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The Best Albums of 2013 (So Far)

37. Tyler, The Creator Wolf

Label: Odd Future/RED/Sony

There's a point in every young artist's career where it becomes time to mature and grow, to address serious issues with clarity while still making music that captivates a juvenile audience (think Eminem on The Eminem Show). For Tyler, The Creator that moment's come with the release of Wolf. That dichotomy between adult themes and childishness is on full display on "Cowboy," where Tyler raps, "Life ain't got no light in it/Darker than the closet that nigga Frankie was hiding in," a reference to Frank Ocean coming out as bisexual in 2012. Tyler's able to address his deadbeat father with sophistication on "Answer," expressing both the anger and yearning of being abandoned.

On the production end, Tyler mans the whole project almost entirely by himself, and the result is some of his best material yet, creating a sound that's lively and rich, ebbing and flowing with the mood of the lyrics. Tyler is ultimately a savant with the arrangement and instrumentation, and that's what takes Wolf to the next level. —Dharmic X

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