Album: Bastard (2009)

“Bastard” the song and by extension the mixtape has acted as the thesis statement for the Tyler, the Creator brand. Within the confines of the intro are all of the themes and cornerstones that would inform his music for the next five years.

On “Bastard” we’re introduced to Dr. TC the therapist that would appear on ensuing albums like Goblin and Wolf. There was the attack on popular 2009 gatekeepers—”Yo, fuck 2DopeBoyz and fuck Nah Right/And any other fuck-nigga-ass blog that can't put an 18-year-old nigga/Making his own fucking beats, covers, videos and all that shit—that foreshadowed Tyler’s general mistrust of most establishments. Even Tyler’s complicated relationship with women and tendency to devolve into horrorcore was on full and by future Odd Future standards muted display.

However, what makes “Bastard” such a standout is the sheer amount of hurt, pain, and vulnerability he shows as a result of the absence of his father. Throughout the song, Tyler weaves a tale of loneliness and abandonment that explains the source of the rage that soaks through the seams of his music. As Tyler raps, “My father's dead, well I don't know, we'll never fucking meet/I cut my wrist and play piano cause I'm so depressed,” he sets the stage for the main conflict that drives his creativity.