"From Roaches to Butterflies" would be the title of my book on the life of Tyler the Creator if it was written today.
Tomorrow marks the five-year anniversary of Tyler releasing 'Yonkers' on YouTube for the world to see. I still vividly remembering being in my dorm room during my sophomore year, sitting at a table watching it for the first time. I had to run the video back again and again, to soak up what I had truly just witnessed. A skinny African-American kid with a Supreme box logo hat was discussing a range of topics from therapy, to Adventure Time, to his disdain for the song 'Airplanes', while simultaneously eating a roach and eventually hanging himself.
While the song and video where both dark and brooding, I couldn't help but revel in the fact that this was a breath of fresh air in hip-hop. At that moment, I was a fan of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.
Watching Tyler the Creator and the rest of OF grow over the years has been a wonderful ride. But even at the moment I first laid eyes on the 'Yonkers' video, I knew Tyler, an almost no-name at the time, was going to be the biggest artist out of that group (sorry, Frank).
I could go on for paragraphs about his accomplishments, but his directing has always been the facet of his persona I have loved most. Under the moniker, "Wolf Haley", Tyler has put out some of the most shocking, meaningful, and quality videos in recent music history. From 'She', to 'Rella', to 'Sam Is Dead', to 'Glowing', Wolf Haley has hit on so many levels of human consciousness with his eye for hyper-realistic situations.
In his latest video 'Perfect', which features DMV/Colombian artist, Kali Uchis, and frontman of Slow Hollows, Austin Feinstein, Tyler is at a point in his life where butterflies more appropriately represent him than a cockroach. The contrast of colors alone is enough to draw the eye, as the sultry voice of Kali melts your heart over production easily recognized as Tyler's own, and a smooth transition into the slow melody of Austin's guitar round out this beautiful love ballad.