subjects) to portray the "truth" or "authenticity" of his lifestyle as much as to wind up liberals and feminists. His dead-eyed ability to cause offence belied the myth of him being a chaotic drunk. On the other hand his poetry and prose certainly was a breath of fresh air in the 1970s and 1980s. Bukowski, who Jean Paul Sartre called America's most important living poet, was always a scourge of modern American literature, even when he was hopelessly off point and out of order (a not infrequent occurrence). He was a one man war against pretension, laziness, softness caused by easy living, hypocrisy and payola. Tyler is arguably in the same position as regards mainstream hip hop. Clearly not that interested in money and all the other aspirational trappings some rappers stand for, he talks disinterestedly of ignoring emails from the GZA and Plain Pat. Try listening to Goblin straight after Tim Westwood's Radio 1Xtra show and you may think he has a point.

Yet was this really his intention? If he wants to reach a hip hop audience why did he turn down the XXL Freshmen cover but agree to pucker up for NME? (The most genuinely shocking thing about this album for me is the way it graphically illustrates the hyper-acceleration of culture that we live in. Less than a week after NME's cover I'm sitting here listening to a substantial part of Goblin that deals with the "pressures of fame" already. There's no point in enjoying it for three or four weeks when you might as well move straight into the angst-ridden, 'no one understands how hard it is being me' phase. Expect him to buy a salmon farm before Xmas.)

Goblin is art in the same way that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads or Brett Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero are and to deny it such a status, could reasonably be seen as racism. Rather than feeling sorry for Tyler however we should recognize that he's exploiting a loophole more than creating something for the ages. It's 'Art' but it's relatively artless, like Sarah Lucas positioning a kebab on a soiled mattress to look like a vagina, then running an eye listlessly over the column inches that throb in its presence. The thing is though, I'm not even remotely interested in being entertained by rape rap, no matter how clever or dumb, which is why now that I've said how sonically intriguing and pretty decent this album is, I'm going to delete it permanently from my hard drive. After a day of listening to it, I've had enough of it and the bad taste that it leaves in my mouth. The truth of the matter is that there's every chance the word "faggot" will probably become completely acceptable soon in the same way that "bitch" did in the 1990s. Rape jokes are once again acceptable to most. Language use change is inevitable and organic. My participation in these processes isn't.

Adam
May 10, 2011 9:20am

Fucking great review. Kudos.

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Lanky Myrtle
May 10, 2011 9:33am

Excellent review. p.s. Rape jokes are not funny :( Grape jokes meanwhile.... I was graped once. There was a bunch of them.

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charles
May 10, 2011 9:40am

i like the review. i also like the album cause i'm a teenager with little to no social conscious. he is truly brilliant in my opinion. his work is hard and angry and i am angry so its a good marriage. sorry to get emotional and shit but it kinda makes being a teenager suck less...no homo tho im not no faggot. i also like mansions.

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Nico Rijnders
May 10, 2011 9:42am

Amazing review. Thanks.

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J
May 10, 2011 9:43am

Insipid think-pieces like this just fuel the fire. And whenever I hear old white people try to downplay the issue of his absent father, as if they fucking know the kid (who is certainly not middle class, he was raised by a single mother in humble conditions) and with all the comparisons to Insane Clown Posse and the late 90's nu-metal vulgarity, I get upset. All this cry about rape and homophobia. The artist has the right, if not the duty, to investigate social expectations. They have the duty to completely disregard matters of value, principle, and moral expectation, and examine the evil side of things and how we interpret it. Maybe throwing around "faggot" and "nigga" has the chance of destroying the power these words carry. And not that the original meanings and the emotional damage done to blacks and homosexuals will be forgotten, but when people learn to speak up for themselves, and not entire groups of people, like petulant fucks like you, we'll be in a better place without you stifling shitty old people. Odd Future represents everyday people who think both good and evil thoughts and seek to understand and balance them. I'm intelligent as well as rude, yet I can engage adults in pleasant conversation if I choose to. Why can't I also call you a faggot? Because you're a faggot.

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Andrew
May 10, 2011 10:31am

Great review, John. The fact that it fired up such a ludicrous riposte from the confused 'J' merely serves to underline its greatness. It will accrue yet more idiotic responses before the day is out.

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JJ
May 10, 2011 10:38am

Can someone please tell me if it's good or not? No one wants to say it's shit so i can't find a definitive review. We all know the productions a bit amateur and that his need to explain himself kind of undermines his lyrics.

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In reply to J
May 10, 2011 10:40am

In reply to J:

Its not "the right, if not the duty, to investigate social expectations. They have the duty to completely disregard matters of value, principle, and moral expectation, and examine the evil side of things and how we interpret it."

when all the artist does is to fall back on the values that the norm/majority of society still considers to more or less be "alright". Women and people who are gay are still fighting for their rights everyday, they are not in a Post anything, they are still right in the middle of it. And when Tyler raps "faggot" or about rape, all he does is helping straight frat boys to party out hard. He is no John Waters, who took all that society thought wrong and glorified it, proclaiming his love for it. Tyler takes things people, still, find wrong and condemn them, his reaction is against a bunch of friscos with hybrid cars. And he is beeing cheered on by all the frat Boys in the world.

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tenbenson
May 10, 2011 10:40am

In reply to J:

yes, because throwing around "nigga" 25 years ago has clearly helped to demystify it and ease tensions. but don't worry, you have every right to say faggot and talk about rape all you like - you've EARNED it. ease up on that sense of expectation.

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tenbenson
May 10, 2011 10:42am

In reply to JJ:

it's a 5.6. or a 6.5.

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mug tyrant
May 10, 2011 10:49am

you really don't remember the Sex Pistols do you?

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Ash
May 10, 2011 10:51am

I prefer Sweatshirt.

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May 10, 2011 11:13am

In reply to mug tyrant:

They weren't beyond criticism either.

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Dr. Keloid
May 10, 2011 11:15am

That last one was from me, not Anna Nimmoti. Sorry.

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bushwick bill
May 10, 2011 11:22am

Great review.

Build enough tortured artist reference points into brand OF and hipsters will love it, put enough rape/faggot content in there and the frat boys and boy racer teens will love it too. Job done.

60 years since r&b and 20 years since gangsta rap, and we're still waiting for the day when a overwhelmingly middle class music industry tries to market street culture without reverting to stereotypes. But hey, why let progress get in the way of making money? It's just music, isn't it?

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Ugeine
May 10, 2011 11:48am

Well written review.

The Murder Ballads comparison is spot on, I get the same feeling listening to Goblin as I did first time i listened to Murder ballads.

I'm kind of hanging onto them hoping that they drop the rape fantasies when they hit their twenties, it's great listening to Earl on Orange Juice say things like 'It's the Rap Monster / Rap Monger / Earl Sweat / Attack Conqour' and makes you think he's got real potential, same as Tyler.

Thing is though, if I was to dissmiss OF for the rape / faggot references, where does that leave me enjoying Goodfellas or Pulp Fiction, even the Wire or The Sopranos?

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fin2limb
May 10, 2011 11:53am

Good Review. I agree with a lot of your points. My full thoughts on the album can be read here:

http://fin2limb.blogspot.com/2011/05/tyler-creator-goblin.html

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Chris
May 10, 2011 12:04pm

@Bushwick Bill

So because a bunch of teenagers are promoting such debate they must a be a marketing concept of some 'middle class music industry'? seriously, this album (and Bastard before it) is TYLER, nothing more nothing less, if you dont like fair enough but dont try and say its some fake middle class bullshit just because you cant relate

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real talk
May 10, 2011 12:11pm

In reply to Ugeine:

Your comparison of films to music artists is incorrect. We are told Tyler is real. Tyler is the artist, not a constructed identity. We are told to 'believe' his authenticity above all else.

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bushwick bill
May 10, 2011 12:27pm

In reply to Chris:

Ah, the old 'relate' argument. It holds up about as well as your statement that this is
just "a bunch of teenagers promoting debate". I didn't realise this was all for the benefit of social discourse. Gays and rape victims the world over should be thankful, huh?

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Ugeine
May 10, 2011 12:33pm

In reply to real talk:

It's a comparison that Tyler's used himself, actually. He gets fustrated that people don't seem to understand that he doesn't mean his lyrics literally.

You seem to be saying you believe he's actually a serial rapist in real life, or that he's presented as such.

It's like saying you actually believe Ice Cube is a cop killer.

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5onthe5
May 10, 2011 12:39pm

Excellent review, by far the most sense that I've read about Tyler and his OF buddies.

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Chris
May 10, 2011 12:43pm

In reply to bushwick bill:

I didn't say that was the purpose of OF, if you actually listen to Odd Future (I'm guessing you haven't) Goblin in particular you'd probably get the fact that Tyler is bemused by the shit surrounding OF, he's just doing his own thing, a product of his own environment and upbringing. It resonates with some, not with others, I'm not sure why that idea is offensive to you? If you want to know about homophobia in OF you might want to ask Syd who mixed the whole album who herself is gay, but y'know she's probably 'blind' to the impact of her friends words and probably thinks rape is pretty cool..

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bushwick bill
May 10, 2011 1:59pm

In reply to Chris:

"product of his environment" - oh, please. Enough with the tortured artist schtick.

Shit. I didn't realise having a gay member of their extended crew gives them a free pass. My apologies.

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John Tatlock
May 10, 2011 2:45pm

I think the review makes clear that the whether these songs are "real" or not isn't what the objection is. I don't think the makers of The Human Centipede actually want to stitch people's mouths and arses together, but understanding that doesn't, for me, elevate it beyond being an odious and pointless bit of film making that I've got no interest in.

What's being said here isn't "Oh my god, that Tyler, he's a massive homophobe". What's being said is "this record is odious and pointless".

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Chris
May 10, 2011 3:13pm

I don't have a problem with the review, he makes his case well. I just think some of the comments here are condescending, and make no attempt to engage with Tyler of OF in any form rather just relying on what they've read

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John Doran
May 10, 2011 3:36pm

In reply to Chris:

I know that Bushwick Bill doesn't read the Quietus but I'd like to apologize in public for calling Geto Boys educationally subnormal.

Also, if you want to read something more enlightening than "we need a gay Wu Tang Clan" then you should check out Alex Macpherson's recent blog for the Guardian on L'il B and Tyler The Creator: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/may/09/hip-hop-homophobia

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PicanteWest
May 10, 2011 3:53pm

fan·ta·sy   
[fan-tuh-see, -zee]
noun, plural -sies, verb, -sied, -sy·ing.
–noun
1.
imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained.
2.
the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing.
3.
a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic; vision: a nightmare fantasy.

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John Tatlock
May 10, 2011 4:01pm

In reply to PicanteWest:

Posting dictionary definitions is no kind of argument or riposte to anything. You may get to *feel* smart for a minute, but really, it's not actually smart or anything.

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Chris
May 10, 2011 4:12pm

In reply to John Doran:

Thanks for that article,

i'm not really referencing the Quietus or any website/blog in particular, but there seems to be a sort of hands off think piece thing which has started about misogyny and homophobia, and that goes way beyond Tyler and OF and cast aspersions about there music without actual engagement, and some people have just picked up on this rather than the actual music

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May 10, 2011 4:33pm

Like the review says, it's not great but it's alright. Very over-hyped. I'd like to check back and see what he's doing in a few years.

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Luke Turner
May 10, 2011 4:38pm

In reply to :

In a few years when he's grown up a bit, forgotten his skateboard (rosebud! rosebud!), and gone for a bit of pantomime horsing (have you ever tried it that way, etc, I would), he might actually be a pretty interesting artist.

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PicantWest
May 10, 2011 4:39pm

In reply to John Tatlock:

Posting a definition isn't meant to make me feel smart, it points out the ridiculous nature of most of the criticism aimed at Odd Future. I mean seriously, are we still having this conversation? I can't believe that people think this either shocking or offensive considering how pedestrian graphic depictions of sex and violence have become in all aspects of the entertainment industry. Rape. Rape rape rape rape rape. Are you shocked at that? It's not funny and it doesn't make think of Tyler as a genius. It's mostly just boring. All these critics want to act like they are some sort of guardian of good taste upholding moral decency, when in reality they are just pissed that a young rapper has found a way to vent while they yell into a void on the internet. Odd Future is crayon drawings of bullies being smashed. If Tyler is your bully then you need to get a life.

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str8 bro
May 10, 2011 4:43pm

In reply to John Doran:

i love the geto boys, but willie d was dumb as fuck. have you heard his solo album? scarface on the other hand, was a true poetic soul.

i think this album drags, but around 70% of it is gold. i thought the pregnant/threesome thing was hilarious. tyler and earl are the only two mc's who've consistently made me laugh my ass off over the last year or so.

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John Tatlock
May 10, 2011 4:47pm

In reply to PicantWest:

Given that that's what the review says itself, I'm not sure I understand your objection.

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lol
May 10, 2011 4:58pm

"The truth of the matter is that there's every chance the word "faggot" will probably become completely acceptable soon in the same way that "bitch" did in the 1990s."
I don't think you would find Tyler's content so shocking if you weren't an old white man who doesn't actually listen to rap. It's easy to celebrate "transgressive" music when it's insensitive to someone else's values. Saying that offensive content ruins rap albums while praising Gaahl in the same article makes it hard to avoid thinking that you're applying a double standard: of course that white kid who says

"Church burnings are, of course, a thing that I support one hundred percent. It should have been done much more, and will be done much more in the future. We have to remove every trace from what Christianity, and the semitic roots, have to offer this world."

in interviews is just kidding or something. In any case, being gay totally absolves him for his support for the purging of Semitic influence (and probably the Semites too) from Europe, if not the entire world. Whereas Tyler? He hardly even has a blaccent! He must be a "black suburban middle-class skater" with no right to disrespect women in the context of a rap song. The hypocrisy is astonishing.

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str8 bro
May 10, 2011 5:11pm

In reply to lol:

yeah, and when you consider that those black metal nutjobs *mean it*, whereas tyler is just taking the piss then the hypocrisy is even worse.

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John Calvert
May 10, 2011 5:27pm

In reply to lol:

simon reynolds made a good point that none of these shock artists ever construct their fantasies from the perspective of the victim.

there is Poptones by PIL though. which is more unsettling than the entire OF catalogue put together.

I'm disappointed by Tyler's debut. not only are the tunes slightly rubbish, but i think it errs on the wrong side of the art/derisory divide - like GG Allin or The Chapman brothers. I can side with Alibini when he said : "As far as im concerned the artist has absolutely no responsibility" and I love shock art, but only as long as it's art. John Wayne gacey said of GG Allin that he was the product of the sickness of american society, and that's how I viewed Tyler up until this point. But to observe how self conscious he has become transformed him from avatar of a fcked up but fascinating generation, to a tired sensationalist. Nihilism and self-abasement are legitimate standards of art, self involvement, not so much. In a little while i hope he'll become something like the Lydia Lunch of Hip Hop.

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May 10, 2011 5:30pm

So does this mean yous guys are gonna remove the article talking about how awesome Odd Future from your Digest section? That'd be a shame, it was nice having an opinion from someone who actually listens to hip hop.

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Luke Turner
May 10, 2011 5:37pm

In reply to lol:

Ah Lol, I think you have missed the point with Gaahl. He was part of the Norwegian scene, went to prison, then came out upon release and as being gay: http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=107859

What John was saying is that hip hop is crying out for an openly gay rapper. Much like football is.

And @blankperson, no we're not taking it down, a collection of differing opinions are what the site is all about.

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Rich
May 10, 2011 5:56pm

It has it's moments but it's hip hop for a generation that uses South Park as a cultural yardstick and that's just not me. I've given it a few days, but on the strength of about 4/5 songs I can bear to get past the contrived shock value (yawn) lyrical content to enjoy the music, It'll probably never see the light of day again after the weekend.

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fanelli
May 10, 2011 6:34pm

In reply to J:

well said. succinctly, and eloquently put.

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BMICHAEL
May 10, 2011 8:00pm

This last paragraph is kind of racist and also sexist. It also doesn't read to me in a sense-making way. Here's a thoughtful piece of art about rape that's also not without its problems. http://www.theparisreview.org/fiction/1225/brief-interviews-with-hideous-men-david-foster-wallace

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Steve
May 10, 2011 9:21pm

"Goblin is art in the same way that Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' Murder Ballads or Brett Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero are and to deny it such a status, could reasonably be seen as racism."

So if I deny that Murder Ballads is art, does that mean I hate Australians? or white people?

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tim
May 11, 2011 12:34am

the review isn't about you, reviewer. this reads like it was written by a anemic ultra right wing poopface.

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paul
May 11, 2011 4:01am

great writing. the type of transgressive art that Tyler is creating is almost thoughtless in it's ambivalence to public taste - it just comes across as crass and alarmingly and disturbingly egocentric...he's a talented rapper, but has alot of growing up to do...I suspect at some point he might regret much of what he's said on these recordings.

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polpolpol
May 11, 2011 10:23am

Wolf Hayley, Creator Ace, Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt etc. are all characters which OF use to to demonstrate the horror of the male id and its productions. When he says “I'm a sell out and a rapist” he's talking about potential rather than actual acts, putting him firmly on the side of critique.
On the other hand, this review is all on the side of super-ego, the work of some cop who wants to keep things in order while he quietly waits for the arrival of the messiah (a gay Wu-Tang Clan, I believe).

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John Doran
May 11, 2011 10:47am

In reply to polpolpol:

It's really irritating isn't it when you come up with a really sharp reply to a piece only to read the review and realise the comment is completely redundant. The temptation, often, is to just post the comment regardless...

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May 11, 2011 1:34pm

In reply to John Doran:

Sorry, that was quite a concise comment which turned out sounding rude. What I meant, in longer form, was that there's a distinction in a lot of Tyler's songs between the part which is pure fantasy (such as the Wolf Hayley bits) and much of the rest, narrated from the 'Tyler' voice. The phantastic parts are characterised by the kind of switch in perspective Freud says is the first moment of phantasy in 'A Child is Being Beaten': to a third person viewpoint, watching the subject participating. In 'Yonkers', for example:

Fuck her, Wolf Haley robbing them /I'll crash that fucking airplane that that faggot nigga B.o.B is in /And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus/ And won't stop until the cops come in

Wolf Hayley is the phantastic character, the vessel for the 'outrage'. In comparison, the bits in which Tyler speaks are more ambiguous. These are always relayed in a different voice, narrating events which are presented as being actual or historical. For example:

While Syd is telling me that she's been getting intimate with men /(Syd, shut the fuck up) Here's the number to my therapist /(Shit) Tell him all your problems, he's fucking awesome with listening

and

(What'd you do?) I slipped myself some pink Zannies /And danced around the house in all-over print panties /My mom's gone, that fucking broad will never understand me /I'm not gay, I just wanna boogie to some Marvin

while not explicitly pro-gay, are certainly more ambiguous, and contain more 'play', than explicit homophobia.

You can pick three distinct drives which are mixed together in 'Yonkers': the anti-authoritarianism (which, as you say, might be a bit sophomoric, but its hardly an ignoble aim), the jokey, play part, and the 'rapey' part.

My disagreement with your conclusion that OF is best ignored because of this 'rapey' part is that of these three drives, that's bit that OF seem least proud of, hence on 'Sandwiches':

Who the fuck invited Mr. I Don't Give a Fuck /Who cries about his daddy and a blog because his music sucks? (I did!)/ Well, you fucking up, and truthfully I had enough

There's a kind of despair in some of these bits, and in some of the exposition you mention in the article. It is like they sit down and try to write a new song, but they-always-come-out-this-way, the same old phantasies are streaked through it, no matter what they do. OF is art insofar as it re-presents the products of an unconscious beyond the control of the music's 'Creator'.

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rap
May 11, 2011 2:54pm

its awful tetchy on here for a record you lot are claiming is so so... rape is not a funny subject and shouldn't be made light of, but let me tell you this, we as human beings would not be alive and half the animal kingdom would not exist without it ever of having occurred. Thus, the dialogue must exist it should not be denied critique continuously! not by fighting humour and petulence with likewise, and maybe not by a 20 year old. keep it in your pants kids!

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IAmSomethingYou Will Never Understand
May 11, 2011 4:32pm

Come on.

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I Am Something You Will Never Understand
May 11, 2011 4:34pm

...This music's not meant for old people.

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John Doran
May 11, 2011 8:43pm

In reply to :

This is a much more compelling reading and one that I'm pretty much in tune with. I still don't think it's good enough though. I'm keen to hear Earl's post Samoan Summer School album. That could be the one.

Me, I'm all about Death Grips though...

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wrdfm
May 12, 2011 3:16am

In reply to :

"Who the fuck invited Mr. I Don't Give a Fuck /Who cries about his daddy and a blog because his music sucks? (I did!)/ Well, you fucking up, and truthfully I had enough"

As the previous commenter pointed out, this is a pretty great bit and there are lots of others on Goblin.The guys seems pretty conflicted (as he'd be the first to point out), and that's part of what makes the album disturbing. Musically, I think it's interesting, and I'd definitely prefer to hear Tyler over Eminem. But I'll probably give this just one or two more listenings. Even the most artfully made horror films tend to get old quick.

PS How DO magnets work?

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FoulDust
May 12, 2011 2:12pm

Way too many are talking about him being young. He's twenty, for fucks sake. Earl Sweatshirt is young, but Tyler is a grown-ass man, and people need to start engaging with him and stop seeing him as 'The Other'.
Lyrically, yeah, it's transgressive, but that is part of what makes it so thrilling to listen to. To be fair, not a very listenable record, but in the same way as something like 'Requiem for a Dream.' And when you compare it to the winking insincerity of the chillwave-y Brooklynite hipsters, or the polished egotism of Kanye of Nicki Minaj, the self-hate and the venom is quite refreshing.
Anyhow, my thoughts here:http://fouldust.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/tyler-the-creator-goblin/

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Bruiser Brody
May 12, 2011 4:01pm

Good review, overall. Bukowski is probably a bit of a reach, but it doesn't matter. The reason that Tyler and his crew are willing to pose on the cover of NME, but not XXL, is because the music they make is geared almost solely towards white indie kids. Shit like this will mean nothing to the usual Hot 97 listener, and at least they're smart enough to know it. As for all of the lyrical 'controversies'...how many decades will go by before the cliche of spouting bullshit to get a reaction is no longer considered 'controversial'. Dude's a prick, that's all.

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str8 bro
May 13, 2011 12:04pm

In reply to rap:

good point! i hadn't thought of it like that before. in fact, if you don't force women to bear your children then you are basically murdering unborn future generations for the sake of some flimsy feminist, PC ideal.

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John Doran
May 13, 2011 12:06pm

In reply to str8 bro:

LOL @ rape jokes = intellectual critique

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str8 bro
May 13, 2011 12:08pm

In reply to Bruiser Brody:

yeah, i guess music is only worth listening to if REAL AUTHENTIC BLACK PEOPLE TM like it. and of course NO black people like odd future AT ALL. or i guess if they do, then they're just white-washed, uncle tom hipsters or something.

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Blobberfet
May 13, 2011 6:07pm

Whatever the argument is about the lyrical content etc, musically this album is pretty friggin dull. I think limp is the word.

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Michael Avi
May 14, 2011 5:51am

What an excellent, thought provoking review. The comparison to Less Than Zero, art that's relatively artless, has struck a particular chord in me. Almost a revelation I would say.
Thank you.

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Spare Prick
May 14, 2011 9:13pm

i thought The Quietus would have done a better thought out review of Goblin.
OF have managed to make everybody fall over themselves explaining them while they just don't care. I hope they still don't care when the OF backlash grows.

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ss
May 15, 2011 8:49pm

just pissed cause he blew you off for an interview? can you blame him? this is probably the only rap album you've listened to this year.. some music doesn't require this level of "analysis." but you have to get paid, i understand, and so does OF!

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EJ
May 16, 2011 2:19pm

In reply to Spare Prick:

Spare Prick:
If OF don't care, how come half of Goblin is talking about press reactions and how hard their instant fame is? I like the review because my problem with Goblin isn't that it's offensive, it's that it's lame and derivative. Some people here have complained about the ICP/Ill Bill comparisons. Why? If you've listened to them, you might know that they had lower-class, hard backgrounds. They were just as authentic, and at least their schtick was somewhat original back in the 90's. It's no less execrable hearing it passed down third hand as if it were anything new.

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MOI
May 16, 2011 3:42pm

eazy e, kool g rap, esham, eminem, icp, ice-t, bizzare, ice cube,ill bill, necro, geto boys, houston, memphis, detroit mixed with the post south park generation? wow, i gotta hear this! all of the mentioned were raping toll both attendants, kicking pregnant women in the stomach, beating bitches down in the street, accidentally almost raping transvestites during bank robberies, f*cking corpses, raping women at laundromats (and with umbrellas), talking about serial killers, in attempts to either provoke, transgress, or talk sh*t MANY YEARS AGO; brand nubian, audio two, and eazy e hated or 'hurt' 'faggots' and 'gays.' A LONG TIME AGO. gg allin and slayer and venom were murdering and sacrificing and raping women FOREVER AGO. they were all pretty popular. this Tyler sounds so interesting!!

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thosegoldsounds
May 17, 2011 12:51pm

WTF? 'Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son' was an astonishing album

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Alexander Velky
May 17, 2011 1:13pm

Best review I've read in quite a while. Kudos. (I hate that word.)

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MOI
May 17, 2011 2:57pm

this must be a really good review for me to return to it today, and good comments. i think the Bukowski things is way off though. i can think of one forcible act of sodomy in all his books, and one time that he hit a woman after she was cruel to a dog, which is different than his blunt "low" sexuality and readily apparent anger mixed with kind of wry humor. he also was a great technically clean writer with a defined, pretty original vision of how he wanted his prose to appear. when you went there, maybe Dario Argento would be a better comparison? That's real violence against woman portrayed very explicitly, originally, and merits a real art vs. sh*t vs. moral gray area debate. maybe even Wes Craven the Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left is a better comparison? but Argento and Bukowski were also not children and aware of what they were doing, debate on merit aside. anyhow, Tyler's actual technical skill seems to be right from Eminem, impressive in execution but derivative. and subject matter too; KIM from marshall mathers LP, a lot of Relapse . . . his value seems to come in that it's good fodder for conversation. maybe not.

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MOI
May 17, 2011 3:01pm

one last note: Nas and Ice Cube were about 17, LL was like 15, and they were somehow a lot more mature (especially NAS) and innovative than 20 year old Tyler. that's if you're putting this in hip hop category; his age is not impressive.

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Itul
May 19, 2011 9:51pm

Not to be too pessimistic but this all seems like emperors new clothes (or at least new skin for old ceremony) - didn't Eminem release a controversial album concerning the joys of homophobia, the rape / killing of women (his mother and ex-partner included) and other such 'offensive' / misanthropic taboos over a decade ago?

Don't get me wrong, I've actually quite liked a lot of the Odd Future stuff I've heard so far, but I don't see why they're being regarded as if they've invented a seminal new art form, or even a new kind of controversy.

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James
Jun 17, 2011 2:29pm

In reply to real talk:

That's idiotic, the point about most rappers is that they are playing a persona, which tyler has explicitly stated in interviews. Read up before you dismiss a whole genre of music.
Shouldn't we also condemn Johnny Cash's music if we are to believe that he "took a shot of cocaine and shot [his] woman down", or that "he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die"?
Its so easy to take the moral high ground against Hip Hop without fully understanding, you're an idiot.

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Kristy Gilford
Jul 21, 2011 3:23pm

I feel that Tyler The Creator is doing something that has not been done before. That is the main reason he gets the negative reviews and reactions he does. All music is a form of expression and opinion, in which we are all entitled to. His carefree, open, arrogant, and yes at times disrespectful lyrics show listeners that he is truly into his "own." He is not just out making music for the benefit of what other people want to hear. If that was the case, he would not be any different from many other artists. He once said in an interview that he would be making the same type of music he is now, whether it got out to the public or not. He's someone that loves the art of music, and his talent allows him to express it in his own way. Those that do not approve of Tyler The Creator can simply make the choice to not listen to him, because at this time, his lyrics are too risque to be played on the public radio. Every other source is optional.

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meddy
Aug 18, 2011 8:44am

I'm assuming the author of this review is not within 10 years of tyler's age group. why? because had you even the remotest notion of today's cultural youth mindframe, you'd know that tyler is no different than the average north american teen, except in one way: he chooses to blatantly publicize a body of derogatory and profane youth slanguage in raps interwoven with genius, tongue-rolling lyricism rather than limiting said slanguage to private, peer conversations as do most youths of today, other than those others that expose it to the adult world, only to be labelled as `delinquent` (and perhaps rightly so). in short, he`s yelling out to the world what 16 year olds are muttering to each other under their breath during a boring history lesson. as he himself says, he is a walking paradox; a marriage of painfully crude, shock inducing rantings and beautiful, poetic and pained wordplay. like you say, it is the very implications of such a genre, or subgenre or what have you, that target tyler as a homophobe or w.e, and equally unnerving lyricists such as ozzy osbourne and marilyn manson as.... art. and andrew... you`re a faggot

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Aug 25, 2011 1:32am

ur uh ritch man im just a poor man that is true..but u dont know his perspective miss interpret,besides i lisin to undergroun hip hop a way of life dont need u to back teenage feelings that aint ur place fuck yall!

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Sep 21, 2011 9:04pm

OMFG im so in love with this guy!!!!!!!!

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penis bob
Nov 2, 2011 4:14am

i dont know it's just i love penis 8===D -it's a dick so suck it you poopy faced gasta raper

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Dejanae lawrence
Dec 12, 2011 7:56pm

Hi i love u your one of the best rappers in the world i mean u r da best rapper

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