Tyler, The Creator has always let the meaning behind his music be asserted on its own terms. He hasn’t hesitated to carry this over to his fourth and newest release, Cherry Bomb. The album features 13 songs that display Tyler’s humor, quirkiness, imagination and brilliance.
The unpredictable and riotous behavior that embodies Tyler, The Creator, and makes him so encapsulating, is addressed right off the bat in the opening track, “DEATHCAMP.” Tyler chants, “I don't like to follow the rules/ And that's just who I am/ I hope you understand.” Perhaps half of the fun of Tyler’s albums in the past was just trying to deconstruct his lyrics and figuring out what he meant. This is less of the case in Cherry Bomb, which features more straightforward sentiments. Tyler seems to be more honest with himself and the people around him, instead of divulging himself through monikers like Wolf Haley, Ace and Tron Cat in past albums. The opening track of the album compares Hollywood fame to the likes of a death camp, which also shares the name of the song. The song “RUN” is “...DEADASS BASED OFF OF FRIENDS THAT STARTED GANG BANGING, ITS LIKE A PSA TO THEM” according to Tyler, The Creator’s twitter account.
Tyler has also shown to be more confident and mature as a person in this album. In “PILOT” and “FIND YOUR WINGS,” a recurring theme of finding your wings and flying away is shown. He uses this as a metaphor for finding what you love and becoming successful from it.
Tyler also seems to want the focus of the album to be on himself. He doesn’t mention some of the big-name features of Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne on “SMUCKERS,” nor Pharrell, one of Tyler, The Creator’s favorite artists, who pops up on “KEEP DA O’S.”
Cherry Bomb as a whole could serve both as an edifying force for long-time fans and an alluring album for those who doubted Tyler, The Creator in the past. Tyler seems to have abandoned some of the off-the-wall, confusing lyrics of past works, while still holding true to the childish personality with whom many people fell in love. The mix of jazz runs, distorted guitars and driving beats comes together for an album that displays Tyler’s evolution over the last few years. Was this evolution a maturation of Tyler? Maybe. Was it a growth into the shoes that society has set for him? Definitely.