Is Tyler, the Creator the Most Influential Artist Right Now?

By Zachary Whitcomb

Tyler Okonma is an American rapper, designer, singer, TV show host, director, and a producer at the age of 26 years old. He has released 8 seasons of clothing, collaborating with multiple companies and designers along the way. Tyler has also released 5 studio albums that release about every two years. While pursuing his creative career, he has always stayed as himself and has encouraged others to be themselves too.

Tyler has always been the person to go out and do something with his life. At age 6, he was drawing fake album covers complete with tracklists and song lengths. When he was 14, he decided he would learn the piano by teaching himself and was successful. He released his first solo album, Bastard, for free which is why most consider to be a mixtape contrary to what Tyler says. The album was produced by himself and it features members of the Odd Future collective that they all formed in 2009 when Tyler was just 16. Since his first album he’s been telling people to be themselves and has kept that message with him throughout all of his music no matter how offensive or crude his sound might have been.

Following his debut album, Tyler released Goblin on May 10, 2011. The album featured the song that caught Kanye West’s attention and he liked it so much he tweeted about it saying it was “The video of 2011”. He addresses critics and how people judge him and blame him for events portrayed in his fictitious songs. He says he isn’t to blame for kids acting up that listen to his music and says it’s bad parenting if they’re misbehaving. In his song “Radical”, he adds a disclaimer saying not to do anything said in the following song. He tells people to do what they want but not go out and commit crimes to be rebellious. Being happy and doing what you want is more important than anything.

Cherry Bomb continues to enforce this idea with mostly positive reception from critics. Tyler says the album was inspired by 1978 and 1979 R&B music. The album starts with a rock song and blends genres throughout the rest of the album. “Find Your Wings” is soulful song about being yourself and go out and do what you want to do yourself saying “The world is yours”.

Two years passed and his album was highly anticipated after the singles “Who Dat Boy” and “911/Mr. Lonely” were released. The album Flower Boy was entirely different than everything else Tyler has ever created. This album was the most fresh from anything else he has created and was also his most polished. Tyler still stuck to his guns on some songs like “Who Dat Boy” with hard drums and aggressive rapping. This album is seen as a step forward for Tyler as he opens up about how he feels lonely at the top where so many people crave to be. He also talks about how he’s done it all by himself.

Tyler, the Creator has overcome everything to be where he is now from never having a song on the radio, blogs deleting his music, and being told that he would never be anything. Seeing how far he has come, it's no surprise that he inspires teens and young adults across the world to be themselves and find their wings.