How does one go about dropping a major rap album in the crater left by Jay-Z’s recent master-work, 4:44? If you’re Tyler The Creator, you drop a whole other animal entirely, but one that’s similarly brief (at 46 minutes), but with a lot to unpack. Flower Boy is Tyler The Creator’s fourth album and, just to get right to it, a project that will probably mark a pivotal moment in his career, as it’s sure to have people checking for him who weren’t before.
Okay, people. I really tried to sit down and give an unbiased listen to this album. I really opened up WordPress with the intention of writing a solid, thoughtful review. However, the more One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, mixtape-freestyle-level federal-assistance bars this man Li’l Wayne dropped on the first several tracks I listened to, the more I came to an unfortunate realization. I can’t very well put more thought and effort into writing a serious album review than Li’l Wayne himself put into making a serious album that his fans (this does not include me) have been anticipating.
Wayne and his fans tout him as the best rapper alive, but how do you claim this if your music declines in quality over time and you show no maturity or evolution over the span of your career? Basically, he evolved into a rich toddler. Wayne is a 28-year-old grown man and is still to this day (on studio album #9) kickin’ Romper Room raps like there’s no tomorrow. Let’s get into a few of these anemic bars:
Really, Wayne? You’re “going in like your water broke”?
Really, Wayne? They left you out to dry like a towel rack?
Really, Wayne? You’re all about your riches so your name should be Richard?
When it Waynes, it pours?!?!?! Really, Wayne? Really, Wayne?
I can’t believe his fans are really about to be okay with this project. I mean, I guess you can get anything past people who condone their favorite rapper screaming Blood gang whilst rocking vermillion skinny jeans. I would think a prison bid would have given this man time to think a little bit and master his art a little more, but all these raps tell me is that Wayne probably had a Nintendo Entertainment System in his cell with one game: Bubble Bobble. Dwayne had two books in his cell during his entire sentence judging by these bars: Harold & The Purple Crayon and Goodnight Moon. There was no personal growth, no reflection, no Eye of the Tiger style preparation for his ability to get free and back in the studio…just a whole lot of pushups and he mighta learned origami or flipped through some Archie comics.
The sad thing about the Carter 4 is that the only things that make the album listenable or noteworthy have nothing to do with Wayne himself. Every rapper featured on the album (yes, even Aubrey Graham) make an example out of him on each track. Andre 3000 waltzed into the studio in a bow tie and gaberdine slacks and made a grandson out of you on your own joint; how’s that feel? Tech N9ne probably rocked a Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat outfit to the studio and embarassed you, Dwayne. I can’t recall any album in recent memory where the best tracks are the interlude and outro and I definitely can’t remember any previous album from a solo artist where the best tracks don’t even feature that artist. On top of all this, the production is pretty damn good. Too bad Wayne didn’t do anything but smear some primary colors on these canvases.
On a sidenote, Dwayne…get ya man Juelz and do that collaboration album y’all were talkin’ about 16 years ago or some such shit. I don’t think anybody wanna see him doubting himself like this…