Tyler The Creator – Goblin (2011)

This has gotta be one of my favourite rap/hip hop discoveries of the past year or so. Granted, this came out in 2011 but I’m not exactly crawling all over the modern rap scene (because as Eminem so eloquently put it – it’s a landfill). I heard enough episodes of Charlie Sloth on Radio 1 whilst at work to convince myself that hip hop was welllllll and truly dead and anything post-2000 was not even worth farting at (play that “German Whip” song ONE MORE FUCKING TIME and I might end myself). The main question about modern hip hop for me isn’t “Who is the most vomit-inducing wigger spacktard; Charlie Sloth or Tim Westwood?”, it’s more along the lines of why do hip hop fans stand for the dump trucks of shit piling into their favourite genre? To paraphrase Immortal Technique, each new song that comes out is another “candy ass nigga with a candy ass beat”.

But then again we are looking at the same type of people who idolize Lil Wayne but hate Death Grips, and that says it all really. With that mind set it’s easier to appreciate why top rappers like Tyler The Creator tend to stay in a semi-underground world; as the man himself professes, he’s selling out shows but sleeping on couches afterward. Goblin is a dark record too, and I guess that appeals to me even more, because I don’t want no “candy ass beats” in my raps, yo. All throughout Goblin Tyler struggles with (possibly fictional or otherwise) several recurring characters and alter egos, which makes the whole thing quite confusing on the first listen, but you get used to it. I’m still not entirely sure who or what Tron Cat is, but I’m digging it.

“Yonkers” is now one of my favourite rap songs ever. “Transylvania” falls dangerously close to the stylings of the horrorcore genre, despite protests from Tyler that he has nothing to do with the genre. But any song that starts it’s chorus with “I’m Dracula, bitch / Ain’t got a problem smackin’ a bitch” is a rap classic in my books. Hip hop seems to be the only genre of music (other than slam death metal) that can keep getting away with extreme misogyny, even in today’s namby pampy “you can’t say that” world.

Frank Ocean pops up a few times (most notably on “She”), which is great, because I like the guy in small doses. To me he seems like the Nate Dogg of the Odd Future crowd, adding a well needed sung chorus now and then to Tyler’s dark and puzzling world. All in all though, and I know I’ve kinda gone off topic a bit on this one, but Goblin is a brilliant rap record that I would recommend to anyone who likes rap music and who has an ounce of common sense. Kanye fucking West this is not.