Tyler, The Creator... I Hope You Never Change
Following an artist’s journey, from their earliest efforts to their mature works, is amazing as you feel a certain kinship with their music. You get to witness the process of growth. Those micro-steps they take with each project, that are akin to the faltering steps of a fawn, as it gradually gets stronger and more sure of who and what it is. There’s a sense of pride as you are privy to their growing fame and accomplishment. That’s how I feel about Tyler, The Creator.
What usually happens in cases like these, is that fans drop off as the sound alters and changes to match the transformation of the artist themselves. In addition, new fans get picked up, as musical stylings are broadened and subject matter deepens (or in Tyler’s case, gets less offensive). The funny thing with Tyler is, when you come to his shows these days, it’s a weird mix of people like me in the mid to late 20s who enjoy this toned down version, and teenagers who look at him as a borderline deity. The latter makes up the bulk of these crowds, and it gives you a feeling as if you are stuck in some kind of weird time loop, where Tyler gets older and his music more mature, but the fans stay the same age (It’s partly for this reason, I haven’t been back to the Camp Flog Gnaw festival in a couple years, being jostled by 17 year olds sweating out substances isn’t my wave). Regardless, the music is superb and the artistry is undeniable.
I frankly hope that Tyler never stops touring, because the dude is just damn good at it. Coming off a busy weekend at Flog Gnaw, one would think he might have just shown up and paid lip service to the crowd in San Francisco. Not the case. He matched all the feverish energy the audience brought, and then gave a bit more, all the while weaving in and out of classic Tyler cuts that the adoring fans seemed to know by heart. To anyone who thought that after a while the “novelty” of this artist would wear off, you are sorely mistaken. Outside of Drake stans, I don’t think there is a rapper out there who can claim that their core following is this maniacal about them, and I for one pray that never changes.