CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST by Tyler, The Creator | Album Review
A world tour of Tyler’s sound
Whenever you listen to a Tyler, The Creator album, it’s best to go in with zero expectations. As per his request the night IGOR came out in 2019. The former Odd Future leader never does the same thing twice, always using his new albums to expand his eccentric sound instead of getting comfortable with rehashing what fans heard before. With that being said, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is certainly not another IGOR, or another anything really. Rather, his 7th album is a monster in its own right, Tyler is “rapping rapping” once again. This is a fun-filled album where he embraces a cockier side of himself, flowing seamlessly from track to track over some of his best producest beats, period.
I’ve always considered Tyler a producer first, rapper second. He’s spent his life studying and experimenting with sounds and samples to help create his own world unique to his style of artistry. Self-producing all his albums has reaped its benefits as they showcase Tyler’s ability as a composer, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is certainly no exception to this rule. The beats here are bouncy, attention-grabbing, and full of so much life. Granted he’s not alone this time, seeking help from Westside Gunn collaborator Conductor Williams and Jay Versace of Vine fame to add their own touch to the album.
He travels between hardcore boom-bap (“CORSO.”), neo-soul/reggae (“SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE.”), and trunk-rattling rap (“JUGGERNAUT”) just to name a few. The album feels like Tyler is taking a world tour through different sonics. Possibly tied into the album’s title, call him if you get lost in the sounds because it’s a lot to take in. There is a Gangsta Grillz mixtape quality to the whole album (complete with ad-libs by DJ Drama) that lets you know Tyler’s ready to murder every beat and spit some clever bars.
The guest list here ranges from hip-hop’s latest such as Lil Uzi Vert, 42 Dugg, and NBA Youngboy who delivers a surprisingly great verse on the melodic “WUSYANAME”. Tyler also asks his inspirations/frequent collaborators Lil Wayne and Pharell to lend a hand. Even Domo Genesis, also from Odd Future, makes a return as he illustrates his take on racial discrimination on the grimy “MANIFESTO”. It’s a nice callback to their earlier days nearly a decade ago and sheds some light on whether Domo (and other members from OF) will make a return to music.
We are introduced to a new alter-ego, Tyler Baudelaire on the opener “SIR BAUDELAIRE”. Lyrically, this is an eccentric side of Tyler who lavishes in his riches and luxuries and is full of so much self-confidence on “LEMONHEAD”. He’s unphased by what his haters think and revels in his much-warranted success, such as snagging a grammy last year on “LUMBERJACK” (“I took that gold bitch home niggas was big mad.”).
He refuses to be enslaved on the minimalist “MASSA”. Comparing the 18th-century era of slavery with the current day. Tyler’s insisting that those want him to be a slave to the norm instead of letting him do his own thing. With all this bravado he’s still aware of his controversial past, as we hear Tyler address his growth on “MANIFESTO”. Taking shots at the critics who tried canceling him (“I was canceled before canceled was with Twitter fingers, protestin’ outside my shows, I gave them the middle finger.”). He even gives his own take on those who had something to say about his supposed lack of support during the BLM riots last year, clearly addressing the demographic that got upset at him for not being vocal (despite him donating funds and promoting black-owned businesses.).
You’d think because he’s a little cockier he forgot his humbleness but rest assured he hasn’t. “MOMMA TALK” and “BLESSED” both express how grateful both he and his mom are for his success. He’s proud of where he’s at in life. “RISE!” is an ode to Tyler’s talent dedicated to non-believers and those that think he stole their style. (“Ah-ha nigga, you should be embarrassed. You ain’t the only nigga that should be in Paris.”)
Now a staple for Tyler, we get a tale of romance. First alluded on “CORSO” where Tyler admits to trying to steal another man’s woman, but he’s heartbroken and wants to drown his sorrows in material things. He falls madly in love with her throughout “WUSYANAME” and wants to show her what he can bring to the table (“Let’s go to Cannes and watch a couple indie movies that you never heard of.”).
However, his infatuation gets crushed on the 2-parter “SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” where the woman reveals she didn’t mean to lead him on, and Tyler thinking that she wanted him the whole time. Their relationship takes center stage on the epic “WILSHIRE” where Tyler goes into painstaking detail about how they met, the reaction from her boyfriend, and the conflicted feelings Tyler has between loving this woman and hurting her boyfriend. He wants more from this platonic relationship (“I’d rather hold your hand than have a cold handshake”.) but he knows it’s wrong by the song’s end. Tyler’s take on heartbreak feels much more mature compared to IGOR this time around. Maybe after that failed relationship, he learned to take things with a grain of salt? He still fell into a trap but he accepts defeat quickly instead of the toxic manner he showcased on his last album.
Throughout the album, Tyler pleads with fans to follow their heart, to seek their true desire if they want to be happy. For him, it’s traveling. Even though he might not see this girl again, as long as he’s got his passport, health, and his wealth, he’ll be good. As heard on the closer “SAFARI”. He’s in the prime of his life as he reminds listeners over the song’s vibrant production. It’s Tyler, it’s T, it’s Wolf, and don’t you forget.
To be honest, it’s hard for me to find anything wrong with this album. Somehow, Tyler managed to create another amazing project with CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST, his third in a row. The production is so full and multi-layered that I’m constantly finding something new after each listen, pushing his creativity to its limit. The features and songs flow seamlessly and Tyler’s lyricism has expanded yet again. It’s crazy to think that Tyler, The Creator has achieved and accomplished so much, and only just turned 30 a few months ago. If you look back 10 years ago around this time Tyler was the dark prince of rap, fast forward a decade later and he’s blossomed into an incredible musician, delivering hit after hit. A great album from one of hip-hop’s greatest prodigies.
Favourite Tracks: SIR BAUDELAIRE, CORSO, LEMONHEAD, WUSYANAME, LUMBERJACK, HOW WIND BLOWS, MASSA, MANIFESTO, SWEET/I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE, RISE, JUGGERNAUT, WILSHIRE, SAFARI. (Basically the whole album.).
Have you heard the album? What are your thoughts on this new Tyler album? Let me know in the comments!