If you’re anything like me, you may find yourself listening to any Tyler, The Creator track or even just reading one of his tweets and thinking to yourself, “Yo, what in the world is going on in this dude’s head?”
Thankfully among a rapper, producer, fashion designer and all-around mogul, Tyler is also a mind reader so he had director Mikey Alfred follow him around with a camera during the making of his 2015 LP Cherry Bomb.
Cherry Bomb: The Documentary is a 43-minute, scatterbrained retelling of this era of Tyler’s life. Upon its initial release back in January, only 500 signed DVD copies were available, however, it is now available in full on Youtube.
The footage is a bit all over the place, quickly cutting from live performances, to behind the scenes of his outrageous music videos, to random B-roll of the Odd Future crew and the hilarious shenanigans they get into.
There are plenty of dope anecdotal moments. In one, A$AP Rocky gets beat in a game of Mario Kart, attempting to defend himself with, “Everyone knows when you play Mario go karts, you don’t play one race.” In another, he records with a strings section at film composer Hans Zimmer’s studio, during which the legend gave him a ‘nod of approval’.
Tyler’s narration and commentary throughout the film are interesting, to say the least. At points, it is simply entertaining, but on several occasions, the rapper gets candid as he talks about pretty much everything that goes into making an album and his personal philosophies. The film gives us a peek into Tyler’s creative process even revealing the backstory behind a few of the tracks like “RUN” and “2SEATER.” In these moments, his passion and creativity are unquestionable and whether you are a fan or not, his talent is clear.
The most compelling parts of the film come when Tyler is speaking of his collaborators and viewers get to see first hand what it’s like to be in the studio with the likes of Chaz Bundick (of Toro y Moi), Kanye West, Kali Uchis, Pharrell Williams, Charlie Wilson and more. It is apparent that Tyler picks his collaborators carefully and holds every artist he works with at such a high regard — most notably so Pharrell, who Tyler totally fanboys over for a segment of the film.
As wild and provocative of a character Tyler is, the documentary shows a completely different side of the artist. It’s almost hard for me to believe this the same guy that wrote “Yonkers” or most of his discography for that matter. While I still have mixed feelings about him musically, this film has given me a newfound respect for the Tyler, the Creator.