‘Cherry Bomb’ just might be Tyler, the Creator’s best work to date

Review Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Odd Future’s front man Tyler, the Creator is well known throughout the hip-hop scene for his disturbing lyrics and use of profanity, having achieved success with such a style on his “Bastard”, “Goblin”, and “Wolf” studio albums.

Now 24 years old, the Los Angeles native released his fourth studio album “Cherry Bomb” on April 13.

“Cherry Bomb” might just be Tyler’s best work to date, and definitely the most action-packed as the album features uncredited guest appearances from notable artists such as Schoolboy Q, Charlie Wilson, Kali Uchis, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne.

Tyler also incorporated guest vocals/instrumentals from a variety of musicians in the indie-rock scene such as Cole Alexander of The Black Lips, Clementine Creevy of Cherry Glazerr, L.A. garage-rock band Slow Hollows, Dam-Funk, and Chaz Bundick of Toro y Moi.

Lyrically, “Cherry Bomb” is deep with Tyler addressing many current social issues while musically the album contains a mixture between raw rap bars and distorted sounds, and even a bit of soul and R&B.

“Cherry Bomb” opens up with the electrifying, fast-paced track “Deathcamp” that will have listeners wanting to get up from their seat and dance to the N.E.R.D. influenced instruments featured throughout the song.

“Named the album Cherry Bomb because Greatest Hits sounded boring”, raps Tyler on the opening track, showing his confidence in becoming a major established rapper since first bursting into the underground rap scene back in 2009.

Perhaps the key component of the album is the superstar collaborative track “Smuckers”, which features both Kanye West and Lil Wayne.

Tyler has been long time Kanye fan (bringing him out at the second annual Odd Future Carnival in 2013), and a long awaited collaborative track with Ye himself was expected by many fans.

What makes “Smuckers” really special is the fact that both West and Wayne sound like their old selves (lyrically) from the 2004 – 2008 era, which is rare considering how experimental both rappers have become since that time.

Tyler and Wayne trade verses in the second half of “Smuckers” creating a “schoolyard freestyle” type of feel and making the track sound like it was intentionally a freestyle and not a written song.

While most of “Cherry Bomb” is mellow and more of a lay back and listen type of album, there are some bangers that would make fans want to “turn up”.

The ninth track on the album “The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah Part 6-12 (Remix)” is the banger to listen to and features rising hip-hop star Schoolboy Q in a dark and sinister upbeat track, very reminiscent to “The Purge” featured on Schoolboy Q’s album “Oxymoron” that featured Tyler himself.

“Have you heard of Fairfax?/Boy, we was running that” raps Tyler on the track, paying homage to their former Odd Future store located on Fairfax in Hollywood that helped popularize the street.

“Buffalo” is another track that comes on strong from the beginning, bringing an East Coast boom-bap type vibe throughout the duration of the track, as the instrumental sounds like a beat that would be off a Nas or Big L album.

Tyler definitely brings an old school hip-hop vibe to the table on the album, however he incorporates a lot of soul into his tracks with the help of his friend and upcoming singer, Kali Uchis.

“Find Your Wings” sounds like the type of track you would encounter at an urban coffee shop or lounge as it provides a smooth and soulful melody, with Tyler rapping softly instead of his typical angsty delivery.

Another soulful track on the album is the fantastic “Keep Da O’s”, which also features Uchis and samples The Flamingos hit song “I Only Have Eyes for You”.

The track begins with a boom-bap type sound before transitioning to a soulful track and having Uchis finish the track with a singing outro.

Overall, “Cherry Bomb” is Tyler’s most experimental yet powerful work to date, and provides a sound that is different to one another yet somehow matches up at the end, creating a masterful art piece that is sure to bring in even more fans.

You can purchase “Cherry Bomb” in stores or stream via Spotify below.