“Thank you to every ear that listened / bought a ticket/ whatever,” music mogul Tyler, the Creator spoke over the minimal backing track. “Everything must go.” These are the words that greet listeners at the beginning of the “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” deluxe project titled, “The Estate Sale.” From the interlude, audiences are made aware that Tyler must clear out their past emotions and ambitions.
The title of the project is a reference to the original album, which told of the creative’s travel endeavors to remote European locations, their failed love affair with a friend’s girlfriend and how Tyler used luxury ventures and incomprehensible spending habits to escape the prices of fame.
Prior to this version’s release Friday, the Tyler dropped the track “DOGTOOTH,” along with an accompanying video earlier that week. From the track, staple visuals from the original album were depicted, including a fur hat and sunglasses combination, and moon-roofed Bentley cars.
Themes from the original album, such as luxury, travel and money, were also transferred in “DOGTOOTH’s” lyricism. “I’m tryna buy my neighbor house,” Tyler raps. “I shimmy through Paris in back of Phantom of the threads.”
The track came as a surprise to Tyler, the Creator fans and the music-listening world at large. While the musician will often release related tracks or instrumentals after their larger projects, Tyler hasn’t once released a cohesive deluxe album. As written in the description of the “DOGTOOTH” video, the musician ensured the tracks were, in fact, “a collection of songs that didn't make the original album.”
Perfecting the deluxe
The ambition behind releasing a more collected, user-friendly version of additional sonic material can be attributed to Lil Uzi Vert’s highly anticipated release of “Eternal Atake” that hit streaming services three years ago. Within the same week of release, Lil Uzi Vert released “Eternal Atake (Deluxe)”, which featured professionally made tracks of popular leaked memos from the artist.
Prior to the release of “Eternal Atake (Deluxe),” deluxe albums, especially within the hip-hop genre, were a rarity and thought of as collections of throwaway tracks. Artists may even be seen as money-grabbers who are willing to throw incomplete or irrelevant music out to the public for monetary gain. Though, as we’ve now seen with Tyler’s official version, the release style can be a positive experience for listeners to revisit the themes of a prior album through professional production, songwriting and anticipatory features.
This trend has most resonated with the trap-rap genre, which features Lil Baby, the late Pop Smoke and Pi’erre Bourne– all who released deluxe albums the summer following “Eternal Atake” in spring 2020. The deluxe album wave, however, hasn’t been restricted to hip-hop as Taylor Swift and Post Malone have also released deluxe albums since 2020.
Within the first three tracks of “The Estate Sale,” audiences can appreciate the first-known collaboration between Tyler, the Creator and fellow California rapper Vince Staples on the track “STUNTMAN.” The collab, complete with energetic, urgent production with sirens, delivers a catchy, chant-like chorus and impressive verses from the artists. Again, listeners are barraged with Tyler’s fantasy-like expenses and travel through their lyricism.
“Stamps on my passport is longer than a lecture (y’all ready) / Handshake from God and some explainable etceteras,” Tyler raps.
Referenced in the track is “Flacko Jodye,” also known as New York-based rapper A$AP Rocky, who’s featured on the deluxe track “WHARF TALK.” Tyler and Rocky, both innovative DIY creatives of the past generation, own a history of collaborations beginning on the A$AP Mob label album, “Cozy Tapes: Vol. 1 Friends.” In the midst of features among Tyler’s past albums and unreleased collaborations, the two dropped a single “Potato Salad,” in 2018 that delivered stand-out lyrical performances from both rappers at the peak of their synergy.
“WHARF TALK,” however, fails to intertwine each artists’ now-signature style. Perhaps it was the sensitive content of the track, asking a love interest to come “get lost” with Tyler, or the slow, jazzy production that failed to deliver. Despite the three minute run time, “Flacko’s” verse was short, bringing an underwhelming collaboration to two, closely related fanbases.
As the deluxe tracks slowed in energy, guest producers, Madlib, who produced the track “WHAT A DAY” and Ye, who assisted in producing the track “HEAVEN TO ME,” shined in their contributions and maintained the quality of the excess songs. For a Tyler project, known for their independence in self-producing, it was refreshing to hear him add vocals to production legends of the industry. The track, “WHAT A DAY”, even echoes the long verse format of “WILSHIRE” on the original album. In all, the ability to produce a high-quality deluxe album may be attributed to artists being open to further collaboration.
“You couldn’t fit in my loaders if you took a steroid / And I wouldn’t handle your baggage if I had a bellboy,” Tyler raps.
Concluding “The Estate Sale,” is the track “BOYFRIEND, GIRLFRIEND” a now complete demo accompanied by artist, YG, who owns production completely abstract to the original album. The summer house-esque rhythms and simplistic dialogue throw audiences into a whirlwind to reach the deluxe’s closing track, “SORRY NOT SORRY.”
Complete with a music video that aired two days before the deluxe’s release, the final song is an insightful look into Tyler’s perspective on themself, their past and the world through diary-like writing. The confession of verses are in tune with the light, high-pitched melody backing Tyler, yet are abruptly ended in a switch to heavy, electric noise and a harsh, cynical Tyler yelling at the audience.
“Sorry, Mother Earth / Polluted air with chemicals and dirt / These cars ain’t gonna buy and drive themselves / What the hell you think I work for?”
From the moon-roofed Bentleys crashing upon each other in the “DOGTOOTH” video, it’s apparent this erraticness from the artist is foreshadowing of Tyler’s next era. These indicators are well in-tune with the artist’s unofficial schedule of releasing a complete project every two years. In the “SORRY NOT SORRY” video, multiple Tylers are seen, each with apparel and poses from his past album eras. At the very end, the most recent era Tyler is attacked by a shirtless, blooded version.
While it’s still a mystery as to what direction the creative will take next, audiences are sure to expect as high quality of a project as “The Estate Sale.” As with their past releases, I’m sure it’ll be something audiences have never even remotely heard.