Tyler, The Creator: The Eccentric Hip Hop Provocateur Pushing Boundaries in Rap

Introduction to Tyler, The Creator: Pushing the Envelope in Hip Hop

Tyler, The Creator is an eccentric, envelope-pushing rapper known for his dark lyrical content, DIY aesthetic and founding of the alternative hip hop collective Odd Future. With a flair for controversy and a refusal to be pigeonholed, Tyler’s music explores themes of loneliness, identity, love and violence through a twisted lens.

Born Tyler Gregory Okonma in 1991, Tyler hails from Ladera Heights, California. He had a turbulent childhood, never knowing his father and often clashing with his mother and other family members. This dysfunctional upbringing informs much of his later musical output. [1]

Tyler officially launched his career in 2007 when he co-founded the alternative hip hop group Odd Future. Their shock tactics, rowdy live shows and lo-fi punk-inspired sound resonated with disaffected youth. However, their graphic lyrics also drew accusations of homophobia and misogyny.

Over the past decade, Tyler has dropped several solo albums that showcase his production skills and dynamic rapping ability. He’s proven one of the most unpredictable, attention-grabbing figures in modern rap.

Tyler, The Creator Discography: Albums, Mixtapes and EPs

Tyler’s official studio discography consists of:

  • Bastard (2009) – Debut mixtape released independently on Odd Future Records.
  • Goblin (2011) – First album released on XL Recordings, featuring the single “Yonkers.”
  • Wolf (2013) – Second album with a more mellow mood, led by “IFHY” and “Tamale.”
  • Cherry Bomb (2015) – experimental Tyler album with prominent synth and jazz elements.
  • Flower Boy (2017) – received widespread acclaim and contains Tyler’s biggest hits.
  • IGOR (2019) – Grammy-winning concept album where Tyler explored R&B and pop sounds. [2]
  • CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (2021) – Tyler’s latest effort, inspired by his early mixtapes.

In addition, Tyler has released various non-album singles, guest features, mixtapes and EPs over the years. This includes his 2020 EP “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” featuring original songs based on the film “The Grinch.” [3]

Musical Style, Genres and Influences

Tyler is known for blending various genres like hip hop, R&B, jazz, funk and soul. His production often features lush strings, synthesizers and piano. Lyrically, he mixes shock value and humor with genuine vulnerability.

He’s cited Pharrell Williams, Eminem, Kanye West and N.E.R.D as major influences. Tyler also grew up admiring the Neptunes’ innovative production. Other inspirations range from horrorcore rapper Gravediggaz to the avant-jazz artist Sun Ra. [4]

Early on, Tyler embraced hardcore hip hop and minimalistic “lo-fi” aesthetics. But as he matured, his music increasingly incorporated funk, neo-soul and psychedelic elements.

“Flower Boy” marked a turning point with its jazz rap fusion sound and willingness to explore his sexuality. “IGOR” saw Tyler move firmly into art pop territory. Still, aggressive rap anthems remain part of his repertoire.

Record Labels: From Odd Future to Columbia

The early Odd Future releases came out on their own imprint Odd Future Records. But Tyler’s solo career has been defined by partnerships with XL Recordings and Columbia Records.

His first three albums – “Bastard,” “Goblin” and “Wolf” – were backed by British indie label XL. Tyler’s next three major projects – “Cherry Bomb,” “Flower Boy” and “IGOR” – came out via Columbia Records. [5]

This aligns with Odd Future signing a distribution deal with Sony RED in 2011. Tyler’s 2021 album “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” marked his return to his own record label.

Collaborations Over the Years

While best known for leading Odd Future, Tyler has also collaborated with many other top artists:

  • Frank Ocean – Member of OF and appears on multiple Tyler albums
  • Lil Wayne – Collab single “Smuckers” and joint track “See You Again”
  • ASAP Rocky – Tyler co-produced Rocky’s “Jukebox Joints”
  • Kanye West – Tyler featured on “Jail” and produced on “Ye” album
  • Pharrell – Numerous production and songwriting credits
  • Rex Orange County – Guest vocals on “Flower Boy”
  • Kali Uchis – Tyler featured on “After the Storm”
  • Schoolboy Q – Assisted on several Tyler and OF releases [6]

Live Performances and Touring History

As frontman of Odd Future, Tyler earned a reputation for rowdy, moshpit-inducing shows with fans occasionally rushing the stage.

He’s toured internationally both solo and with OF at major festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and Camp Flog Gnaw. His 2017 “Flower Boy” tour saw Tyler graduate to performing at large arenas.

Tyler planned an expansive “IGOR” world tour in 2020 before it was cut short by COVID-19. He finally got to fully support his CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST album with a huge headlining tour across North America in 2022. [7]

Through it all, Tyler’s live show has become tighter and more polished, even when he’s still diving into the crowd.

Tyler’s Age, Relationships and Personal Life

Tyler Gregory Okonma was born on March 6, 1991 in Ladera Heights, California. This makes him 31 years old as of 2022.

His mother worked as a preschool teacher, while his father was notably absent from his life. He has said this led to issues with anger, rebellion and finding a creative outlet.

Tyler keeps his personal life fairly private. However, he’s been romantically linked to celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Rita Ora and more recently, Phoebe Bridgers.

His sexuality has been a topic of discussion given lyrics about same-sex attraction. On “IGOR” he confirmed being in relationships with men, though he dislikes traditional labels. [8]

Outside music, Tyler also creates visual art, designs clothes for his Golf Wang line, and acts occasionally in shows like “The Jellies!”

Tyler, The Creator’s Estimated Net Worth

Forbes estimated Tyler’s net worth at $16 million as of 2018. However, his wealth has likely grown significantly in the years since.

Between his music sales, touring, merchandising and other business ventures, Tyler’s current net worth is likely over $30 million if not more. He was reportedly paid $3 million upfront just for his sneaker collaboration with Converse in 2020. [9]

Tyler also owns a $2.4 million home in the Hollywood Hills purchased in 2016, reflecting his financial success in rap.

His Mainstream Popularity and Biggest Hits

While initially a niche “Internet rapper,” Tyler’s popularity has steadily grown over the past decade. He first made a Billboard chart appearance with 2011’s “Goblin.”

But 2017’s “Flower Boy” truly broke Tyler into the mainstream – it debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and was his first platinum-seller. It featured his biggest hits so far like “911 / Mr. Lonely” ft. Frank Ocean and “See You Again” ft. Kali Uchis. [10]

The 2019 album “IGOR” elevated Tyler to new heights, winning Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Songs like “EARFQUAKE” and “A BOY IS A GUN” accumulated hundreds of millions of streams each.

Tyler proved he could still land a viral hit in 2021, when “LUMBERJACK” off his latest album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Lasting Impact of Tyler, The Creator

Despite his contrarian attitude, Tyler’s influence on contemporary hip hop is undeniable. Artists like Earl Sweatshirt, Jaden Smith, Brockhampton and more found inspiration in Odd Future’s rebellious ethos.

As a producer, Tyler showed how gritty, bass-heavy beats could fuse seamlessly with soulful, jazzy textures. His quirky arrangements and chord changes expanded the palette of hip hop.

Lyrically, he gave a platform to the struggles of loners and outcasts from various backgrounds. And while his early edges have softened, Tyler still displays a brilliant sense for artfully subverting expectations.

Few rappers have grown more with each release than Tyler. His constant reinvention makes it difficult to predict where he’ll take his sound next. But a decade in, the 28-year-old remains one of hip hop’s most creative disruptors.

Tyler, The Creator’s Social Media Profiles and Website

Stay updated on new music and announcements directly from Tyler through his official social media:

  • Twitter: @tylerthecreator
  • Instagram: @feliciathegoat
  • Facebook: @TylerTheCreatorOfficial
  • YouTube Channel: Tyler, The Creator

His official website http://www.tylerthecreator.com[11] also features new releases, merch, tour dates and more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tyler, The Creator

Here are answers to some common FAQs about Tyler’s background and music career:

Q: Where is Tyler, The Creator from originally?

A: Tyler was born and raised in Ladera Heights, California which is a suburb of Los Angeles.

Q: What age did Tyler, The Creator start rapping?

A: He began making music and rapping around age 14 in 2005, when he would record songs on a basic computer mic in his bedroom.

Q: How was Odd Future formed?

A: The alternative hip hop group Odd Future was formed in 2007 by Tyler, The Creator along with other original members like Left Brain, Hodgy Beats and Jasper Dolphin.

Q: Has Tyler, The Creator won any Grammy Awards?

A: Yes, Tyler won the Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2020 for his acclaimed project IGOR.

Q: Who has Tyler, The Creator collaborated with in rap?

A: He’s collaborated extensively with artists like Frank Ocean, Lil Wayne, ASAP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Pharrell and Kanye West among others.


With his bizarre, graphic approach to lyricism and aesthetic, Tyler, The Creator has cemented himself as a one-of-a-kind force in the hip hop realm. He’s achieved incredible success by following his own weird creative vision – a vision that continues to evolve in surprising new directions with each release.

Tyler’s discography tells the story of a scrappy outsider blossoming into a multi-talented artist, unafraid to be emotionally honest or tackle challenging themes. Beyond the controversy, his cultural impact as both rapper and producer is undeniable.

At just 31 and already with 8 acclaimed albums under his belt, the possibilities seem wide open for where Tyler will take his music next. One thing’s for certain – it’s sure to provoke discussion, push boundaries and sound like no one else.