For the release of his sixth studio album “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” (CMIYGL) in 2021, Tyler, The Creator donned the persona of Tyler Baudelaire to deliver an outstanding project that solidified one of hip-hop’s most impressive three-album runs in recent history. Not only was he able to produce an album that stacked up to the critical acclaim of “Flower Boy” and “IGOR,” Tyler stuck to his quota as an artist to constantly reinvent and innovate: a boastful, rap-heavy yet mellow album, CMIYGL is retrospectively one of 2021’s most memorable drops.
Fast forward two years, Tyler has now released “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST: The Estate Sale,” a deluxe album containing seven new songs which faithfully stick to the leisurely, introspective, and upbeat ambiance of its predecessor, while signaling another highly anticipated era of Tyler. Within the deluxe, the tracks with features surprisingly are lowlights of the deluxe album. “STUNTMAN” comes with a much-anticipated Vince Staples collaboration that falls short of expectations. While the Neptunes-like production is reminiscent of “Cherry Bomb” and may resonate with fans of Tyler’s more brash style, it leaves much to be desired.
“WHARF TALK” sees the reunion of WANG$AP, but barely. As always, A$AP Rocky adjusts nicely to his companion’s style, but the fact that his verse only consists of eight bars and lasts less than 30 seconds robs fans of a signature moment that could have stood by the likes of “Potato Salad” and “Who Dat Boy.” Akin to the sound of “IGOR,” Tyler pitches up his voice and discusses love and travel to create a lighthearted song that — out of all seven tracks — seems to fit the original sound of CMIYGL the most. While the song would indeed be perfect for a sunny stroll down a wharf, its tame lyrics provide little substance.
On paper, Vince Staples and A$AP Rocky features should theoretically uplift an already strong album, however, in reality, they contribute little to nothing and can be shelved towards the back of Bunnyhop’s discography.
Tyler, the Creator’s solo tracks, however, fully express his creativity and more than make up for the shortcomings of “The Estate Sale.” “WHAT A DAY,” for instance, features an old, repurposed Madlib beat that Tyler used to ride his bike to 10 years ago. The song feels like a gentle cruise down a jungle river with Tyler at the helm flexing his opulence, work ethic, and moral compass. Paired with a tranquil, leisurely beat, he reminds us that in midst of his career-long experimentation, Tyler has the talented ear and tongue of a bona fide rapper.
“HEAVEN TO ME” also sees Tyler recruit help from another one of his idols, Ye. Ye lays down blissful production for Tyler, who splits the track into three segments. The first sees him describe how well life has treated him, “Half a million driftin’ and the tire readin’ “Toyo,” / Prefer the alligator logo on my cotton polo.” Tyler’s love for cars and fashion is well documented; he references his fashion brand GOLF le FLEUR, and its collaboration with French sportswear brand Lacoste. With the wealth and artistic freedom he has accrued, it is believable that Tyler is living his best life.
In the second segment, Tyler expounds on his ideal future, rapping about his wife and daughter being chased by his water gun-wielding son, going to the opera in Sydney, and teaching his son how to wheelie. In the third and final part of the song, Tyler fondly reminisces on his youth, spending his last pennies riding the bus with his childhood friend Jasper, who, alongside Tyler and several others, formed Odd Future, the trailblazing hip-hop collective that boasted the likes of Frank Ocean and Earl Sweatshirt.
The journey is more important than the destination; Tyler, the Creator acknowledges the people and places which have helped him get to where he is today, in the process dropping a song that rivals even the best songs on the original album.
It seems like artists nowadays release deluxe albums not as an artistic extension of themselves, but simply as a way to squeeze every ounce of profit possible through lazily throwing loosies into the sea and seeing if their fans will take the bait. “The Estate Sale” reverses the typical deluxe album paradigm, crafting a well-designed rollout involving visuals for new and old songs alike. With the release of these music videos, producer Mr. Peculiar delivers one of his most significant and symbolic pieces of work to date.
In the “SORRY NOT SORRY” video, Tyler pays tribute to all of his previous albums and their synonymous alter-egos. This being the first time he has overtly paid homage to his prior works, the video also shows Tyler’s gratitude for his supporters and their admiration for his discography, no matter if they belong to the group of (sometimes) vexatious “Bastard” and “Goblin” diehards, or the subset of fans who discovered Tyler after his emergence into the mainstream with “Flower Boy.”
In the track, Tyler offers genuine confessions to his mother for not being present, to Odd Future for playing a part in its unfortunate dissolution, and to his past lovers for leading them on. He also mocks those he feels have wronged him, including invasive fans and sensitive people. The tonal progression from apologetic, to sarcastic, and finally to remorseless, accompanied by an intensifying chord progression, sees Tyler tell a poignant story of self-actualization that serves as a focal point of “The Estate Sale.”
In the conclusion of the “SORRY NOT SORRY” music video, a shirtless, never-seen-before persona beats up Tyler Baudelaire, his most recent alter-ego. With DJ Drama in the background pronouncing “I guarantee another era is upon us,” Tyler confirms that the CMIYGL era is over and that “The Estate Sale” is simply a preface for hopefully yet another amazing album. While there is ample speculation on what his next project will be focused on (potentially disco fusion), there is little doubt about the quality of the sound that Tyler, the Creator will put out given his impressive output on CMIYGL and the deluxe version.