Released 10th May 2011 on XL
Chart Performance: Goblin peaked at no.21 in the UK charts but flew straight onto the US Billboard chart at no.5.
What The Critics Said: “He is, in the parlance of our times, still swaggin’. Now maybe he can get to work on winning that Grammy.” Spin
Tyler, The Creator has been one of the most talked about rappers in the game this year. After him and his collective, Odd Future, have been bringing out all sorts of EP’s and albums, the release of “Yonkers” finally gave them the attention they’ve deserved.
Of course, if you’ve listened to any of his music, it’s something of an acquired taste, especially concerning his lyrics; but keeping that to one side, Goblin has been one of the most interesting things to happen to hip-hop in years. The tongue in cheek use of offensive lyrics grab attention, and perhaps can be too much at times, but also give a fantastic critique of modern rap music – the likes of Bitch Suck Dick showing the pointlessness and throwaway misogyny of the likes of 50 Cent and The Game that was never seen 20 years ago when rap was run by Beastie Boys and Run DMC.
Perhaps that’s not the angle that Tyler was coming from when he wrote Goblin, and perhaps it was just his choice to make music to have fun; but if that’s the case, again he has fulfilled aim, as taking the album with a pinch of salt (he does include a disclaimer at the beginning of “Radicals”), it is a fun listen created by obvious talent. There are times when the album obviously stands as a bad introduction to his work, as there are lot of ‘in-jokes’ and references to previous tracks, and there are some moments where the in-jokes don’t seem to include the fans.
But, overall the album is one of the most enjoyable rap albums I’ve heard in years; the production from Left Brain is fantastic, and the inclusion of the likes of Frank Ocean on “She” is perfect. Perhaps there will be more accessibility in his work when Tyler leaves his very early twenties and isn’t singing ‘Kill people, burn shit, fuck school’. But when he isn’t being juvenile, Tyler has some genuine moments of great poetry, which we saw on his previous effort Bastard , with the likes of “Golden”. The mix of juvenility and the more meaningful is certainly an interesting one, but I certainly feel that Goblin is brilliant production. Kyle Prangnell