MF Doom

20 Definitive Blerd Rap Albums

18. Goblin by Tyler the Creator (2011)


The second decade of hip-hop of the new millennium was fairly predictable and safe, but something weird, dark, abrasive, and unapologetically cynical was brewing on the West Coast – Odd Future, a perfect collective for a new horizon who dropped their first mixtapes via Tumblr. None in the collective of MC’s, producers, and singers were more compelling and controversial than Tyler the Creator. “Goblin,” his debut solo album arrived three years after Odd Future’s initial mixtapes, cementing him as the group’s creative tour de force. Unburdened by stardom, acceptance, or censorship, Tyler’s flows veered from nihilistic and self-deprecating to witty and whacky. Songs like “Yonkers,” “She” featuring Frank Ocean, and “Radicals” revealed the psyche of a generation whose adolescence was interrupted by the 2008 financial crisis and shaped by the rise of social media.

While a casual listen to the lyrical content is rife with pearl-clutching moments for a PC audience, it’s best to remember that this an honest, unfiltered portrait of a 20 year old artist still very early in his development. Tyler, the smack-talking nerd with a creative flair for the grotesque and cartoonish, was even banned from entering the United Kingdom and Australia because of his lyrical content. Now, approaching 30, Tyler holds a different significance not only for his own personal transformation but also his musical evolution. Before there was Igor, there was Goblin…two sides of the same monster. — Jon Carlos Evans

Curator of the BlerdUp Podcast // Blerds out about: Comic Book Movies, Video Games, Hip-Hop, and Politics

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