Upon the release of Tyler, the Creator’s Golf Media App, the rapper has just revealed that he has a new album coming out in five days (not unlike the surprise reveal that cohort Earl Sweatshirt did with his latest release). Entitled Cherry Bomb, Tyler is kicking off the album’s announcement with revealing a music video for the record’s first single, “F***king Young/Perfect.” Directed by Tyler himself (under his alias of Wolf Haley), and featuring appearances from the majority of his group OFWGKTA, the video is yet another gestation of the L.A. rapper’s prevalent theme revolving around messed-up adolescence.
Partly a love song (at least for the first half), “F***king Young/Perfect” features Kali Uchis on vocals. As the title suggests, the song is about a man sharing a mutual attraction with a girl, but ultimately denying her because he feels she is too young. “A six year difference is a ten year sentence,” sings Uchis on the first verse, and Tyler would agree. “When you’re 35, I’ll be 41/and when I’m 27 you’ll be 21/ Yo, this is dumb.”
For this song’s section, the music and video reflects the cautionary vibe of the song. The music is soft and keyboard-driven. The visuals showcase bright lighting and Tyler more-or-less is trying to live a normal domestic life (albeit one with a very twisted world-view). While the group has been known for their harsh beats and shock-value tinged lyrics, Tyler has always been the OFWGKTA member more adamant to show his gentle side. Tracks like “IFHY” and “Awkward” have been about Tyler’s melancholy over not being able to find the right woman in life, and songs like these do a better job of dissecting his stigma than the majority of his songs that deal with imagined rape and murder.
That said, the video and song take a drastic shift around the four-minute mark. Here we see Tyler escorted from a movie theater by a group of white ushers. After this, we hear some guitars enter the sound scheme, as Tyler stands up and starts rapping with a real sense of aggression. After lighting a cherry bomb and throwing it at his agitators, the rapper quickly disposes of the theater employees. We then see him traversing a desert landscape on a go-kart, accompanied by a roster of vehicles that are clearly cut from the same post-apocalyptic cloth as The Mad Max films (Fury Road in theaters May 15th!).
Minus the fanboy-appealing visuals though, this latter dsytopic section of the video is weaker overall. While Tyler has always been honest that he feels he isn’t the best rapper, his rhymes seem particularly clunky here, and the brash music makes it hard to make out quite what he’s saying. Even the whole Road Warrior send up ultimately proves tired, as this is hardly the first hip-hop music video to adopt a sci-fi motif, and it lacks the viscera for it to register as being anything too memorable.
“F***king Young/Perfect” is a fun video that works with the group’s boyish sensibilities, but it isn’t suggestive that Cherry Bomb will be the album where Tyler reaches maturity. The 24-year old rapper is still concerned with high-school-esque crushes, and problems with authority, plus his production style hasn’t seemed to have evolved too much since 2013’s Wolf. We’ll see in five days when the album comes out. But right now, it’s looking like “F***king Young/Perfect” should just offer more of the same from the OFWGKTA canon.