“IGOR” Review


Bismah Syed

IGOR is a 12-track masterpiece that explores an honest story of a relationship, through the lens of the character “Igor”.

“This is not Bastard. This is not Goblin. This is not Wolf. This is not Cherry Bomb. This is not Flower Boy. This is Igor.” -Tyler, The Creator, 10 days before releasing his highly anticipated studio album, “IGOR.”

In this short note, posted on all of Tyler, The Creator’s social media platforms, he established that the version of himself that is represented in “IGOR” isn’t the same explosive, Odd Future leader that many had come to know from his early career. For those of you who have never heard of him, he’s the man who ate a cockroach in a music video in 2011. He was also banned from Great Britain for half a decade for homophobic and misogynistic lyrics in his songs. Tyler’s influence in pop culture doesn’t stop there. He has created and starred in two TV shows– Loiter Squad (a sketch comedy show) and Nuts + Bolts (a documentary show).

From the beginning of his career in 2009, Tyler Okonma (Tyler, The Creator) created music that starts a conversation while undertaking a vibrant and different character. In “IGOR,” Tyler tells the story of falling in and out of love while exploring the spectrum of his own sexuality. I know, it may not seem like I am talking about the same person who created such controversy, but, the impact of Tyler’s most recent album stems from the importance that his character development plays in the story being told. 

IGOR is a 12-track masterpiece that explores an honest story of a relationship, from beginning to end, through the lens of his character “Igor.” Igor falls madly in love, experiences the happiness and comfort of his lover and then undergoes heartbreak. Each song plays a significant role in the turn of events, either advancing the story or playing out the emotions that his character experiences. This can be seen in the more lyric-heavy songs (“I THINK”).

Track 2, “EARFQUAKE,” is a lighthearted song featuring Playboi Carti and the most popular song off the album. Peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, it is arguably one of the top songs of the summer, according to Esquire. This track shows the character “Igor” develop feelings for someone in the honeymoon phase where the lovers are inseparable (they make each other’s earth quake, if you will). It emcompasses the versatility of this album, from its vivid and realistic storytelling to the perfect production of each line and feature. 

Track 7, “A BOY IS A GUN,” centers around another concept Tyler explored in his two most recent studio albums (“Flower Boy” and “IGOR”), his sexuality. Tyler is in his most vulnerable state in this song. By illustrating his inner fears regarding opening up to another person and his hatred towards the concept of love, Tyler allows the listener to understand his own struggles with becoming comfortable in his personal relationships.

The short, sweet and honest “PUPPET” is one of my favorites musically. The mix of singing, Tyler’s signature sound of rapping and the unexpected feature from Kanye West showcase the vibe for this song perfectly. The lines “I’m your puppet/You control me” are ones that early fans of Tyler, The Creator would be shocked to hear come from the explosive and offensive rapper. His maturity is presented most directly in this track, exhibiting the truth of how this love story has made him weaker. Being able to write about personal experiences of heartbreak is a difficult task, and Tyler doesn’t shy away from diving right in.

Lastly, a track that wraps up the love story and begins the stage of moving on (my favorite song from the album), “GONE, GONE/THANK YOU.” Lyrically, “GONE, GONE/THANK YOU” can only be described as a masterpiece. In the song, Tyler raps “You never lived in your truth, I’m just happy I lived in it/ But I finally found peace, so peace,” a two-liner that portrays the pain of love paired with closure. This song demonstrated how much he has grown as an artist throughout his career—and this presentation of growth is part of what makes “IGOR” an incredible album.

“IGOR” is noteworthy for its sound. Produced entirely by Tyler, The Creator himself, the album as a whole flows with a constant mood and pitch in each track. Artists such as Lil Uzi Vert, Solange, A$AP Rocky and more are auto-tuned in a way to go along with the lighthearted and love-oriented tone that Tyler created for this album. In some cases, the features are almost unrecognizable. This aspect makes Tyler, The Creator’s “IGOR” the best album of the summer (no matter how much DJ Khaled argues and whines). The details that go into the production of each track to continue the certain musical aesthetic shows the true artistry that went into this album.

It is also a well-thought-out concept album, in which an alter ego of Tyler experiences a string of events perfectly played out in every second of every song. Its creativity and effect is from more than just the music itself– it’s from the lyricism and the masterful storytelling that played out in only 40 minutes. On a scale that takes into account both the lyricism, creativity of storytelling and the actual sound of this album, I give “IGOR” a 9/10.