A Rollercoaster Finish | “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” – Tyler, The Creator


Sarah Beltran, Senior Staff Writer

Since the arrival of Tyler, the Creator’s fifth studio album, IGOR, last month, there has been a wave of opinions about him and his latest work. You can’t bring it up without being hammered with the age-old question, “What’s your favorite track?”

Upon the album’s release, Tyler gave a statement about what (not) to expect from the album and how to best listen to it. After taking it all in, I think pretty much any of the songs could be named best track, but – and I am prepared to face opposition – “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” hit me the hardest.

“ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?” is the cultivation of a cultivation. As Tyler states in his tweet, IGOR is something completely separate from his past musical endeavors. He tells a story in a new way while still drawing from sounds in his other albums. All of this, along with the influence of other historically black genres like soul, jazz and blues, has come together to create an entirely new sound that can only be described as Tyler Okonma. Through its authenticity and originality, IGOR shows Tyler as a person with whom we can genuinely experience the album.


After recounting a rollercoaster of a love story throughout rest of the album, Tyler ties it all together with this outro track.  He decorates a sample from soul legend Al Green with epic gospel organ-esque synths, funky bass and jazzy guitar riffs, played by Jack White. He tells the ending of IGOR’s story with tired, lackadaisical vocals that are as bare as his soul, until he lets it all go with a bluesy wail reminiscent of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. This explosion of tension is recreated every time the main chorus comes in, reflecting on the highs and lows of the relationship he has described.

For all those who will say that he did not rap on this track, that is the whole point of this album. That is why this is a perfect wrap-up of this new era of a more undefined Tyler. He’s more than a rapper – he’s a creator.

Featured image by Apple Music; retrieved from LA Times.