Date: October 8
Here's a thought, in the week that Kanye West explains to everyone what it is be a creative genius—about how angry he gets when he feels hemmed in by categories, when he feels like people aren't taking him seriously because they think of his talents as lying only in music. "I've got ideas that can mean something," he said, of working in fashion, movies, and efforts to make the world a more enjoyable place for people in general, "if I put the proper production around them."
The thought is: Is the 21st century artist going to be of a different sort than we've become used to? Is the idea that an artist is a person who is born with a special talent in one certain area (and not others, perhaps even at the expense of others) outmoded? Is the 21st century artist going to be someone who flits around and goes back and forth between different fields, excelling at some things at some point, others at another? Are we coming into an era that will be dominated by a new kind of renaissance man?
Watch Tyler, the Creator's new video. Here's a person who became famous for making music. But while his music has been inspiring fewer and fewer accolades lately, can you think of anyone with a surer-handed grasp of what might be described as the style of today's youth? Of how to make a video that's fun to watch on the internet? I mean, just the colors of the thing. The way they "pop!" And all the clever little ideas that make you smile. ("Due to the graphic nature of this film, I was forced to blur because people aren't ready to have intelligent conversations before they judge," says text written over one blurred-out scene. "But this shit is allowed," it says over the next one, which depicts Tyler bouncing on the jiggling buttucks of a sunbather like her tush is a trampoline.)
All the various imagery and costumes and decor. All of a certain tone, all in line with a singular vision, one that (even if if you find it gross or puerile or whatever) makes sense when you see it all strung together. "Tamale," it says in the beginning. "A visual interpretation of Tyler's mind."
This is a person with ideas that can mean something with the proper production put around them. This is, quite clearly, a genius at work. A musical genius? Maybe not. Or, maybe not at the moment. Maybe that was two years ago, when "Yonkers" came out. Maybe this very young person's flighty talents have found a different perch for the moment. But they're still vividly on display. — Dave Bry
RELATED: Video: Tyler, The Creator "Tamale"