Released in June 2021, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST served as Tyler, The Creator’s sixth studio album complete with a healthy balance of braggadocios ego and candid vulnerability. With a departure from the lighter, more R&B aesthetics of his previous two albums, IGOR and Flower Boy, CMIYGL was a passionate return to his gritty rapping roots, reminding people of his elite rapping capabilities.
Across the album, he continues to push the boundaries of masculinity in Hip-Hop and showcases the various different sides of himself as both a person and an artist, providing listeners with a refreshing balance of blatant vulnerability and imaginative flexing. You won’t hear him rapping about designer clothes, but you will hear him flex about things like the oceanfront view from one of his houses, and bragging that he spends his money on art while advising other rappers to keep their Patek watches.
Returning nearly two years following the original album’s release to deliver The Estate Sale, an expanded deluxe version of the album, the eight additional tracks blend seamlessly into the original tracklist as he further expands on its themes with original tracks from CMIYGL’s recording sessions. As highlighted on the lead single “DOGTOOTH,” he had some more things to say before being able to officially enter a new artistic era. “Not sure what you overheard, but it’s probably what I said, bitch / I’m out here livin’, y’all on the feed,” he raps with purpose.
On “STUNTMAN” alongside Vince Staples, Tyler wears the Clipse influence that he’s been alluding to throughout the entirety of his career. Taking a page directly out of Pusha T and No Malice’s prime days, the track finds the duo exchanging verses filled with braggadocios flexes and comparisons to those below him. While “WHARF TALK,” alongside his close friend A$AP Rocky, is eerily reminiscent of his Flower Boy and IGOR eras because of his singing cadence and the bright synths and hook, the convincing love ballad compliments some of the R&B-leaning tracks on the original tracklist like “WUSYANAME.”
The ultimate highlight of the deluxe pack comes on the Madlib-sampling “WHAT A DAY,” where Tyler puts up one of the most impressive rapping displays of his career. He riddles off a cannon of quotable bars with charisma and a cool delivery that he’s been carefully mastering up until now. “So many white diamonds, yeah, I got jungle fever / But they didn’t raise me, so shout out to black women,” he spits, before getting openly expressive later on; “I’m rarely replying to texts, barely enjoying the sex / I got a pain in my chest, that’s from suppressin’ the stress.” He blatantly declares himself to be one of the best rappers out, and shares a list of the things he’s never done, like drive a Hellcat, flexed a bulky Richard Millie watch, or posted on TikTok. “White boy said I brag too much, the black kid said it’s inspiring,” he raps on the second verse, acknowledging the difference in his audience versus the people he makes his music for.
Over the soulful beat provided by Kanye West and John Legend on “HEAVEN TO ME,” Tyler reveals that not having kids, or at least a present desire to be a father, allows him to live stress-free and solely for himself, living out his dreams of designing clothes and driving vintage cars in the process.
On the closer “SORRY NOT SORRY,” which comes complete with an accompanying music video where he kills off all of his past eras, he leaves everything out on the table through a bold close, leaving listeners questioning what’s coming next from Tyler, The Creator. As he plays with the idea of giving a genuine apology to those he feels he’s wronged throughout his life or giving a sarcastic apology to those he feels have wronged him, it becomes abundantly clear for the final time that Tyler, The Creator lives on his own terms. Tyler exists in a unique space; as a massive artist with both commercial, mainstream success and praise from the underground Hip-Hop scene, pleasing both sides by continuing to simultaneously be a masculinity-challenging rapper and a popstar.
Ignoring the trend in Hip Hop of releasing a deluxe that’s essentially an entirely different project of its own in the confines of the streaming era, Tyler raps to his own drum, tearing down norms and his own self-inflicted pressure to prove himself as an elite rapper in the process.