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Made in Shoreditch

I also contribute a weekly column to Made in Shoreditch magazine called 'Old East End/New East End', where I look at the relationship between the East End of old and new, looking at the changes and the stalwarts in landscape, residents and culture, focussing on one street or district each week. You can find it here.

Tyler, the Creator

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Hip-hop has been in a rut over the past few years. The likes of Timbaland have given us soulless, lifeless, disposable music to listen to, maybe even dance to, then forget about. The genre as a whole has needed a kick up the arse, so to speak. Enter Tyler, the Creator.

At just 17 years old Tyler is making the kinds of waves in Hip-Hop it took the likes of Jay-Z a few years to make. At just 17 years old Tyler sounds as if he's a decade older than he really is with his gruff, deep vocal delivery. At just 17 years old Tyler knows more about how to create hype through controversial lyrics than any artist I can remember of his age. Tyler handles rape, devil worship and homicide with the kind of relish that Eminem once had for the darker sides of human behaviour.


New song Yonkers, currently quite the radio hit, is a wonderfully realised song which, much like a lot of his other stuff (see French and Bastard), gives credence to keeping hip-hop music simple and letting the verbal dexterity shine through. In a similar fashion to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie, Tyler, the Creator manages to let the lyricism do the work and merely use simple music as a platform for his words.

The kind of excitement Tyler is generating is in part his own doing (he makes good songs), but also in part hip-hop's doing. By getting fat and lazy and pouring out big-budget, dancefloor and DJ obsessed crap over the last few years, hip-hop has been quite the turn off. Tyler, the Creator could be just what the genre needs at a time when the likes of Eminem's, Dr. Dre's and and 50 Cent's stars seem to be fading. Time for some new blood. Check him out.