WHEN IGOR ATE TYLER, THE CREATOR

When Tyler, The Creator’s newest album was released it did so along with a music video which stared a magnetic character that became a total icon in just a matter of moments. It’s Igor, and he’s on the way to becoming a much bigger phenomenon than his own creator.

Igor is the title of Tyler, The Creator’s latest album to date. But, just like in one of those strange cases in which the work surpasses its creator, it turns out that Igor is also getting bigger. It’s a type of cultural (and also a bit paranormal) phenomenon that is impossible to be understood if you don’t know the ins and outs of the rapper’s latest album. After all, Tyler has just released a string of 12 tracks that can only be understood in terms of a conceptual album, as it explains a closed story in which the author himself is the star of a doomed love story in which he yearns for another boy who, in turn, is still stuck on his ex-girlfriend.

And what does Igor have to do with any of this? Well, he’s one more character in this soap opera: as his own name suggests, that directly refers to the legendary character from the film Young Frankenstein, Igor pays tribute to the archetype of the typical villain’s assistant seen throughout the whole movie. In the case of this album, the character is something like a dark and totally deprived of romanticism version of Tyler himself. A figure that appears in the middle of the album with a synthesised voice to amplify his villainous nature and that takes away from the rapper all traces of foolish puppy love.

And up until this point is the official story. But it just so turns out that in the moment of the launch of Igor, anyone would have expected that the only thing that would have been talked about it would have been the (apparently already confirmed) coming out of Tyler, The Creator. But no. It turns out that the first single of the album, Earfquake, came out along with a music video starring a really impactful character: the same rapper with a blonde wig à la Sia, sunglasses, metallic grill, silver loafers and a shirtless deep blue pantsuit and gold jewellery. Which is the same as: we attended the birth of Igor, the transfer of the character from the album to the real world.

And from there, people started to ask for more of Igor, and they got more Igor. And it’s not only that the character has starred in a great part of the music videos from the album, as the excellent A boy is a gun or I think. And, even Tyler, The Creator himself started selling a costume of Igor a few weeks ago, just in time for Halloween. And purely by popular demand, Igor has also been obliged to attend the recent Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, the festival organised and curated by the artist himself. Which, inevitably, leads to the unavoidable question: will Igor die after the closure of this album’s cycle? Or having seen this unprecedented success, will Tyler find the way of keeping him alive?