For the agency's latest entry in its original "Roll Back, Play That" series, which is described as offering "superior musical deep cuts curated by our favorite artists of today," Tyler, The Creator takes it way back to his middle school years, during 8th grade from 2004, and reveals eight specific tracks that made an impact and helped fuel his signature musical aesthetic. Check out the full list of songs below, along with a backstory of each, and for the the full coverage, head on over to Saint Heron.
Doves "Black And White Town"
"It was intriguing and, looking back, probably opened my eyes to how music videos could work. No performance. Not one. The piano chords, simple, yet something I rarely heard in rock songs. The structure was amazing too – the pre hook worked as a bridge, more guitars in the hook but doesn’t take away from the piano. His voice is perfect."
Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell "Drop It Like It’s Hot"
"My f*cking brain melted. I was confused, excited and not present all at the same time. I’ve never heard anything like it in my life. Snoop has never sounded cooler and getting a P rap verse at the time was rare. I recorded it on tape from my boom box (my dial up internet couldn’t handle Limewire) and replayed it 400 times."
The Hives "Two-Timing Touch and Broken Bones"
"Energy. This had f*cking energy. I didn’t know what the fuck he was talking about and I didn’t care. His moves, his voice, everything was perfect."
Usher feat. Pharrell "Wifey"
"Classic Neptunes piano, simple drums, infectious hook and melody, and the icing on the cake was P and Usher going back and forth. Sucks that this never got officially released. (Major shout out to the girl Bianca that I was crushing on at the time. I emailed her this song. She wasn’t feeling it.)"
T.I. feat. Pharrell "Freak Though"
"Classic. The way the chords just melt down during the verse, amazing. P singing on the hook, amazing. T.I. going in depth and detail, sticking to the concept, amazing. Not many songs that put the “hoes” of the neighborhood in a positive light."
Lenny Kravitz “California”
"One thing about the video that stuck with me was the warm tone of it, which was pretty spot on with Los Angeles between the times of 4pm and 7pm. Lenny grew up in the ’70s, a totally different time from the mid 2000s I was living in. But the skateboarding, backyard parties and music were things that I related to."
213 "Gotta Find A Way"
"This song’s sound was so nostalgic but still managed to sound brand new. Nate Doggs’ voice is the audio version of strong coffee with too much cream and sugar, which I would consider perfect for my 13 year old ears."
Ludacris "The Potion"
"This was the hardest f*cking beat to me, Jesus Christ. Timbo the king! Luda was one of the best rappers to me at one point. His pockets and witty punchlines were so over the top, but I truly believe his only flaw was the fact he didn’t get serious enough."
Gwen Stefani "Long Way To Go"
"This was definitely a song that didn’t make ‘The Love Below’. Andre wrote a song about racism and color blindness when it comes to love, and that really opened my eyes at 13. This is a Prince song, the more that I think about it."
Now, have a listen to the eight-track playlist via Spotify below.
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