Tyler, The Creator is an American rap musician who first rose to fame as a member of the hip hop collective, Odd Future. Even prior to discovering music, he was an artist. At the age of seven, he created covers for his own imaginary albumsーall complete with a track list. It wasn’t until he was fourteen that he took up his first instrument, the piano. In 2005, Tyler formed the Los Angeles-based band, Odd Futureーwith whom he performs with to this day (their one and only album, The OF Tape Vol. 2 was released in 2012). Eventually embarking on a solo career, he released a mixtape called Bastard in the winter of 2009, which he self-produced himself. A couple of years later, after securing a recording contract with the England-based XL label, he released his first studio album entitled, Goblin in 2011. Well-received by critics and fans alike, the recordーhis first to reach the chartsーquickly put Tyler’s career in the right direction as a recording artist.
Two years later, Tyler followed up with a second full-length album release, Wolf (2013)ーit was also his first record under the RED label. Although not as successful as his debut per se, it managed to reach number one on the top of the US Top Rap Albums Chart, which is a feat in itself. Since then, the artist has released a total of four studio albums, eight music videos, one mix tape and six singles; his most popular hit is that of the Gold-certified track, Yonkers from his initial album. Outside of his own jams, Tyler has also been featured in the works of other artists such as Pusha T, Game, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis and ASAP Mob. In addition to rapping, he has been invited to help in the production of numerous projects such as the albums of Mike G, The Jet Age of Tomorrow, The Internet, Frank Ocean, Mac Miller, Schoolboy Q, amongst others.
Around the same time as the release of his debut album, Tyler also made his small screen debut in the mini-series, Thurnis Haley: Golf Wang (2011). He subsequently appeared in a series of TV shows including Workaholics (2011), Regular Show in Space (2011), The Mindy Project (2013), Black Dynamite (2015), and Lucas Bros Moving Co (2014). On top of that, he has also been involved in the video shorts: Little Goblins (2011), White Nigga Attacks Henry the Llama (2011) and Fastlane (2012). Aside from his rapping and acting, Tyler also has his own clothing lineーGolf Wang, and a carnival called Camp Flog Gnaw, which runs annually in Los Angeles, California.
So what has the rapper been up to lately? What recent projects have been keeping him busy as of late? Does he have any new music material planned? What happened to Tyler, The Creator? Where is he now in 2018?
Tyler, The Creator’s Childhood and Early Life
Born on March 6, 1991 in Ladera Heights, California, Tyler, The Creator (Real Name: Tyler Gregory Okonma) is the son of an African-American and Caucasian mother and a Nigerian father, although he had never met the latter. Growing up, he spent his youth in around the areas of Hawthorne and Ladera Heights.
Known for his creative mind, he used to create covers for his own imaginary music albums when he was seven years old. Later on when he was fourteen, he took up his first instrumentーthe piano, which he self-taught to himself. An avid skateboarder as a teen, he received his first taste of fame when he was highlighted in a story featured on The Los Angeles Times.
Having always gravitated toward music, Tyler formed a hip hop band called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (abbreviated: Odd Future) in 2006 when he was fifteen years old. Based out of Los-Angeles, the group also consisted of Vyron Turner, Matt Martians, Hodgy Beats, Casey Veggies and Jasper Dolphin. Two years after their formation, they released their debut mixtape entitled, The Odd Future Tape, which was co-produced by Tyler himself. Their first official project together, the tape consisted of nineteen tracks. In hindsight, the collective ultimately garnered the rapper much attention; in fact, he is probably most well-known for being the founder of Odd Future to this day. Since 2012, the group has also been hosting an annual Camp Flog Gnaw Event in Los Angeles.
Tyler, The Creator’s Solo Music Career
After the release of a debut mixtape in the winter of 2009, Tyler dropped his first solo album entitled, Goblin on May 10, 2011. Produced almost entirely by himself, with the help of Left Brain, a future Odd Future member, it was preceded by the single, Sandwitches, which featured Hodgy Beats. The album contained fifteen alternative hip hop tracks including Tron Cat, Nightmare, Window, Analog, and Transylvania. Some of the other featured artists include Frank Ocean, Jasper Dolphin, Taco, Mike G, and Domo Genesis.
Upon its release, Goblin entered the US Billboard 200 at number fiveーan impressive debut for a relatively new music artist. By the end of the first week, the album had sold approximately 45,000 copies in the United States. In terms of reviews, Goblin garnered many positive reviews from critics; for instance, the Rolling Stone applauded its “R&B-tinged tracks” while Slant Magazine lauded it for its stunning production. A chart topper, it later reached number one on both the Billboard Independent Albums Chart and the Top R&B and Hip Hop Albums Chart; it also settled at number two on the US Top Rap Albums Chart. Outside of his native US, the album also charted in several different countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Norway, Belgium and Australia, to name a few. As of 2013, over 230,000 units of Goblin have been sold domestically.
Two years later, Tyler released his second full length album, Wolf on April 2, 2013. His first record under the RED label, its contents were noted to have been more violent in nature compared to his preceding work. Revolving around a number of different themes, it featured guest appearances from many of his fellow Odd Future bandmates including Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, and Mike G. Once again produced by Tyler almost entirely, it boasted eighteen separate tracks including the titles Parking Lot, IFHY, Pigs, Answer, Awkward, Tamale, and Lone.
After being released in stores, Wolf debuted at the third position on the US Billboard 200ーwhich was an improvement compared to his first album. Having said that, its first-week sales were slightly lower at approximately 89,000 copies; an additional 18,000 units were sold in the subsequent week. Met with generally favourable reviews, it received many positive comments from mainstream publications such as The Independent, NME, and the Los Angeles Time. Ranked as one of the best albums of 2013 by XXL Magazine, it peaked on the Top R&B and Hip Hop Albums Chart and the Top Rap Albums Chart at number two and number one respectively. Once again, the album also saw success overseas, having charted in Japan, Norway, Scotland, Canada, and Belgium. To date, Wolf ha sold 184,000 copies, making it Tyler’s second best-selling album.
From there, the artist released his third studio album entitled, Cherry Bomb on April 13, 2015. Originally hinted at back in the winter of 2014, the project featured sundry guests including Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Pharrell West, Coco O, Wanya Morris, Chaz Bundick, and many others. Inspired by the work of Stevie Wonder according to Tyler himself, Cherry Bomb consisted of thirteen songs; a few titles include: Find Your Wings, Blow My Load, The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah, Keep Da O’s and Smuckers.
Well received, Cherry Bomb entered the Billboard 200 Chart at number four and sold close to 51,000 units during the first week. Supported by two singlesーDeathcamp and Fucking Young, a Cherry Bomb Tour, which brought Tyler visiting various venues across the globe, the album received mostly positive reviews upon hitting store shelves. Given a three and a half star rating by critic David Jeffries of Allmusic, it was eventually hailed as “one of [his] greatest creation to date” by Complex Magazine. Having said that, a few less-than-ideal ratings came from sources such as Exclaim! and The A.V. Club which have it a 5/10 and a C+ respectively. Another hit for Tyler, the album later reached number one on the US Top R&B and Hip Hop Albums Chart. According to reports, Cherry Bomb has since sold 80,000 copies within the United States.
Tyler, The Creator’s Music Releases with Odd Future
With the collective that he formed, Tyler and his band released their debut studio album, The OF Tape Vol. 2 on March 20, 2012. The sequel to their initial mixtape, which was made available bad in 2008, its production was mostly handled by the artist himself and Left Brain. Both satirical and serious in nature, it featured appearances from most, if not all of their members including Taco, The Internet, Frank Ocean, Mike G, L-Boy and Domo Genesis. Noted for its “vintage-stlye”, The OF Tape Vol. 2 boasted eighteen tracks including Ya Know, Forest Green, Snow White, Real Bitch, Hcapd, We Got Bitches, and Sam (Is Dead)ーmost of which were produced by Tyler, The Creator.
Upon its release in the United States, the group’s album peaked at number five on the US Billboard 200; it went on to sell 40,000 copies within the initial week. Mostly a success, The OF Tape Vol. 2 garnered several positive reviews; for instance, The A.V. Club gave it a score of A-, praising the album for its beats, other favourable ratings also came from Entertainment Weekly, Paste, and Pitchfork Media. Still it received mixed reviews from publications such as Spin, and Consequence of Sound. A chart topper in the US, where it peaked at number one on both the US Independent and Top R&B and Hip Hop Albums charts, it also reached respectively spots on the Danish, Canadian, Australian, UK and New Zealand charts. In addition to being supported by two singles Rella, and NY (Ned Flander), and a handful of music videos, The OF Tape Vol. 2 was also promoted by a tour.
What’s Tyler, The Creator Doing Now in 2018 – Recent Updates
Although Tyler hasn’t put forth any new music material these last couple of months, he does have something else up his sleeve for his fansーit’s finally been announced that his documentary, Tyler, The Creator’s Cherry Bomb: The Documentary will be released on January 30, 2017. According to reports, the filmーwhich is limited to only 500 copiesーwill be made available via DVD, which can be ordered via the Illegal Civilization Website. In promotion for the project, Tyler will also be holding a Q&A session in Los Angeles, California on January 29th, 2017.
In other news, Tyler, The Creator recently also helped to co-produce the debut album of The Internet’s Matt Martians, which was released a few days ago on January 27, 2017.
If you’d like to stay up-to-date and connected with the American rapper and music producer, you can do so by following Tyler, The Creator on social mediaーyou can find him on Twitter at @tylerthecreator or on Instagram at @feliciathegoat. Don’t forget to also drop by his official Facebook page at @TylertheCreatorOfficial!