My Favorite’s of All Time #9: Tyler the Creator’s ‘IFHY’

Y’all know I love me some Tyler the Creator. I’ve talked about him on here a bunch of times; I have the golf le fleur logo tattooed on me three times. He is the most important artist to me. I became a fan of his between the release of Goblin (2011) and Wolf (2013), which allowed me to listen to Tyler’s previous projects and be excited about the release of an upcoming one. I remember listening to Wolf in between classes the day it came out because I couldn’t wait until I got on the bus to go home to listen to it. It’s just…..SUCH a good project.

For example, ten minutes can’t go past without you brushing my thoughts
That’s fourteen forty a day so I’ll say a hundred and forty four times
I think about you or something like that
Lost match, the fucking thought of you with somebody else
I don’t like that; cellular convos getting left in the wrong
‘Cause I get so fucking mad when you don’t write back
This isn’t a song, I just happen to rhyme when I get emo
And find time to write facts, fuck
I love you

I never would’ve thought that
Feelings could get thrown in the air
‘Cause I accidentally caught that
I need some new boxing gloves
Shit got hectic whenever I fought back

And “IFHY” has always been one of the standouts from Wolf. I think I’ve talked enough about my high school crush(es) and the trauma that those crushes caused me for you to know the kind of mindset I was in around the time the project came out. At this point, I was still crushing on the guy that introduced me to “Material Girl” by The Weeknd but he also began starting rumors about me, my other crush was very obviously not interested in me (anymore. My friends told me the year before he admitted to having a crush on me. For whatever reason, I thought 10th grade was going to be our year lol), and my friendship with my best friend at the time was falling to absolute pieces. I felt like my heart was getting uppercutted every day lol.

“IFHY” felt like the same thing. In it, Tyler narrates a story of having very strong feelings for someone (teetering on the end of love), while also hating the way that person makes him feel. The push and pull creates this constant disturbance in his (or his character’s) mind that doesn’t really find any closure. And all of that is set to one of the dreamiest, most nostalgic instrumentals I’ve ever heard in my life, co-produced by Tyler and Pharrell (who also was the PERFECT feature for this song). It feels like falling and not knowing how long you have until you hit the ground. I couldn’t help but place all of my feelings into that song. Liking someone who doesn’t like you back is difficult, and it’s not something that you can just slap yourself out of. Trust me, I tried lol. Even with all of the very-obvious-to-me-now signs that neither of those two guys liked me very much, I couldn’t help but want them to be able to find something to love in me. Like I mentioned in the MFOAT for “Creep,” it felt like if I could get the person I admired the most to hold me dearly, I could learn to hold myself. It’s like loving myself by association. And it’s difficult to explain those types of feelings when you’re that young. I was only16 at the time. Yeah it was uh…just as sad as it seems lol.

I’ve had the pleasure to hear Tyler perform “IFHY” live at least twice – I’m almost positive that he performed it during the Wolf tour, but I can’t remember if he performed it during the Flower Boy tour or the IGOR tour. Each time I hear it, I’m pulled back into time, as I watch my 16 year old self struggle with trying to find her self-worth in the wrong places (which is still something I struggle with :)). And while it’s a messy experience, there’s a realness in it that just sticks with me. I can’t help but allow myself to reminiscence on those moments, even though they made me feel like trash. But now that I’m older, I know better (even though, again, we’re still out here struggling for self-worth sometimes), and I can look back on those moments as a bit of a lesson for me. It’s just always so wild to me how a song can make you feel things so strongly, even if they happened so long ago. Tyler’s music has always been something that does that for me, and I’m thankful for it.

And that’s what makes “IFHY” one of my favorites of all time!


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