“It Ain’t Hard to Tell”
Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator has had one of the biggest turn-arounds in recent rap history. Over the past fourteen years, his fans have had the honor to both hear and see him blossom from one of the biggest rebels in the rap game, into an artist that’s not only continuously proving his greatness, but has finally found his place within the rap industry. During the early stages of Tyler’s career, his lyrics were described as “homophobic”, and detrimental to the youth. There’s a lot of humor in that considering the fact that, although his lyrics were dark and twisted (on a surface level), if people were actually listening to what he was saying, maybe he would’ve gotten his flowers much earlier in his career.
In this “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” piece, we’re going to dive into the lyrics of two Tyler, the Creator tracks that were released during his days of Odd Future. The first track is entitled “Golden” from Tyler’s debut studio album “Goblin” (2011). During this song, Tyler says, “Mom is getting jealous, I see my manager more than I see her before I go on tour and it hurts.. I miss the days when this was fun but now it turned into work.” Around the time Tyler released “Goblin”, he was more relevant for his social media antics, and a year later would be known for his time on the Adult Swim show “Loiter Squad”. For Tyler, a track about how his life was going, and how he truly felt about his career at the time wasn’t completely out of left field. His audience at the time wanted to hear the out-of-pocket bars that they were so used to hearing. It was clear that even in the earliest stages of his career, Tyler wanted to break out of a certain box that he was placed into, and people weren’t ready for it. On the flipside, Tyler was beginning to take music more seriously. It wasn’t just about freestyling with his best friends anymore, the business side of the music industry was also there, and he had responsibilities as an artist that he probably wasn’t ready for yet.
The second track is a song entitled “DEATHCAMP” off of his album “Cherry Bomb (2015). During this song, Tyler says, “I’m going harder than coming out the closet to conservative Christian fathers”, this bar is a double entendre. Being that Tyler, the Creator didn’t verbally come out of the closet until his album “Flower Boy” (2017) (on a track entitled “Garden Shed”), at the time of “Cherry Bomb”, Tyler was only alluding to being bisexual. A lot of Tyler’s audience thought that when he would say things like this, that he was joking. On the other hand, Tyler, the Creator was literally going hard. This was his first project truly experimenting with his artistry and honing into his own sound. With features such as Pharrell Williams, Charlie Wilson, Kali Uchis and Frank Ocean, Tyler delivered a project in which was his first display of major developments as an artist. This was one of Tyler’s first true tests as an artist in the rap game, this one bar is a small reflection of a couple of hardships that Tyler’s had to deal with when he was an up-and-coming artist.