For the December/January issue's other cover, Associate Editor Matthew Trammell spent three days in Los Angeles with Tyler, the Creator, finding the Odd Future firebrand in shifting mindsets of maturity and introspection while playing video games, fighting with his mom over household chores, and toiling away on his next solo album and follow-up to 2013's Wolf. While reporting the story, Trammell got some details on how the still-in-progress record's turning out, and we've compiled that info in easily digestible form while you dig into the deeper details of the piece.
1. It's been in the works for a while now—and he's still working on it
Trammell's story notes that Tyler's been working on the record in earnest over the last year, with some of its potential songs dating back to 2011—and it's not quite finished yet. Although the Odd Future camp hoped to release it during this past weekend's Camp Flog Gnaw carnival, details remain scarce—or, as Tyler puts it to Trammell, "It's still nothing."
2. There'll likely be some guests—and it might not be who you'd expect
Tyler says in the article that he's looking to snag a wide berth of talent—including Jay Z, Rick Ross, Keyshia Cole, Cherry Glazerr, Leon Ware, and GEN F alum Kali Uchis—to potentially contribute to the record. (Willow Smith may be on it, too, but, according to Tyler, "She better not flex!") It seems unlikely, though, that the record will feature members from Odd Future's core lineup circa 2010: Tyler tells Trammell that "Everyone's on their own island" when it comes to recent collaborations, and that includes Earl Sweatshirt—according to Tyler, the two haven't worked together on music in over a year.
3. He's drawing from 1970s R&B for inspiration
"Stevie's my competition," Tyler says in Trammell's piece while listening to Stevie Wonder's 1972 cut "Where Were You When I Needed You?". "Not these niggas on the radio."
4. He's shifting his lyrical focus to societal issues...
Tyler landed in some hot water (and lost a Mountain Dew ad campaign) after a controversial, racially-tinged advertisement he directed for the soda company, and it sounds like new songs such as "Run" and "Keep the O's" find Tyler continuing to attempt to challenge the social status quo. "He offers up heavy-handed indictments of gang culture and rapper consumerism," Trammell reports, "calling them detrimental not just to the progress of his race, but to humanity as a whole."
5. But Tyler is still Tyler
Trammell describes Tyler's new material as "lyrically raw, disruptive, and acidic," noting that there's one song entirely devoted to the act of cunnilingus. Some things never change!