In the story of Frankenstein, Igor is the Doctor’s wacky, disfigured, outcast of an assistant. It’s how Tyler, the Creator has viewed himself his entire life, as his past is full of songs calling himself “ugly,” eating roaches on “Yonkers,” and branding himself as a delinquent who made provocative, and violent, shock music.
On his previous record, Flower Boy, Tyler threw aside his monstrous personas of Bastard, Goblin, and Wolf, and “bloomed,” with a beautiful record serving as his grand coming out moment. He was dealing with a lot when he was making music with Odd Future (the lack of a relationship with his father, his troubled youth trying to fit in, and his apparent internalized homophobia), but with Flower Boy he finally sounded happy. He sounded free. IGOR is a combination of the two, as Tyler goes through the ups and downs of a relationship while also confronting his greatest fears and weaknesses.
Arguably his most cinematic release yet, there’s a clear and easy to understand narrative on IGOR, with Tyler, the Creator admitting his faults and apologizing to a significant other in hopes of winning them back and telling them that he loves them, or rather, every metaphor it resembles.
Throughout IGOR, Tyler not only raps the least out of any of his records, but even appears the least often, opening up space for his returning cast of Kali Uchis, Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, Kanye West, and even newcomers such as Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi Vert. For the majority of IGOR, Tyler is actually singing, and repeated phrases at that (though that’s nothing new even when it comes to Tyler’s rapping style), but it’s apt, considering the themes of love and heartbreak, for us to hear Tyler croon more than spit.
That’s not to say that IGOR is without verses however, as the relationship going awry turns Tyler back towards his violent tendencies—threatening to murder the other’s ex-girlfriend on “New Magic Wand,” and comparing the feeling of being broken up with to that of being “shot down” by a gun on “A Boy Is a Gun.”
Tyler views himself as Igor, the wacky outcast, but he may be more akin to Frankenstein, the monster himself. Although his anger and confusion are still within him deep down, remaining a part of what makes Tyler, Tyler, on IGOR he’s also able to experience love and loss. As much as he might think he’s the monster, he’s also human.
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