Tyler the Creator’s journey through fame


Connor Squires, Staff Writer

From the derogatory, loud-mouthed misfit to a two-time grammy winning artist, Tyler Gregory Okonma has been criticized, idolized, and outright shunned for his musical pieces. He has gone through multiple genre switches and “eras” while maintaining his popularity and fame growing against all odds. 

Tyler’s generational legacy started when he dropped his first piece of music, the mixtape “B*****d” in late 2009. It featured a mix of grainy, intentionally poor-quality musical sounds and demonic lyrics encapsulating Tyler’s anti-societal opinions at the time. He did not care about what other people thought about him and decided to let his fame come naturally. 

When posed with a question about his lyrics and what was saying in them, he responded with;

“S— to piss old white people off like you,” in an interview with Odd Future.

At the time of this drop, Tyler was a central set piece in a group known as Odd Future, a band of misfits and nobodies at the time such as Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, and Frank Ocean. After the drop of “B*****d”, Tyler appeared in his friends’ music as well and started a TV show known as Loiter Squad, pushing his name out there even more.

“`I think honestly Loiter Squad is what pushed me towards Tyler’s music; it let me see who he was as a person and then I found out he had music out so I decided to give it a listen, and I guess I stuck with it since then,” sophomore Jake Ferrer said.

Tyler dropped two more albums, “Goblin” and “Wolf”, both were under the same “horrorcore” genre set by his initial release. All three were based on a fictional conversation with Tyler’s therapist, Dr. TC, and show an increase in the overall quality of his production skills and feature selections. Each one touches on the issues he dealt with throughout his life such as the absence of his father and how it continues to affect him, and]the feeling of being an outcast among his peers.

Tyler’s first few albums represented his development stage, where he learned how to play multiple instruments, how to create musical pieces, and how to develop masterpieces, all skills shown on his next studio album “Cherry Bomb”.

“Cherry Bomb,” Tyler’s 3rd studio album, is his most shifty and awkward album, criticism spurred mainly by his experimentation with new sounds and attempts to connect to his followers on a different level.

Some listeners embraced the change, openly accepting what he was trying to accomplish, while others desired the old, gritty Tyler back. The reaction to how different this album is was so prominent, that he talked about it in his next album, “Flower Boy”.

“Flower Boy” takes an entirely different turn into new genres of music. A mix of pop and rap makes this album a staple in his discography, symbolizing a new era and said to be one of the best three-album runs of modern music. 

“ ‘Flower Boy’ ” is most definitely in my top three for Tyler; it has so many different sounds and styles in it from ‘Who’s Dat Boy’ to ‘Garden Shed’; I just love it,” junior Eduardo Silva Sanchez said.

The next album, “Igor”, was fully produced and written by Tyler and embraces a complete 180 into an alternative rap album with tight synth wave beats and samples. Most fans place this album as the best he has ever put out.

“I think ‘Igor’ is a staple in modern hip-hop, showing people that new sounds are still possible and that anyone can create what they envision and still make it hit the top charts,”  sophomore Tyler Condrick said.

In 2021, Tyler dropped his last album, “CMIYGL [Call Me if You Get Lost]”, which won him his 2nd Grammy, the first being for ‘Igor’, and was the continuation of what was considered by most as one of the best album runs of our time, given his frequent genre changes and skill development.

Tyler has successfully cemented his name with the greats, sculpted his head into hip-hop rushmore, and proved everyone that doubted him earlier in his career. From a careless 9th grader uploading skating videos on Youtube not having a clue where he’d end up to a flourishing musical artist with an insane lyrical and production talent, Tyler the Creator has done what everyone thought was impossible.