CFNN Reporter Dan Seagroves
IGOR is the fifth studio album by American rapper and producer Tyler, The Creator released on May 17, 2019. Produced entirely by Tyler himself, IGOR is a concept album that follows the narrative of Tyler’s love life. In IGOR, Tyler is in a vulnerable state, he takes us on a journey through his feelings for a boy. It is the greatest concept album of 2019, listening through the album and understanding the meaning is truly amazing.
The first track on the album is “IGOR’S THEME”, which gives us insight on how the album is set up. It is broken down into two parts. The lyrics “Ridin’ ‘Round” and “Got my eyes open” sum up the emotional journey of the album. The first part of the album is where Tyler falls in love, he’s ridin round chasing a love interest who is shaking him up and putting him through heartbreak. In the second part of the album is a turning point in which he learns to move on.
In “EARFQUAKE” we learn of this lover. This is someone Tyler has a toxic relationship with, where he depends on this boy but is also scared of him. The feeling falls over into the next track “I THINK”. He desperately wants to be in a relationship with this person but he struggles with how to tell him his feelings. We get to see how toxic this relationship is with the lyric “I’m your puppet, you are Jim Henson”. Tyler has not yet realized how toxic this relationship is.
“RUNNING OUT OF TIME” tells us he has been chasing this love interest but is faced with the challenge of racing against the clock. The love interest is leaving him and a split is coming.
In these two tracks he is learning to express the feeling he’s been having, but they have gone unanswered. We also meet another obstacle, this “Her” who has Tyler’s love interest living in pretend. Wearing a mask to hide his sexuality.
In the next track “NEW MAGIC WAND” the intro is spoken by Jerrod Carmichael, “Sometimes you gotta close a door to open a window”. This means that in order to move forward you have to find another way. Tyler is not liking the approach he has been using, so he tries a new one. Getting “Her” out of the picture. The magic wand is a metaphor for getting her out of the picture. Tyler’s jealousy is very apparent. And we know this because we get the lyrics, “Now pick a side and if you don’t, I’ll pick you both”. This shows how obsessive Tyler is.
The last track of the first part of this album is “A BOY IS A GUN”, a gun love is not something you should play around with. Tyler is still holding out hope for the love interest. Knowing how dangerous it can be, this relationship could be the death of him. He is aware of how toxic this is but still can’t resist. But by the end of the track he understands how dangerous this boy is and rejects him. He realizes that he can be a gun too.
In the second half of IGOR, “PUPPET” deals with Tyler continuing to be a puppet after he is gone. Tyler is learning to rid himself of this feeling, trying to cut himself loose. By the end of the song he comes to his senses, flipping the switch and letting IGOR in its full form come out. We see this in the next track, “WHAT’S GOOD”, which is one of my personal favorites. The track is memancing, trying to repair Tyler’s ego and get rid of the heart ache he has been dealing with. It’s starting to bring us back to “IGOR’S THEME” with the lyric “I got my eyes open now I see the light”. Tyler is finally seeing clearly.
We end “WHAT’S GOOD” with a very powerful quote, “I don’t know what’s harder, letting go or just being okay with it”. Which directly takes us to “GONE, GONE/THANK YOU”. It acts as a reflection of the love that’s in the past. Tyler is happier to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. His love is now gone and he doesn’t like it but the girl has won.
Tyler is ready to move on. We see this in the next track “I DON’T LOVE YOU ANYMORE”. Now he is wondering if a platonic relationship is possible. In the next track “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”, he would rather end up as friends than nothing at all.
IGOR tells a story of love and heartbreak. Starting with Tyler falling in love with a guy, not settling for just being friends. It then transitions into the last part of the album about chasing and choosing friendship. IGOR tells a beautiful story with many rises and falls. If you have listened to IGOR I hope I’ve given you better insight into the album. If you haven’t, I strongly suggest you go and listen!