Tyler The Creator (or Tyler Gregory Okonma) seems to think his new single ‘OKRA’ is a throwaway track. However his loyal fan base on YouTube believes it to be the opposite; as it is charting as the #1 trending music video clip right now.
OKRA is a song about moving on from past friendships which forms the motif and the hook “I cut off some friends”. Albeit quite harsh to diss old friends and his former collective ‘Odd Future’, the genre of hip hop and rap are quite accepting of this. Tyler goes on to describe his success and wealth in a way that would suggest, he has a perception of superiority and wants them (past associates of Tyler) to feel abit jealous. Which goes to show, sometimes losing a friend can be worse than a breakup, or at least more chauvinistic of this cause to outdo one another.
The strength of this single comes from Tyler’s lyricism and vocal ability. Without taking a breathe (or to the listeners ear which you can notice) he verbally stuffs the track full, with his rap verses. To the same point, the hook is immediately called upon, allowing virtually no room for a melody, instrumental solo or change in tempo. This song is Tyler at his unadulterated best. Yet I can understand why this song because of its raw uncensored nature doesn’t belong on his “grammy nominated” 4th album, Flower Boy, which contains much more softer rap delivery and subject matter.
The limitations are evident in his opening statement that he made this song “in one take”. To anyone who has attempted to spit lyrics (rap) before will tell you, all verses need practice, especially when mistakes occur in a flurry, when on set or recording the audio. Not to mention, the ham-fisted idea of bragging midverse about a 400k vehicle or a 30k travel bag. If there’s beef (tension between artists or old friends in this case) the success of the views and video response, should speak for itself, but that’s my 2 cents.
Overall, OKRA is not a song to be taken lightly or thrown away because the message is at the forefront of its existence – Tyler is no longer associated with Odd Future.
P.S. Okra is a vegetable that encases seeds in a pod, similarly to snow peas. One ‘Genius Lyrics’ commenter also claimed, the vegetable to a reference back to Tyler’s Nigerian heritage on his father’s side.