vinyl library #12: tyler the creator’s ‘goblin’

I’m still in the process of listening to some of the new music that came out this morning, but I DID hear that new Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars track – “Leave the Door Open” – and I’m VERY excited for their project. I was already pretty hype about it, but it was really hard to wrap my head around what the project would sound like before this song came out. Now that I’ve heard it, I’m 1000% more here for it than I already was. I’m now debating if I wanted to listen to Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats’s UNLOCKED 1.5 (2021); UNLOCKED (2020) is held so preciously in my heart, and I don’t want to ruin the good feelings, but there’s a lot of good folks on the remixes of the UNLOCKED tracks, so I don’t know. I’m conflicted but leaning closer to listening to it. 

In honor of another album I hold preciously in my heart, we’re talking Tyler the Creator’s Goblin (2011) today, which is coming up on its TENTH ANNIVERSARY this year??? WHAT???? SHOCKING NEWS. INCOMING EXISTENTIAL CRISIS ALERT!!! Literally in disbelief that it’s been out this long. 

Tyler the Creator’s Goblin (2011)

there’s only a couple of versions of this record. i have the standard black edition, but there’s also a limited edition pink version. that came out in 2020.

This album is one of the few projects that can take me back to a specific time in my life. Every album I’ve listened to carries with it the moments that I’ve spent listening to them, but whenever I listen to Goblin, it makes me feel like I’m back in high school. I remember not wanting to listen to Tyler for the longest time. He was someone that always seemed super cool to me, but after hearing all of the things that Tyler’s music “represented,” I was nervous that listening to it would mean that I believed in the same thing. I have a very vivid memory of listening to some music from Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay Rock one day in high school; sometimes, I’ll go on an artist’s “fans also like” page on Spotify to discover other people to listen to. And at the time, Tyler popped up on one of theirs. 

Now, I don’t remember if I jumped right into Tyler’s “most popular” song on Spotify at the time – which would have been “Yonkers” – or if I went into his most recent release at the time – which would have been Goblin, but whatever the mode was, it led me to listen through all of Odd Future’s and Tyler the Creator’s discography over the next couple of days. I was OBSESSED (and obviously stayed obsessed). Tyler (and his other Odd Future friends) represented all of the freedom (to do/be whatever they wanted) and confidence that I wanted for myself at the time. To see a group of (mostly) Black teenagers/young adults who were on the “weirdo” side of the spectrum live their lives fully and without the fear of being judged was so empowering! It was something I needed to see when I was in high school, and Goblin represented that for me, sonically. And it still does. Of course, the album isn’t entirely kisses and rainbows; there’s the unhinged misogyny, glorification of extreme violence, etc. that is umm…..yikes. Even though I will still rap-scream the lyrics to “Transylvania” or “B.S.D.,” they’re difficult to listen to outside of the nostalgia. And while Tyler hasn’t (and seems to have zero plan to) apologize for making those themes so present in his early music, he has offered the sentiments of his early stuff not necessarily being his favorite. My summation is that he’s kind of left it at “It is what it is. I wouldn’t do it again, but I wouldn’t necessarily change anything about the past if I could.” But we do get a pretty significant artistic arc out of it. Tyler’s musical and personal growth is obvious in even the slightest listen through his discography. 

But even with all of his musical morphing, he’s remained impervious to existing anywhere but his own lane.

Lil’ Facts

Officially became a part of the collection on April 19, 2020

Bought from: Walmart (its $20 more now than when I bought it)

Year of Original Album Release: 2011

Runtime: 82 minutes

Discogs Release Page

Jacket Style: Gatefold

Format: 2LP

Lowest Price on Discogs (as of 03/05/21): $35.43

Highest Price on Discogs (as of 03/05/21): $1114.43

Record Player Set Up Specs:

Turntable: Audio Technica AT-LP60XBT-BK Automatic Bluetooth Turntable in Black (from Turntable Lab)

Speakers: Edifier R1280DB Powered Speakers in Black (from Turntable Lab)

My Record Collection (via Discogs)

here’s something else you might like…

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