With his 2011 debut album, “Goblin,” rapper Tyler, the Creator built a reputation as an artist with an eye for controversy. That album’s lead single, “Yonkers,” includes a lyric about stabbing Bruno Mars in his esophagus. In the accompanying music video, the co-founder of the hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All pretends to eat a cockroach.
All this makes Tyler’s quieter, soul-bearing fourth album, “Flower Boy,” released this past July, seem like an anomaly. The 26-year-old artist born Tyler Okonma will perform music from the album on Monday, Feb. 12, at the James L. Knight Center in Miami. Rapper and Odd Future affiliate Vince Staples will also perform.
Tyler shifts from rap provocateur to thoughtful poet on “Flower Boy,” and its 14 tracks appear more interested in lyrical beauty than with testing the listener’s patience for profanity. Offering plaintive confessionals in songs such as “Where This Flower Blooms,” Tyler grows even more introspective in tracks that address his crippling loneliness (“Mr. Lonely”), fluid sexuality (“I Ain’t Got Time!”) and unrequited love (“Who Dat Boy,” featuring A$AP Rocky).
It’s a mellower side for Tyler, and it’s paying off: “Flower Boy” hit No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 2 on its Top 200 Albums chart after debuting in July, and recent concert reviews show a rapper well on the path to self-discovery.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12
Where: James L. Knight Center, 400 SE Second Ave., Miami
Contact: 305-416-5970 or JLKC.com
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