Last Friday Tyler, The Creator released his new album IGOR which also represents his new alter-ego and the start of a new age for the artist.
Okonma himself had announced it in one of his tweets in which he warned us that what we were about to hear was not a rap album and that we should have had a more open, less encyclopedic approach to this new chapter.
So, we knew what not to expect from him but we didn’t know what to expect.
Despite this and because of this, when IGOR came out we took Tyler’s advice literally:
“Just go, jump into it”
So at the first, the second, the tenth listening of IGOR we jump into every track with excitement, wonder, and with the curiosity to catch the hidden features in the tracklist.
The more we listened, the more we realized how dense this album was and how much it deserved, beyond all, a very detailed analysis.
So we inevitably fell into the trap of analysis, driven, more than anything else, by the desire to find a positive and “definitive” answer to the question “What is IGOR?”.
IGOR (pronounced “EEgor” and
With this new project, Tyler has created a new identity that borrows the name from the hunchback assistant of DR. Frankenstein Junior but represents a vulnerable and heartbroken man after the end of his relationship with a man who left him to return from his ex.
His identikit comes exactly as from a scanner, in the video for “EARFQUAKE”: that man in a blonde wig, dark glasses and a tailored suit is a guest on a TV show and continues to sing “Don’t leave, It’s my fault “even if the studio is going up in flames and his face is becoming carbonized. Moreover, he himself caused the fire by carelessly throwing a cigarette over the floor.
IGOR is, at least in the first part of the record, a person who has completely lost self-control, a puppet prey to his own desperation.
In this album Tyler talks about a toxic love as the smoke that comes from a fire, but before IGOR realizes it he goes through confusion, admissions of guilt, love strategies.
There are songs like “I THINK” and “RUNNING OUT OF TIME” in which, in addition to asking how to express his feelings (also quoting “Call Me By Your Name” by Luca Guadagnino), Tyler confesses “I been runnin ‘ out of spells to make you love me “. But in love, you know, there are no spells and there is not the magic wand tool that clears all the obstacles in one click, leaving a field for you.
And murder is not a solution either (“She’s gonna be dead, I just got magic wand (Don’t leave) / We can finally be together” he sings in “NEW MAGIC WAND”).
So how do you get out of a non-relationship?
The only solution is to focus on yourself again.
Once Igor realized that the most powerful weapon of all is not a gun but himself (A BOY IS A GUN), he can look at his old relationship by placing himself at a safe distance that doesn’t burn him or hurt him anymore.
In the last tracks of the album, IGOR dialogues with his conscience and accepts the impossibility of this love and, even if he doesn’t know if he will ever get his heart back, what counts is to have reached this point: “I don’t love you anymore (You wasted my time and I know that these things are not hard)“.
What genre is IGOR?
The music that Tyler writes is a reflection of his uniqueness and of the evolution that his own image has had over the years (in this regard I recommend a very interesting article by Francesco Abazia on Esquire)
We have already said that IGOR is not a rap album and this is because Tyler is no longer simply a rapper. This may seem tautological, but it serves to make the thing more clear and simple.
Tyler is a designer, a style icon in the streetwear paradise that has launched his own brand full of tailored suits and pastel shades and, even in music, has found an artistic originality long gone from the realm of rappers. His last record, which continues what he had started with “Flower Boy”, carries on a line that, like in his brand, combines blocks of different colors: in IGOR we mainly find the R&B soft melodies combined sometimes with heavy synths and rap incursions (the album features artists like Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Slowthai, Lil Uzi Vert).
We could say that his sound is closer to that of .Paak or Frank Ocean but it is a comparison that needs too many clarifications to be fully accepted.
The first of these is that his way of making music goes beyond music and meets art. And the art makes him very free to get out of the genres, and go beyond rap, being IGOR but at the same time always being recognized as Tyler, The Creator.