Troy Brinkel ‘20, Sports Editor
Recently, the Grammy awards released their nominations for the 2020 show. After the nominations were released however, fans noticed one particular album missing from the Album of the Year category: Igor by Tyler the Creator.
Why is this surprising? Not only was Igor met with some of the best reviews this year, the album claimed the throne at the top spot on the U.S. Billboard 200. Not just that however, the record spent time at the top of the charts in the U.K. Albums Top 100, Australian Albums, Canadian Top 100, and Latvian top records.
Of the nominated eight albums in the category of Album of the Year, Igor has a higher critic rating than seven of them only tied with Lana Del Ray’s Norman F***ing Rockwell! at a score of 85/100. The Grammy committee even nominated Little Nas X’s 7 which has a critic score of 57/100. The Magazine publisher HipHopDX commented on 7 and said, “The majority [of songs] would make more sense as amusing fake music blasting from a video game jukebox.”When asked about Igor, the same publishing company said, “On Igor, Tyler showcases a more polished iteration of the hazy pop he’s been perfecting for years.”
Popular music reviewer The Needle Drop has Igor tied for the highest rating he has ever given out in 2019. Yet the album has sunk to the bottom of the barrell in the eyes of the Grammy committee.
Why do I believe Igor should be considered one of the best albums of 2019? Besides the countless analytics that suggest this title, to me Igor is the best album I have heard all year. Igor is not the classic love album everybody knows; no, Tyler describes his love for another man while that man is chasing the love of a woman. The album is split into two chapters, with the beginning songs describing Tyler calling for his love interest to come back to him. “Earfquake”; the albums most popular song, allows Tyler to tell his love interest to “come back; it’s my fault.” Personally, I believe this chapter of the album is building up to the climax where the album wins over its listeners.
The second part of the album is what makes this a top record of 2019. Section two begins with New Magic Wand* where Tyler stops chasing and determines that his only option left is to kill his love interest’s partner. With a grimy bass and rough synth nodes, Tyler spits lyrics like “She’s gonna be dead; I just got a magic wand. We can finally be together.” In this song, Tyler makes the connection with a literal magic wand that he can use to repair his relationship, and a gun that he can use to kill the women. Finally, the relationship plateaus in the song “A boy is a gun.” Tyler attempts to persuade his man with one final idea. “Take yo hoodie off, why you hide your face from me?” and “Grab our supplies, no need for masks, bust through the door” are lines in which Tyler is calling for his lover to admit that he is gay. This puts the final twist on the album, as Tyler struggles to get his love interest to come to his side. The music video for this song shows the man leaving Tyler’s mansion, and Tyler crumbling to the ground in a ball of tears.
To finalize this argument, I would bring to light the fact that Tyler became the first solo rap artist to ever have a Billboard number one that is fully produced and arranged by themselves with Igor. This album has allowed Tyler to shape himself into a brand new artist; critic reviews and the general feeling for Igor proves that.
Photo courtesy of The New York Times