The Evolution of Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator’s journey through the music industry is a dynamic narrative of evolution and innovation, marked by his albums that have progressively redefined genre boundaries and carved a unique space for the artist in the hip-hop landscape. Since the release of his debut studio album, Tyler’s discography has not only expanded in quantity but also in depth and diversity, showcasing his growth both as a musician and a storyteller. The significance of understanding the order of Tyler The Creator albums lies in tracing the thematic and stylistic development of his work, which reveals the complex layers of his artistry and the story behind Tyler The Creator albums.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive look at all Tyler The Creator albums in order, from his raw and controversial inception with “Goblin” in 2011, through the artistic reinvention with “Flower Boy” in 2017, to the critically acclaimed story of Igor in 2019. By examining the evolution of Tyler’s music, we can uncover how each album builds upon the last, illustrating not only the order of Tyler The Creator albums but also how Tyler The Creator albums are connected, both narratively and musically. This exploration into Tyler’s discography attempts to explain the storylines, themes, and stylistic shifts within his work, offering insights into the Tyler The Creator albums storyline and how the Tyler The Creator albums explained have become milestones in the artist’s career and the wider music industry.

Goblin (2011)

Introduction to Tyler, The Creator’s Debut Studio Album

Goblin, released on May 10, 2011, by XL Recordings, marks Tyler, The Creator’s debut studio album. This album continues Tyler’s dialogues with his fictional therapist Dr. TC, first introduced in his 2009 mixtape, Bastard. Tyler produced most of the album’s songs himself, with a contribution from fellow Odd Future member Left Brain. Goblin features guest appearances from various Odd Future members including Frank Ocean, Hodgy Beats, Jasper Dolphin, Taco, Domo Genesis, Mike G, and Syd.

Notable Tracks and Achievements

Goblin was supported by three singles: “Sandwitches,” “Yonkers,” and “She”. The single “Yonkers” is particularly noted for generating significant internet and industry buzz, pivotal in elevating Odd Future’s profile at the time of the album’s release. Upon its release, Goblin debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 45,000 copies in the United States. By April 2013, the album had sold 230,000 copies in the United States and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in January 2018.

Impact and Reception

The album Goblin received generally positive reviews, with a Metacritic average score of 72 based on 37 reviews. Critics praised the album for its innovative production and provocative content. Jon Dolan from Rolling Stone highlighted the album’s “lush, left-field R&B-tinged tracks” alongside its “early-Eminem evil” lyrics. David Jeffries of AllMusic noted that Tyler’s production contrasts his “disgusting rhymes and gruff voice with subdued, sometimes serene beats”. However, the album also faced criticism for its controversial lyrics, which include themes of violence, misogyny, and homophobia. Despite the divisive content, Goblin is seen as a significant release, with Huw Jones of Slant Magazine calling it a potential “masterpiece for those capable of stomaching it”.

Tyler himself has expressed mixed feelings about the album, stating in a 2018 GQ interview that he considers Goblin “horrible” and would only keep seven tracks if he had to choose. This self-critique reflects Tyler’s evolving perspective on his earlier work as he continues to grow and experiment as an artist.

Wolf (2013)

Exploration of New Themes and Musical Evolution

“Wolf” represents a pivotal moment in Tyler, The Creator’s career, showcasing a significant shift from the shock-value lyrics of his earlier albums to more mature themes and sophisticated musical compositions. This album diverges notably from the raw, confrontational style of “Bastard” and “Goblin,” marking Tyler’s evolution towards a broader artistic vision. The opening track sets a new tone with its intricate piano and brass arrangements, indicating Tyler’s growth as a composer and producer. Songs like “Answer” and “Lone” reflect a deeper introspection, with Tyler discussing personal topics such as his absent father and the loss of his grandmother, supported by rich musical backdrops that enhance the emotional weight of the lyrics.

Key Collaborations and Standout Tracks

“Wolf” features a mix of collaborations that underscore Tyler’s expanding musical range. The track “Treehome95” includes contributions from Erykah Badu and Coco O, blending smooth jazz elements with Tyler’s unique style. Another significant track, “Slater,” features Frank Ocean and showcases a creative narrative centered around Tyler’s bicycle, highlighting his quirky storytelling ability. The song “IFHY” is a notable collaboration with Pharrell Williams, offering a blend of Neptunes-inspired synths and a catchy falsetto chorus that stands out as one of Tyler’s best compositions at the time.

Critical and Fan Reception

The album “Wolf” received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised Tyler’s growth as a musician and the album’s cohesive production. Metacritic assigned it an average score of 70, reflecting a favorable critical consensus. Critics noted the album’s complex narrative involving characters like Wolf, Sam, and Salem, and appreciated the more nuanced lyrical content. Despite some criticism for its lingering provocative content, the album was seen as a significant step forward in Tyler’s career, with many acknowledging his potential to evolve further as an artist.

Cherry Bomb (2015)

Divergence into Experimental Sounds

“Cherry Bomb,” released in 2015, marked a significant departure from Tyler, The Creator’s earlier works, embracing a blend of jazz, rock, and experimental music. This album was Tyler’s most ambitious project at the time, balancing rough, abrasive sounds with softer, rhythmic tones. The title track “Cherry Bomb” exemplifies this with its chaotic, distorted mix that some listeners found challenging. Tracks like “Deathcamp” and “Buffalo” showcased a hard-hitting guitar riff and a blend of rock and rap, heavily inspired by the aggressive production styles of the 2000s.

Significant Features and Guest Artists

Tyler’s growth as a producer is evident in “Cherry Bomb” through his collaborations with a range of influential artists. The album features guest appearances from music legends like Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Charlie Wilson, as well as contributions from contemporary artists such as Schoolboy Q, Syd, and newcomer Kali Uchis. These collaborations brought a diverse range of sounds to the album, from the funky and soulful “FIND YOUR WINGS” to the grimy rap in “SMUCKERS”.

Reception and Legacy

Despite its mixed reception, “Cherry Bomb” is considered a pivotal album in Tyler’s career. Critics praised the album for its bold experimentation and departure from previous themes. It received an average score of 69 on Metacritic, reflecting a generally positive critical consensus. The album’s experimental nature was both its most praised and criticized aspect, with tracks like “FIND YOUR WINGS” receiving acclaim for their lush, jazzy production, while others were noted for their overwhelming and distorted instrumentals. “Cherry Bomb” ultimately showcased Tyler’s willingness to risk his established style for creative exploration and set the stage for his future projects, solidifying his evolution as an artist.

Flower Boy (2017)

“Flower Boy,” released on July 21, 2017, by Columbia Records, represents a significant development in Tyler, The Creator’s musical and personal journey. This album is celebrated for its introspective and vulnerable lyrics, which delve into themes of identity, growth, and acceptance, marking a departure from his previous works.

Themes of Identity and Growth

“Flower Boy” explores profound themes of loneliness, vulnerability, and the quest for authenticity. Tracks like “Where This Flower Blooms” feature lyrics that reflect on Tyler’s past and his evolution beyond the material success, suggesting a deeper introspection about his identity and the societal expectations of masculinity. The song “Garden Shed” is particularly notable for its metaphorical lyrics that many interpret as Tyler discussing his sexuality and personal struggles with self-acceptance. This track, along with others like “I Ain’t Got Time!” where Tyler mentions, “I’ve been kissing white boys since 2004,” addresses his feelings in a raw and open manner, which was both groundbreaking and controversial within the hip-hop community.

Recognition and Nominations

“Flower Boy” received widespread critical acclaim for its cohesive production and mature thematic content. It was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, highlighting its impact and the industry’s recognition of Tyler’s artistic growth. The track “See You Again” featuring Kali Uchis also received a nomination for Best Rap/Sung Performance, further cementing the album’s success in blending musical genres and emotional depth.

Fan Favorite Tracks and Their Significance

The album includes several tracks that resonated deeply with fans and critics alike. “See You Again” and “911 / Mr. Lonely” are standout tracks that combine catchy melodies with introspective lyrics, exploring themes of love and loneliness. “Who Dat Boy” featuring A$AP Rocky became a fan favorite, not only for its dynamic production but also for its engaging music video, which has garnered over 100 million views on YouTube, demonstrating the broad appeal and visual impact of Tyler’s work.

Overall, “Flower Boy” is seen as a pivotal album in Tyler, The Creator’s career. It not only showcases his evolution as a songwriter and producer but also as an individual grappling with his identity and societal expectations, making it a landmark project in his discography.

Igor (2019)

Historical Grammy Win and Genre-Blending

“Igor” marked a significant moment in Tyler, The Creator’s career when he won the Grammy for Best Rap Album, despite the album featuring less than 30% actual rapping. The award was a testament to the album’s genre-blending nature, which intricately wove together elements of rap, pop, and soul, challenging the conventional categorization of black music. Tyler expressed mixed feelings about the win, viewing the rap category as a limiting label that fails to acknowledge the broad artistic scope of his work. This sentiment highlighted ongoing issues with how the music industry categorizes genre-bending projects by artists of color.

Deep Dive into Storytelling and Production

“Igor” is celebrated for its complex narrative and sophisticated production, showcasing Tyler’s evolution as an artist. The album narrates a tumultuous love triangle, enriched with emotional depth and musical innovation. Tyler’s role as the sole producer allowed for a cohesive vision, drawing influences from icons like Pharrell Williams and Kanye West, which is evident in the lush, cinematic quality of tracks like “What’s Good” and “A Boy Is A Gun”. The production blends a variety of sounds, from the aggressive basslines of “New Magic Wand” to the soulful melodies of “Are We Still Friends,” creating a rich auditory experience that complements the album’s storytelling.

Impact on Tyler, The Creator’s Career

The release of “Igor” not only earned Tyler his first Grammy but also solidified his place in the music industry as a daring and innovative artist. The album’s success was reflected in its debut at number one on the Billboard 200, a first for Tyler, showcasing broad commercial appeal and critical acclaim. The accolades and positive reception of “Igor” underscored Tyler’s ability to transcend traditional musical boundaries and appeal to a wide audience, enhancing his reputation as a versatile and influential artist in the contemporary music scene.


Tyler, The Creator’s musical odyssey, as chronicled through his albums, is a testament to his relentless evolution and boundary-pushing artistry in the realm of music. From the raw and unapologetic beginnings with “Goblin” to the genre-defying triumph of “Igor,” his journey underscores a deep commitment to exploring and expressing complex themes through a diverse sonic palette. Each album serves not just as a chapter in his career but as a reflection of his growing maturity, both personally and artistically. It’s this continuous growth that not only cements Tyler’s legacy in music but also invites listeners to delve into the nuanced layers of his work.

The exploration of Tyler, The Creator’s discography reveals more than just the evolution of an artist; it underscores the broader implications of his influence on the music industry and culture at large. As Tyler ventures into uncharted territories, blending genres and breaking norms, he challenges both fans and critics to rethink their perceptions of music and identity. His albums, marked by critical acclaim and commercial success, encourage further research and discussion on the fusion of musical styles and the ever-evolving dynamics of the music landscape. Tyler’s narrative is far from complete, and the anticipation for what he will innovate next continues to build a compelling dialogue around his artistry and impact.

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