It’s rare to find an artist whose discography is a storyline, and even further to have a dialogue between different characters of the story. Tyler the Creator is one of the small number of artists who could accomplish this. Throughout his earlier works, he would invite characters into his world such as “Tron Cat”, “Wolf Haley”, “Ace” and “Dr. TC” on songs Nightmare, Goblin, Tron Cat, Inglorious, and Bastard to cope with the pain of who he is; similar to the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder. Golden, the last song off of his second solo album Goblin was the climax to a recurring conversation/conflict between Tyler and his therapist, Dr. TC, and the whole story altogether.
The song begins with a therapy session coming to an end. Dr. TC asks Tyler if he has any last words, Tyler finally opens up: “Mom is getting jealous, I see my manager more
Than I see her before I go on tour and it hurts (Yeah)
I miss the days when this was fun, but now it turned into work
And getting legal, so I gotta watch the shit that I blurt out
He continues to rap about how life is not going the way it’s supposed to: his relationships are falling apart, he is lying to his mom, his dad left him at an early age, and he’s fighting suicidal thoughts. Dr. TC tries to de-escalate the situation but Tyler progressively gets angrier until he threatens to commit suicide. Dr. TC calls security and they barge into the room to stop Tyler who is throwing a tantrum. Once Tyler calms, in a short monologue, Dr. TC reveals that he is Tron Cat, Wolf Haley, Ace, and Tyler-they were all the same person. Tyler was trying to help himself the whole time.
This shows music doesn’t have to be just a combination of the perspectives of the listener and the artist. It can come in the form of contrasting perspectives of just the artist made into different egos. These alter egos could be conflicting thoughts in the artist’s head that they turn into characters and identities to converse just like Tyler did with Wolf Haley, Dr. TC, and Tron Cat. In the end, Tyler finds peace between all of his alter-egos when it is revealed that they are the same person.
Article by Huey instagram: @chukieoj