There are two questions I ask before I conclude if an album is five mics worthy or not:
1) Can I just press play? Meaning, can I put the record into motion and let it play through without wanting to skip ahead of a misplaced track that has no business being on the playlist to begin with and…
2) Does it push the culture forward? Or does the album carbon copy previous successful records for the sole purpose of recreating the revenue stream of an original work?
At Hearing Every Rhyme, the answer to both of the above questions must be a resounding yes to be even considered a five mic joint. And I truly believe that Tyler, The Creator’s newest project Flower Boy is that kind of album.
Yep. You damn right.
You see, not surprisingly, many albums are great listens. But it is hard as fuck to find an album that does something a little different than what’s been previously done to expand the culture. In fact, you probably have a better chance at cheating death while doing Chinese arithmetic than finding original AND dope sounding music in Hip Hop today.
This is precisely where Flower Boy does not disappoint.
I think back to Kanye West’s Late Registration where he employed Jon Brion because of his expertise with film scores. This was in 2005 and an idea that vastly ahead of its time, but crucial in the development of future Kanye West’s sound and Hip Hop’s sound in general.
Come back to the present and you will have heard it here first that this album will do the very exact same thing: define Tyler’s future…as well as define Hip Hop’s future.
Initially, I think of Childish Gambino and Because of the Internet – except there’s something hard about Flower Boy. Something ruthless. Hell, during my first listen, I tried to come up with a way to describe the sound the album reminds me of and for some odd reason, The Jackson 5 kept popping up in my damned head.
But it’s not quite that.
I don’t know, If I had a gun to my damn head and were forced to provide a description, I’d have to say it’s like when Dr. Dre sampled Foster Sylvers on the D.O.C. track “Funky Enough” – but with a much softer, more drug-induced sound. As wild as it is to suggest, Flower Boy is basically what Angel Dust sounds like when you smoke it.
Of course, there’s a track or two that comes dangerously close to skip worthy territory mainly because of tempo conflictions, but the overall album is simply perfect. And 12 years from now, Hip Hop will look back at this album and how it initiated a change in the culture just like we look back at Late Registration as if it were a time capsule. For that reason, Flower Boy is absolutely five mics.