Wednesday, July 7th, 2021

Tyler, The Creator – Lumberjack

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[6.57]

Nortey Dowuona: Old fave pull up, young fan hop out.
[7]

Ryo Miyauchi: Tyler delivers the best opening line this year, over a Gravediggaz loop no less. That mission statement of an intro bar strikes with pop concision in the way rap classics do. The nonchalant flexes that follows involve opulent imagery at its finest, all in service to rub it in the faces of those who wish a black person can’t. Because while the second bar is memorable from its juvenile humor, it’s the section a couple parts down that inspires another “oh shit” moment: “whips on whips, my ancestors got their backs out.”
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Tim de Reuse: Tyler reminisces about his mother’s reaction to his success and then gets cynical about it over a skittering, dissonant sample. His flow is easy on the ears, and his wordplay as clever as you’d expect, but not terribly incisive; DJ Drama and Jasper serve only to fill the empty space around him. The result is moderately poignant.
[6]

Alfred Soto: The buzzing indeterminacy of his self-productions was his biggest attraction, not the emphatic way he hits crudeness like a guy using a mallet to kill ticks. He ain’t got nuthin’ now except a go-nowhere title.
[4]

Ian Mathers: Admittedly I was never particularly a horrorcore aficionado, but I genuinely like the backing track here better than on “2 Cups of Blood”. Not just in terms of content, but the grain of Tyler’s voice seems to fit the slate-grey environs better than the Gravediggaz did, and there’s a genuine chorus here too.
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Frank Falisi: Sometimes I think Tyler’s got the biggest spotlight of anyone making sounds that remain fundamentally committed to conceiving of living as a process requiring life-affirming experiences and feelings. Sometimes I think this formulation is reductive: these sounds sweep and wobble like no before things, puncturing all our brittle horizons, goo-gunning shapes we mount sweaty and dig painty nails into and get hauled through and into. Sometimes then, we become new. Sometimes I think these sounds push push push push — that’s all we could want from sounds. Sometimes I think there’s more to it than that. Sometimes I can’t help but smile. Living mixtapes all our sometimes. Tyler sings to our onlytimes until they wiggle out of themselves. Look out there: sometimes it’s just nice to be.
[8]

Thomas Inskeep: I don’t think “Lumberjack” makes much sense as a single per sé – Tyler does a great job making album-length pieces of work, whether he wants to call Call Me If You Get Lost a mixtape, or whatever – but I’m gleeful that this short/sharp/shock samples a Gravediggaz song from the ’90s, as it’s always a job to hear RZA’s boom-bap from any angle. This is straight-down-the-middle Tyler out of its album context, but that’s good enough.
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Reader average: [9.5] (2 votes)

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