Once again, Tyler the Creator has managed to stun the world with his wacky, brilliant, offensive, colorful new video for “Tamale.” The song is different than anything else you’ll hear in mainstream hip hop–but it’s still insanely catchy. He has a strong grasp of all the musical tools at his disposal, and he can play with it as he wishes. For example, around 2:49, the song randomly switches to a slow, indie-rock, depressing-pop vibe, with Tyler lying on a couch crooning. Who else does that?
The lyrical content is no less dynamic. Tyler has a unique way of being heartbreakingly honest, offensive, clever and nonsensical at the same time. A perfect example:
“Hey Dad, it’s me, um… / oh I’m Tyler I think I be your son / Sorry, I called you the wrong name, see my brain’s splitting / Dad isn’t your name, see ‘faggot’s’ a little more fitting / Mom was only 20 when you ain’t have any fucks to spend / You Nigerian fuck, now I’m stuck with this shitty facial hair / Also stuck with a beautiful home with a case of stairs / So not being there fuckin’ fire started my damn career.”
Damn. We ask again: who says that?! The video itself is equally fascinating. Tyler has really honed his signature combination of wacky humor, animated vignettes, non-sequiturs and colorful imagery. 22 seconds into the video, he cuts to a blurred out image with the text explaining that he was forced to blur it out because people aren’t “ready to have intelligent conversations before they judge.” At the same time, he’s spitting lyrics like “tell Spike Lee he’s a fucking nigger.” What?
We’re not sure. But we do know that we’re very excited to see what this kid does next. Here are a few of our favorite moments from the video:
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