Tyler The Creator is back with his sixth studio album, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST. After a few weeks of campaigning through mysterious billboard hotlines and the release of the project’s lead and only single “LUMBERJACK,” the hype for this album has reached heights no hip hop record this year has even come close to. With a chance at closing off what could be one of the greatest three-album runs of all time, will Tyler deliver another classic?
Right off the bat, Tyler wastes no time showing listeners that his newest album is taking a complete 180 from the soulful and vibrant aesthetic of his past two studio albums IGOR and Flower Boy. From the background vocal commentary from legendary icon DJ Drama to the instrumental being directly pulled from Westside Gunn’s 2020 track “Michel Irvin,” the intro track “SIR BAUDELAIRE” proves the record going to be a lot rawer in many aspects of the word. As Tyler warms up his rapping ability, it only intensifies on the following cut, “CORSRO”. Over an ambient yet grimey instrumental, the 30-year-old unravels an array of his nastiest flexes to stunt on the listener. Hearing jagged bars like “Remember I was rich so I bought me some new emotions, And a new boat ’cause I rather cry in the ocean” really makes you feel like you in the midst of an intense mixtape and everything else up to this point, has only strengthened that ordeal.
Just when things couldn’t get any crazier, “LEMONHEAD” goes absolutely insane in all regards. Its screeching instrumental is intense, eerie, and with its distorted synth line, it’s hard not to feel insane while listening to it. From a vocal standpoint, Tyler continues to raise the intensity with more out-of-the-box writing and coming to assist no other than 42 Dugg jumps on the track. While I don’t think Dugg is more than your average modern-day trap artist, he surprisingly floats over this beat, and although there could have been a better guest picked, the Detroit native held his own. Closing this oddly layered track, we have what feels like a very flower Boy-like instrumental playout, where he sings the phrase “Call me if you get lost” over and over again. Just when you thought nothing else could occur in this moment, Frak Ocean makes an appearance with a brief spoken-word monologue about life and symbols. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any stranger, the following song, “WUSYANAME,” teams up Tyler with NBA Youngboy, of all people. With a stylistic change going in favor of melodic Tyler, he changes up his rapping style to make a topically basic but sonically moving love anthem. Somehow, someway, NBA Youngboy delivered a good feature, and I might actually have to put some respect on his name after this. In addition to Youngboy, Ty Dolla $ign delivers some nice background vocals throughout.
From here, “LUMBERJACK” takes us back to the abrasive side of the LP and does a fantastic job at showing what this new era of Tyler is all about. Out of all these tracks, “HOT WIND BLOWS” was a definite standout with its flute-based instrumental and pair of verses from Tyler and Lil Wayne. Teaming back up with Tyler, while also being in the presence of his right-hand man in Drama, Tuenchi goes into mixtape mode for an insane feature which is embedded with intuitive rhyme patterns, clever punchlines like “Thought all this lean will have me senile I guess they see now,” and that overall classic Wayne flare he brings to his finest work. As we progress up the tracklist, the record starts to gain more personality from a topical standpoint. “MASSA” kicks this off with a very clear but well-driven story about his artistic journey and his music’s parallels to his personal life. From the structure to its content, “IRUNITUP” is the first track that was unnecessary to the overall direction of the album. It’s four minutes of ultimately nothing outside of a very plain spacey instrumental and the repetition of the phrase “We going to run it up”. Two minutes in, Tyler finally spits a verse, and this portion of the song is solid at least, but aside from this small chunk of time, this song is just undeveloped and unneeded.
Fortunately, “MANIFESTO” is another peak moment with its chopped-up soul-sampled instrumental and lyrics centering around some of Tyler’s wildest moments. Joining Tyler, Odd Future member Domo Genesis comes in as the two kick back, reminisce on the old days, and go on a tangent no one can control. The absolute nine-minute and 48 second monster of “SWEET / I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE” is sheer musical beauty. In this extended cut, we see Tyler singing and altering his voice to unravel his feelings about a very special person in his life. Sonically, this track thrives with its memorizing drums, well-inserted synth lines, and background vocals from featured singers Brent Faiyaz and Fana Hues. In the second half of the track, the instrumental takes on a tropical vibe with its bongo patterns and bassa time signature. Sounding very reminiscent to the IGOR era, Tyler’s most out-of-the-box artistic thinking is on full display once again.
After one minute of banter between Tyler and his mother on the “MOMMA TALK” interlude, “RISE!” sets the wheels rolling for an amazing closing leg. The instrumental here is charismatic, cooky, and Tyler plays to this masterfully. His monotone rapping makes for the perfect contrast with the beat, and his cocky yet thoughtful bars about his climb to the top of the rap game are sealed up in the perfect package. After another one-minute interlude in the appreciative “BLESSED”, the absolute titan of a song in “JUGGERNAUT” makes for one of the best bangers Tyler’s ever been a part of. With its pulsing instrumental and features from Lil Uzi Vert and Pharrell Williams, we get a collaboration that’s over-the-top energy, and soul-shaking atmosphere will make you remember it for a very long time. Showing off his storytelling ability, we get eight straight minutes of Tyler The Creator rapping in the rawest element on “WILSHIRE”. Here, he reminisces on a relationship he tried to make work out, but as a result of Tyler’s busy lifestyle, they were never able to truly be on the same page. While Tyler’s usually testing his sonic, vocal, and topical scapes to weird, abstract, or just plain out of the ordinary ideals, hearing him express his emotions in such a profound manner is absolutely beautiful. Bringing all things to a close, the triumphant “SAFARI” wraps up the record with its upbeat production, high-pitched vocals, and lyrics alluding to Tyler and his crew finding himself while everyone else around them is “lost”.
Overall, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST isn’t as narratively strong as IGOR or as emotionally healing as Flower Boy, but it does a phenomenal job at showing off every aspect of Tyler The Creator’s greatness. From the odd features like NBA Youngboy and 42 Dugg to DJ Drama being present throughout the entire record, the liberties taken display one of our generation’s greatest visionaries talents to the highest degree. Going forward, I’m sure Tyler will only keep changing the game and further solidify his absolute legend status.
- Tyler balances his rapping and singing to the best of his abilities
- Great features
- DJ Drama’s presence adds a special hype and aura that only 2000s mixtapes really have
- Daring production and vocal choices are always rewarding
- Versatile blend of bangers, fun tracks, and deep cuts
- The idea of Call Me If You Get Lost was executed very poorly
Written By: Mr. Fantastic