Tyler, The Creator’s Best Two-Part Songs, Ranked

Track 10 on every album from the Los Angeles multihyphenate share a common theme.

Images photographed by Cam Hicks (@_camhicks).

From being banned in the U.K. to becoming a Grammy-winning artist with two Billboard Number 1 albums, Tyler, the Creator’s career evolution is extraordinary.  He’s flaunted skills in fashion, design, and acting on top of being one of the best rappers and producers in the game today.  One of the more underrated facets of Tyler’s game is his ability to craft alluring two-part songs.  As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the tenth track on a Tyler album will have two parts.  So, we decided to rank them.  

A quick disclaimer: music is subjective.  If this list resonates with you, awesome.  If not, that’s cool too.  Create your own list and share it with us.  With that being said, let’s get into Tyler, the Creator’s best two-part songs.  

7. Fish / Boppin Bitch (Goblin)

We’re kicking off the list with “Fish”, an extended metaphor comparing picking up girls with fishing.  The obscene rap that put Tyler on the map is on full display here.  Not even a quick verse from the soon-to-be Grammy-winning Frank Ocean could’ve saved this record.  Both sonically and lyrically, “Fish” feels like a weaker version of the uber-popular “She”.  The track sounds a bit overproduced, leaving it as a forgotten remnant in Tyler’s increasingly impressive discography.  

Without warning, we stumble into the hidden track “Boppin Bitch”.  This track is one of the funnier cuts from Tyler’s old projects, with Jasper serving as hype man reiterating the phrase “She a boppin’ bitch!”  Tyler ironically doesn’t rhyme on the chorus at all, but he does show exceptional cadence and breath control when the beat picks up in his verses.  

6. VCR / Wheels (Bastard)

“VCR” features one of the weaker instrumentals from Tyler’s debut mixtape, Bastard.  However, the ethereal chords on this R&B/rap slow jam are an early example of Tyler’s keen ear for production.  A loud “Stop!” takes us into the intense fever dream that is “Wheels”.  The surrealism across both tracks is something to marvel at.  The lyrics, while still describing obscene themes, are more toned down than other songs of this era.  Some of the early ideas presented in the song structure are fully realized on later tracks over the years.     

5. PartyIsntOver / Campfire / Bimmer (Wolf)

You know we had to include this three-part cut from Wolf on the list.  This one is a cult favorite for the pre-Flower Boy fans of Tyler.  “PartyIsntOver” and “Campfire” are more laidback tracks and “Bimmer” is one of the premiere cuts from Wolf.  The reversed drum break on “Campfire” creates a darker tone than its predecessor, although the song is simply about making smores.  Though the song lacks smooth transitions between parts, each is unique in its own right.  Truly, each of these cuts could have thrived as its own track, but we’re glad Tyler sandwiched them together.   

4. 911 / Mr. Lonely (Flower Boy)

Now we’re getting into the good stuff.  “911” is upbeat and groovy, though Tyler’s lyrics display darker themes.  On Flower Boy, lyrics like “I’m the loneliest man alive / But I keep on dancing to throw ‘em off” find Tyler expressing more vulnerability than what fans were used to at the time.  Frank Ocean’s iconic “chirp chirp” is a perfect example of unexpectedly catchy creativity and has become a line that Tyler regularly replays at live shows.  

The sound of an off-hook telephone provides a smooth transition into the more introspective “Mr. Lonely”.  Tyler uses a 48-bar stretch to detail some of the shortcomings in his social life.  He confronts his tendency for retail therapy to fill this void and yearns for someone to check in on him and ask how he’s really doing.  Tyler took his time perfecting this track, confirming that there were roughly 25 versions before he found the right arrangement.   

3. F*cking Young / Perfect (Cherry Bomb)

“F*cking Young / Perfect” is a beautiful contradiction.  The narrative incorporates the album’s title Cherry Bomb as a nod to a song by Joan Jett and the Runaways of the same name.  In that track, the phrase “cherry bomb” represents a female jailbait.  Tyler is infatuated with a new love interest, though he’s concerned that she’s too young.  Sonically, the track could’ve been pulled out of a time capsule from the 70’s.  The lyrics are “perverted and weird” according to Tyler, but the track greatly represents the shift in his stylings from obscene rap to adept songwriter.  

A booming kick drum pulls us into a lovely rendition from Kali Uchis on “Perfect”.  In the duet, Kali speaks from the female perspective, calling Tyler “scared” to pursue the relationship.  “Somehow, this world is such a struggle just to be / F*ck ‘em all baby, it’s just you and me,” she croons.  She thinks Tyler is “perfect,” though Tyler cannot escape the idea that she’s too “f*cking young.”  From the lyrical concepts to the instrumentation, this is where Tyler fully realized his knack for creating two-part songs.  

2. Gone, Gone / Thank You (IGOR)

This is another track that fits perfectly into the context of an album.  IGOR is a masterpiece in every sense of the word.  The album’s arc covers all aspects of falling in love with someone from beginning to end.  On track ten, “Gone, Gone,” Tyler thinks about losing his love for that partner.  Jerrod Carmichael’s outro on the previous track sets this song up perfectly – “I don’t know what’s harder, letting go or just being okay with it.”  Cee Lo Green contributes vocals on the catchy hook as Tyler faces the exact dilemma Jerrod was talking about.      

On “Thank You,” a repeated chorus finds Tyler showing appreciation for the moments they shared together.  “Thank you for the time / Thank you for your mind,” he sings, before concluding that he never wants to fall in love again.  What’s most impressive about “Thank You” is that the beat sounds like a gun being loaded, cocked, and fired on loop – a callback to the seventh track “A Boy Is A Gun*”.  The production on this track, and across the entirety of IGOR, is exquisite. 

1. Sweet / I Thought You Wanted to Dance (CMIYGL)

“Sweet” is Tyler’s pinnacle of infatuation with the forbidden love interest on Call Me If You Get Lost“They should call you sugar, you’re so sweet,” he serenades on the ever-so-catchy hook.  Tyler expresses the range of emotions that arise from being wildly enamoured with new love.  Brent Faiyaz floating over the decadent bridge with his signature silky-smooth vocals puts this track over the top.  

A brief spoken word from Tyler transitions us into the reggae-infused “I Thought You Wanted to Dance”.  Fana Hues takes the role of Tyler’s love interest, using her verse to express more mixed feelings.  “I ain’t mean to lead you on, because / Him and I got some things that we’re trying / But my energy belongs to you,” she sings before ultimately choosing her partner.  Tyler’s mixed emotions cause him to spiral on his final verse, questioning the meaning of everything that led him to this moment.  Ultimately, sometimes you fall out of love just as quickly as you fell in.    

We hope you enjoyed our ranking of Tyler’s best two-part tracks.  Let us know what you would change in the comments below!  Lastly, for more rankings from wavypack, check out The Best Big Pun Songs of All-Time

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