Tyler The Creator Goblin

We got “Yonkers,” “Analog,” and “Tron Cat,” before Tyler, The Creator’s XL debut Goblin leaked last week. It’ll be out properly tomorrow. Now that you’ve had the weekend to listen, (and Jon Caramanica’s entertaining profile in the New York Times and The Guardian’s cover story to read), it’s time to talk about it. On first listen, what makes it worth hearing is how it takes elements of other artists to create something that sounds outsider and unfamiliar. You can hear Neptunes’ space, Kanye West’s desire to be loved over being liked, singer/songwriter overshare, gauzy, indie-pop-like chord progressions and twinkles. Out of all the memorable lines on the record, I’m most touched by “… her name is my password,” on “Her.” But “I’m in love with you… cunt,” is touching too. What do you guys think? Was Goblin worth the wait and the hype?

Goblin is out tomorrow via XL.

Comments (77)
  1. It sounds like a 20 year old kid with alot of hype around him. He’ll definitely put out really great records later in his career. This one seemed a little rushed to get into the ears of people who didn’t know why they liked him so much.

  2. I enjoyed it.

  3. I’m a few listens in at this point and you definitely got the outsider-y sound right. I’m glad Tyler didn’t sacrifice that aspect of his music even as he’s gotten a bigger audience. This may sound weird, but this feels sort of like a hip-hop Pinkerton with lyrics that are creepy, at times, uncomfortable, and extremely confessional, coming from someone who’s clearly not sure what to think of the fame he’s found and who’s also clearly not sure how to interact with women. “Transylvania” still is second place in my book of songs with baby sounds in the the beat (“Are You that Somebody” will always top that list). My favorite lyric at this point:
    “N****s say free Earl without even knowing him/They miss a new album, I miss my only friend”

  4. I think it was a good follow-up to Bastard, especially with the opener.

  5. It sounds great, every song has a number of memorable/quotable (around the right company, at least) lines, and you get both sides of Tyler (the fictional, misogynistic rapist and the depression-riddled kid who misses his friend and never had a real father) while also getting a new side (a romantic Tyler, a side that I think fits in perfectly with his persona … cunt). There’s really not much more needed from this. It’s really, really good, and I’ve had a hard time listening to anything else. Even though he lacks the pure rapping ability of someone like Earl or possibly even Hodgy, there’s something that’s extremely compelling about what Tyler’s done here, and really with what he’s always done. Once you’ve submitted yourself to the gang of wolves, it’s hard to turn away. So, yeah, one of the best albums I’ve heard in a while, and I’ve already racked up some 100 listens to it.

    Also, any word on when we’ll get a Jasper and Taco album?

  6. Steak Sauce from the bonus tracks to Goblin has got to be one of the best tracks from this. “and Obama wanted change so I threw a couple f*ckin pennies at him”.

  7. I’m pretty torn on the album. Lyrically there are some great moments, but overall I’m disappointed. Before when Tyler would say something ridiculous or offensive he would just say it. Now I feel like every time he s says something horrible he either makes sure everyone knows it’s a joke or he feels obligated to make a disclaimer.

    • I’ve seen a lot of comments like this, but I don’t really get them? Tyler’s music has never been about shock value just for the sake of shock value; it’s always been about being yourself and letting out what you think up or whatever the fuck, which can result in something that is altogether shocking. This is what separates him from something like the ICP (along with a bunch of talent), and it makes sense that on Odd Future’s biggest album yet he’d have to address this, albeit in a winking fashion (FUCK BILL O’REILLY).

      • I agree that his music is about being yourself, but my problem is that when he apologizes or makes disclaimers about his music it takes away from who he is as an artist. Instead of saying that it’s a joke, he should just say what he wants and not make excuses/back away from what he said.

        • Maybe it’s just me and I haven’t noticed it or latched onto it, but outside of the random disclaimer at the start of “Radicals” (which is really, really funny) and the references to critics calling his music horrorcore, what are the big moments that take away from what he’s saying? Transylvania and Tron Cat are both full of horrible, awful imagery and rhymes without any words of remorse.

      • “Our whole lives we have been the scrubs, so we might as well rep that in some way! Let’s rap about the shit that makes us wanna become serial killers, just to let it all out!” He describes the epiphany’s arrival like a meteor, BOOM! “Let’s put our biggest fears and angers on tape!” He continues, “Let’s paint our faces like clowns, and be the Insane Clown Posse: clowns who murder and kill people who deserve to be murdered and killed!”

      • Being a Lette..(short for Juggalette) isn’t about how much merchandise you have or knowing every little detail about ICP. It’s about being yourself- about seeing the world differently from normal society and not giving a fuck where your opinion fits in.
        (from http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lette)

      • For all the kids you see who are into it and are wearing the same clothes or face-paint or whatever, that’s not all being a Juggalo is,” he told me. “It’s actually more about having a certain mindset, and understanding who you really are without getting bogged down with what the rest of the world feels.

      • “being a Juggalo is more than just some “out of place familly”, it’s about being yourself, and not givin a shit about what others think or say.”
        (from http://www.musicmademe.com/artist/619)

        • Being a Juggalo is more than just some “out of place family”, it’s about being stupid as fuck and not givin a shit about your dignity!

          …just sayin’

  8. Bastard is a better album.

    Bastard Intro Track > GOBLIN

    GOBLIN has some killer (Yonkers, She, Tron Cat, Sandwitches) and some filler.

    Cannot wait for that MellowHype Remaster to come out.

  9. Don’t have a solid opinion of the album yet, but it’s impossible not to notice the similarities between this album and The Slim Shady LP.

  10. I responded to that “her name is my password” line as well. As a whole, the record is really flawed, but I think that’s the point; I feel like it’s a record for fans of Tyler as a person (Tyler himself included) as the songs are all VERY introspective and shit. Analog is probably my favorite song, and I think Golden is powerful as hell. Also, Bitch Suck Dick is great.

  11. The entire album is great, but a few of the tracks are *unbelievable* – Disturbing, introspective, inventive, vulgar. I’m more than pleased.

  12. It’s good. Not ‘My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy’ good or “Sir Luscious Leftfoot’ good, but its still way better than most of the stuff established artists have been putting out recently. A lot of rappers burn out early, but I think Tyler and the rest of OFWGKTA will only get better. I also think Tyler is saving his best beats for when Earl is back, rightfully so.

  13. I just want Earl to get back on the mic…

  14. I thought it was amazing. Never has he been so personal and open in his music. I loved the old stuff but often found some of the songs hard to stomach. I like that he toned back on the rape and murder talk and focused more on delving into his on psyche. Some of the greatest albums are often the most personal ones, and Goblin is no exception. I think it has a very strong chance at being the best album of 2011

  15. i enjoy the record a lot, it def took a lot of weekend listening for most of it to sink in… love the 2nd halfs of Radicals and Fish where it morphs into another entirely on both

    one opinion that was only strengthened with this record: frank ocean is golden

  16. Three things:

    1) The Leak:
    Considering that everyone is chiming in on an album that has yet to be released yet in America, I find it fascinating that we are able to even have this discussion without the cosigns of a Pitchfork BNM or accolades from The Source or XXL. With the exception of XL Record execs and the Golf Wang members, no one — not NME, not NYT, not Pitchfork, no one — had access to Goblin until it leaked last Wednesday. Much like The King Of Limbs’ release, everyone has an equal voice in analyzing and critiquing the album. However, TKOL was officially released by the band a day early, whereas OF fans had to scramble around for the past month, waiting for it to leak. Eventually it did, and I’ve pinpointed the exact source of the worldwide leak to, of all places, a Radiohead fansite: http://goo.gl/Vn1HH

    2) The critical circle-jerk:
    It’s an exciting album by a fascinating new artist. Of course I want to talk about it, so rather than roll your eyes and tweet about how there’s *another article* about justifying their rape lyrics or Tyler’s youth (most guilty parties: Awl, Thought Catalog), how about you back up your snark with some analysis? I admit the nature of music blogs make artists so disposable that who knows how long Odd Future will stay relevant. After all, the Beastie Boys were the rage just a week ago, and Goblin’s leak has completely blown them off the map. By tomorrow, I question if we will be willing to discuss ANOTHER Goblin review when the most relevant news will be Arcade Fire’s North American tour dates. However, the reason why OF is so interesting to me is not only because they release great music, but also because the mediums of Twitter, Youtube, and Tumblr permit us to watch as they become reality stars. Some watch Jersey Shore. Others tune into the fucktyler show.

    3) The album:
    Remember when the “Yonkers” video came out everyone started to flip out and the song/video were just perfect and OF’s hype really began to take off? But then the album version came out and “Yonkers” has that wonky third verse about Pitchfork faggots and Tyler’s conscience bunny hopping off his shoulder and it kind of spoils the song’s flow? “Yonkers” is Goblin in a microcosm. Tyler is incredibly talented, and Goblin is so full of choice moments (I’m particularly fond of “Goblin” and “Her,” and “She” is growing on me. “Fish” and “Analog” are pretty bad though), but Tyler needs to learn that brevity is a virtue. Do you really need many extended therapist soliloquies? I appreciate his unedited id to a certain degree, but it’s tough to listen to 74 minutes of a manchild rap about raping Taylor Swift.

    In short, Goblin’s major flaw is the reason why Tyler is so praised: he doesn’t know how to shut the fuck up. My full review is here: http://goo.gl/Vn1HH

  17. Kanye and Big Boi’s music is not powerful enough to move a generation to action. “MBDTF” and “Sir Lucious” are great records, but, how many teenagers and twenty-somethings can relate to that music? Those albums were multi-millionaires rapping about being rich and/or a “motherf&%$in’ monster.” The music Odd Future is dropping, and the way its being released (for free through social media outlets like tumblr) makes it accessible, not only in terms of cost, but subject matter as well. Most people my age, 18-22, don’t know what its like to be a Pimp on top of the world…but we know what its like to be troubled, to come from a broken home, to be unsure of what the future holds, and to have an unhealthy psyche. The revolution was televised on Jimmy Fallon a few months ago, now the leader of the Golf Wang Hooligans is releasing his manifesto all over the world…get ready, because the Wolf Gang has arrived…The devil doesn’t wear Prada, he obviously wears a f#$%in’ white tee…OFWGKTA.

    • Ever heard of the concept of escapism? People like listening to Kanye rap about being on top of Mt. Olympus or having a big ass pharoah chain for the same reason they like hearing Tyler rap about chopping up bitches- they’re both overexaggerations in different ways. I love that OF released all of their music (up until this point) for free, but thats also the easiest way to get yourself noticed. What I’m trying to say is that you don’t always have to personally relate to a song to enjoy it, sometimes THE MUSIC is great enough to get you caught up.

    • OFWGKTA are good, definitely, but if you seriously expect some sort of ‘revolution’ to be spurred on by them..well, don’t hold your breath.

  18. Favorite lyric so far

  19. I enjoyed the album overall but not in the way that I did with Bastard. Albeit, he claims that he makes music for himself, there is no denying the pressure he must have felt prior to the release of this album, and it has showed. Bastard was made in a carefree environment. He didn’t have anything to prove because he was mostly unknown. I feel like he tried to make the same album again and packed it with as much of the crazy immature swag antics as possible because he feels like that’s what people want to hear, even though he’d disagree that he made this album for anyone other than himself. It’s inconsistent and a lot of the ideas could be great but eventually end up failing to deliver. Definitely some GREAT tracks on this thing though. Yonkers, Nightmare, Tron Cat, Her, Window and Sandwitches are among my favorites. Analog is probably one of the better beats on the album but lyrically, the song is cringeworthy with corniness. I liked that he brought back the therapy session motif and attempted to make a story out of it but the opener/closer on this album aren’t NEARLY as good as bastard/inglorious on bastard.

  20. This message board feels straight outta hipster runoff. Yes, the album is pretty dope, but one can only rap about misogyny so much until it gets boring. Hodgy is way sicker in that sense. The beats are original. Lyrics are “VERY introspective and shit” but the content still lacks. Tyler’s lyrics are somewhat cathartic, definitely shocking, but not for shock’s sake. I’m not sure how people think they can connect to Tyler, unless you admit you are all rapist, which even Tyler isn’t. He has created a persona which isn’t meant to be connected to. That is why he is so shocking, so new. I guess Eminem kind of did it already though, but now he’s a sellout bitch. Anyways, I’ll definitely be looking forward to some shows.


  21. It needed to be better than it was. Very strong tracks in “Yonkers” (the one everyone can agree on) and “Her,” with “Analog,” “She” (welcome Frank Ocean!), and “Sandwitches” up there, but I think he needs to move on from the conceit of the guidance counselor. (Happily, if the last track is any indication, he is for his next album.) The current of disturbing self-indulgence I think he should tone down (“Window” is a pretty unsettling track). And he needs to just make the music: no need to address the uproar as much as he does. That’s why the stronger tracks are stronger and the weaker tracks weaker. Also: “Tina” > “Bitch Suck Dick.” I’m not sure if BASTARD is entirely better, but this record is a disappointment, as it was poised to be a step up and he only met that challenge a little bit.

  22. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  23. It’s a good record, and I believe he has it in him to make a great record, and for where he is now in his career I think it’s fair to say he has plenty of time to reach greatness. I feel that Syd Tha Kid’s mixes are what let’s the album down, in all honesty, because some of the songs lack the power they could’ve packed if mixed better.

  24. Creepy lyrics, memorable “quotables”. Not a great album, not worth the hype but I think it’s the beginning of a great hip-hop career

    • Well said. I love Yonkers, and there are golden little nuggets of wit dispersed throughout the album, but overall it’s nothing incredible. I admire the honestly and openness, but I can’t really sit through, what, 15 dark bummer tracks.

  25. Anyone else excited for the next Jonas Brothers album?

    I found the album to be slightly above average for a newcomer, and shows a lot of promise for his future releases. I also don’t listen to much rap so I’m surprised I enjoyed this so much.

  26. It’s funny how far we’ve come from “Your teacher preaches class like you’re some kind of jerk” to “Kill People / Burn Shit / Fuck School.”

  27. I only wish the album sounded as good as the hype-train built it up to be. I mean the mood and intensity hear is uncommon and brilliant, that’s for sure, but as far as listenability, it’s sub-par, in my opinion. Better beats and even more unabashed lyrics/style would suit Tyler’s next release just fine. Get some producers behind this guy and watch out!

  28. Too much hype, not enough swag.

  29. Bastard was better

  30. This album did not meet my expectations, at all. Nightmare, Window, and Her are sick. I feel like the intro was a huge rip off of Eminem.

    With that said, I’m bumping this shit everyday. I love the style that these guys have, but if they don’t step their game up soon, their gone fizzle out. They caught the buzz they need, but this album didn’t show hard work.

    “Niggas saying “Free Earl” without even knowin’ him
    See, they’re missing the new album, I’m missing my only friend”

    -that line stole the album

  31. “Our whole lives we have been the scrubs, so we might as well rep that in some way! Let’s rap about the shit that makes us wanna become serial killers, just to let it all out!” He describes the epiphany’s arrival like a meteor, BOOM! “Let’s put our biggest fears and angers on tape!” He continues, “Let’s paint our faces like clowns, and be the Insane Clown Posse: clowns who murder and kill people who deserve to be murdered and killed!”

  32. hey tyler. i remember my first beer to….

  33. Damn I love it when an artist delivers on the hype. Fuck the trolls, this is what hip-hop, hell music/art, can be when done right. Visceral, raw, provokes something in the listener. Maybe you just have to have the right mind set for this album, but I believe this is going to be a high water mark for music in 2011. Tyler is another album from being undeniable. Golf Wang

  34. Frank Ocean has such a smooth voice, why isn’t his songs on the radio again?

  35. i’m a white, 18 year old hipster living in the suburbs and my friends and I love blasting Odd future out of our nice cars that mommy and daddy bought, oh and don’t forgot blasting it out of my mac book. 10/10

  36. Most of the beats are boring and sound like they were created in two minutes by people that just bought their first synth, the lyrics are fun at first but then grow tiresome being that they’re mostly shallow shock value bullshit, and most of the personalities in the group are annoying.
    14 minutes and counting for the OFWGKTA hype machine…

  37. yeah i guess no one heard “Exmilitary” by Death Grips. if you want to hear something fucked, then listen to that.

    This album sucks but there are a few exceptions. tron cat and radical

    stop justifying your pointless music (he makes that a “point” throughout the album) and just fucking do it.

  38. It’s no “Return of 4Eva” but it’s still a cohesive album with some really great highs. “Nightmare” into “Tron Cat” is my favorite part at the moment.

    “Au79″ is a dope ass instrumental, and as far as random instrumentals in a hip-hop album, I’d rank it up high coming close to the likes of “Sickfit” (close, but no cigar)

    Still trying to find the non-deluxe copy, the Buffalo Bill cover is wayyyyyyyyy better than Tyler’s face.

  39. fucking great cd, straight beach house all over ‘Her’

  40. some of his quotes to the media sound so self deluded, ignorant, inane and slow witted, that they should be bronzed. let his 15 minutes begin…

  41. Analog, Yonkers, Nightmare, Sandwitches and Tron Cat are all great.
    “She” could be the best song on the album with different production.
    Her is definitely the best of the “introspective/listen by yourself” tracks, and probably the only good one.
    Goblin and Golden are maaaajor dissapointments compared to Bastard and Inglorious.
    Everything else falls somewhere in between average and annoying.
    Overall the great songs redeem the album as a whole, but I won’t be listening to it front to back very often.
    I will say that if Tyler released Goblin in 09 instead of Bastard, he’d be just as hyped as he is now.

  42. Stereogum comments make me want to kill people and burn shit……I’m gonna write a rap(e) song about y’all

  43. I wouldn’t say the album as a whole is amazing, but it’s definitely better than a lot of the hip hop/rap that’s coming out, minus MBDTF, and Daddy Fat Sax of course. Like some previous comments say, there are some amazing songs on here, and some pretty average and or mediocre tracks. I’m excited to see what the (odd)future has in store for this kid. He’s got a lot of potential, cause when he makes a great song, it’s fucking great.

    • There’s been plenty of good hip hop coming out. CunninLynguists, Pharoahe Monch & Elzhi all put out amazing projects this year. Covert Coup by Curren$y and Alchemist was pretty good too, but not on the same level imo. It goes like this:

      1. CunninLynguists – Oneirology
      2. Elzhi – Elmatic
      3. Pharoahe Monch – We Are Renegades
      4. Tyler, the Creator – Goblin

  44. I haven’t heard this album but I’m pretty sure it’s terrible.

  45. I luvz it. I just luvz it.

    Isn’t it crazy how many young artists there are who have a totally focused sound and persona? It’s so easy to forget that Tyler is only 20. Fucking 20!

  46. the rapey/aggressive/stalker tracks like yonkers/swtchs/troncat/she/her are the best on this cd-

    i cant stand the tracks about the the group itself or like his success- seems to early for tracks like those-

    the therapist voice is wayyyyy overdone as well as the way long hypey gaps in radicals- takes away from the intensity of that track and the album as a whole-

    all that said- odd futures style- subject matter- and live vibe are still ultra sick and i see the releases getting better with time.

  47. Someone showed me one of his music videos on Cinco De Mayo, and I really enjoyed it. I’ll try and get a hold of this album to give it a listen. I’m a huge fan of QUALITY Hip-Hop.

  48. Bastard had a better opening track. The piano chords just set the mood from the beginning.

    Goblin is a grower in my opinion because thats the same way it was with Bastard.

  49. I don’t know what you guys are talking about when you’re saying that Goblin didn’t live up to all the hype. I thought this album was fucking amazing, it’s just another way to prove that Tyler is extremely lyrically gifted. Tron Cat is what I wake up to every morning. ofwgkta

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