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S4E8 - “Boredom” by Tyler, the Creator

2019-06-11

Our season long analysis of Flower Boy continues with the song “Boredom.” Still in the isolation of his garden shed, Tyler’s boredom reveals an underlying loneliness and aimlessness that triggers his unhealthy defense mechanisms. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Let's be honest, you came here to listen to me. Dissect your favorite albums, not read you and ensure that an issue warrants gets that, so they at this add Quicken painless to let you know that they make insurance surprisingly payments, so simple, transparent and affordable you can learn more about it at Esurance, dot com, nothing more dissected decide to start the show. from Spotify studios. This is dissect long for musical analysis broken into short digestible episodes. I'm your hosts culture today We continue our civilised analysis, a flower boy by TAT, the creator honour last episode,
We examined the arm centerpiece guarded shed their. We heard Tyler abandon his sports car, his emotional protective shell and addresses attraction to men within the safety and seclusion of his garden shed in terms of the album's narrative. We interpreted this as a powerful moment. App the knowledge revelation, but also one done in privacy, having acknowledged as part of himself to him, Health Tyler will now work to express himself to the dream partner he's been searching for since the songs you again and as will hear, this will be a ISIS unto itself, one that right. Is the same in and defence mechanisms we heard on the first have a flower boy negatively speaking Tyler. At this point, the album still in his hiding spot stillness isolation of his garden, shed. The effects of his ongoing seclusion we'll begin to reveal themselves as far boy continues into its next track. The subject of our episode today bore
boredom is right. and produced by title the creator and features Rex Orange and Anna. The north additional vocals are provided by current Bailey. Ray Conversation with drug car, Michael Tyler, sharing interesting tidbit about the songs, musical inspiration. I wrote this song over the chords of God bless the child by Stevie, wonder I figure out the chords looped it and just had it playing I was in my room and I wrote composed in the year nineteen thirty nine, the sun God bless. The child is a classic just standard, read by renouncing or Billie Holiday and Arthur hurts on junior those first recorded by holiday nineteen. Forty
One last that's gag God bless you It has since become a stable and just standard repertoire and was now one of the songs of the century by the recording industry, Association of America and the NASH endowment for the arts. The song has been performed by countless artists over the years Sonny ruins Ella Fitzgerald, good. that's a wreath of Franklin! That's an one Stevie wonder Tyler stated that he figured out the cord.
Stevie wonders rendition of God bless the child. I wrote this on board and to them, but was interesting. Is that one cannot simply play the cords of God bless the child verbatim and seeing boredom over the top of them. Rather, it appears Tyler took bits in peace, God bless the child, augmented and rearrange them in different ways to create what we hear of boredom. This is actually pretty cool approach. The songwriting at its heart it resembles the hip hop technique of sampling, were one samples or takes a small piece of a recorded long manipulator, augments it in various ways and creates an entirely new composition from it as a quick example of sampling, let's Euro Tyler's favorite producer Ferrel and the Neptune's sample, and nineteen sixty eight cover up it was the child by blood, sweat and tears. God bless you gotta, that's good,
The Neptune sample of small clip of this rendition of God was the child near the end of the trap. minor, the Neptune sample that for no hard hit a loop it and this becomes a basis of the song, the future by the rap. Do oh clips. when hollow play trades were pale, dotted the Neptune's clip of God bless. The child is a clear example of sampling, taking a fragment. existing song every purposes it for a new composition. Tyler makes a related approach to its flip of wonders. Rendition of God was the child, but rather than sample the actual recording instead pulls fragments of the songs, cord progressions every purposes them list,
look at exactly how Tyler does, in this section, wonder, plays a sequence of a job minor as IE seven. maybe no to spend a moment talking about this cord progression, not only has Tyler RE imagines it for boredom, but also because it taps into a stable of jazz music. What is known as the two five one court progression, the two five one cord progression is a sequence of three cords and is the most common core progression and olive jazz. The numbers two five and one are used to generically represent certain cords within the framework but given key signature, this will make more sense if I explain it through an example of what you just
heard are the seven notes that make up a c major scale. These seven notes the primary ingredients of a song in the key of c major and music theory. These seven notes are label with numbers called scale degrees scale. Degrees are actually quite straightforward, the first no and our c major scale as the sea. This is scale degree one. The second note in the scale Adee scale degree number to the third note. This scale e scale degree. Three, so on. This labeling system continues for all seven notes in the scale. A similar labeling system is also applied to cords built on this scale degrees, for example, a cord built on scale degree. One s major cord is referred to as the one court and the c major key signature. A core built on scale degree number two. A diviner is referred to as the two court accord built on the fiscal degree.
a g. Major is called the five cord and so on. So let's bring this all back to the two five one progression: the progressed we heard on. God bless the child and the one, I said was the most common core progression and all of you as a two five one progression, is simply that a two cord, a five cord and a one gourd in a given key signature God bless. The child is in the key of F major. So let's build a two five one progression in F major and see what comes out. We know that f is scale degree number one in F major, so to find our two cord, the first corner to five one progression. We just need to count up to the second scale. Ray of F major scale, the second scale degree as a g until we build our court gee there's our two cord. Next, we need a five cord, so let's counterfeit
scale, degrees, scale, degree, number, five is a sea, so we build accord on sea there are five toward. Finally, we need a one cord, that's easy enough scale. Degree. One and f major is f. So we build a cord on earth, so there we have our two five one court progression in the key of F major G Minor, see seven and ask me This is a clear obligation. We found a god, was the child two, five wise melody Tyler uses its two five one court fragment and boredom
to lie to me, like he noted in conversation with drug car. Michael Tyler takes two to five. One fragment that's play just once through, and God bless the child and loops it that is, he repeated over and over. He also transposing these courts into different key signature, which basically means he plays the same core progression and a different tunnel register. So, whereas God bless the child was in the key of F major boredom is in a key of a flat major. So let's take what we learned about constructing to five one progressions and see if we can figure out the cords he's playing on the section of boredom ok so first we need a two court. We start on scaled agree, one a flat account up to scale degree to scale
we too, as a bee flat. So we build a court on beef There are two cord next we'd five quart, so we cannot fight scale. Degrees scale, degree fives e flat. So we build a quarter flat? Finally, we the one cord which, in the key of a flat, is just that and a that sought to five one progression in the key of a flat is about flat, minor and e flat. Seven and a flat major to five sobered him title this progression three times and adds a rhythm
the first year this chief One important introduction played on guitar. So, even though Tyler, admittedly began with a direct copy of Accord Fragment and God bless the child through rhythm instrumentation repetition, a new key signature and a new melody composed over the top of these courts. The reference becomes indistinguishable, that is, if Tyler heads David, he wrote boredom over the
words founded, God bless. The child is highly unlikely that any one myself included would have ever connected the two songs together, as we discussed earlier, the same phenomenon happens with sampling despite using actual audio excerpts from old recordings, the way that samples are manipulated and looped, it ought to become extremely difficult. about the original source the sample was taken from again Tyler's approached a boredom is akin to sampling, but rather than sample the actual track. He caught unquote samples the cord progression making at his own through manipulation of rhythm, instrumentation, repetition and melody. Now the two five one progression we just discussed at length is the progression we hear throughout the majority of boredom. But there is one more progression that apply
a few times throughout the song and is actually the progression saw begins with ok, it's actually really cool. What Tyler does here? It begins with the two five one progression in a flat major. We just examined at length be minor. Seven e flat, seven in a flat major seven. Now, instead of repeating this progression like he does in the part we discussed at length, he actually modulate to a new key g flat major. It plays a to five
one progression in this new key signature. So we have a two five one in a flat major flaw. by a two five one and g flat, major next Tyler modulation. To yet another key signature e major and you guessed, it plays a two five one action in the key major, pretty cool right. We asked three to five one progressions in a row and three a key signatures to find one one thousand five one what's known as sequencing, repeating the same musical phrase.
but in a higher or lower pitch class, in this case, Tyler sequences a two five one progression three times and each time the progression is lowered and pitch by the way sequencing. As one of the main reasons why the two five one progression is the moon, common progression and jazz. One can string together an indefinite amount of two five one progressions, creating continuity of composition, but at the same time providing a good amount of harmonic variety. Tethers use of the two five one on the introduction of boredom is a perfect example of this and just nine cords and less than twenty seconds, Tyler's able to imply three different key signatures or tunnel areas which again. I have to point out, never happens and hip hop or pop music for that matter. As we have heard all season, Tyler's ability to take disparate influences this time, a staple of jazz, music and seamlessly integrate them into a modern, Hiphop. Leaning commercially appealing package is it
opinion one of his greatest strength. In this way he transcends all the typical roles. One would label him he's, not a wrapper he's, not a producer, he's not a singer. He's not a songwriter he's, not a storyteller he's, not a composer he's. Actually, all of these things wrapped into one and to me boredom, is one of the rate as examples of what seems to be an effortless assimilation of all of these things case in point, Tyler turn This has got into this it's hard to think of too many people. with the ability to make this transformation when we return will continue, Thousands of boredom by diving into the songs lyrics were first a word from our sponsors,
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tried to broken record on Spotify or wherever you listen to welcome back to dissect. Before the break we detailed how Tyler created the two main core progressions that comprise the majority of Borden's harmonic framework. The song begins with a sequence of three two five one progression to play: the guitar, while featured artist Rex Orange, many a current Bailey sing. A brief introductory melody Rex and Bailey sing when you're having fun time flies out the window. It goes
these lines, actually contrast with what will be the songs made subject boredom and the causes and effects of boredom by establishing that time flies when you're happy and having fun, Tyler Being Board will imply that he's not happy or having fun. At least in this particular moment, Tyler explaining Conversation with Jerrod Carmichael does the song was inspired by a slow Saturday afternoon, but as well hear his analysis of his board of reveal some deeper underlying issues? I wrote that literally was a five p dot m on a Saturday laying on my back, looking like so bored with nothing to do We back and it was none. They eat, but dry cereal, and I'm just sitting there like what the fuck am I gonna do. It was weird maker, the site, I'm in a tax break. It were a kind of, though you do any do whatever I have all these car there I could go drive, you have nowhere to go and I'm just bored and it was. It was just
using a meagre the site. You don't understand how shall we not be borne on it, but it was nothing. Interesting. Do at the moment, which was crazy, saw was like fucking right, a song about it tellers confused to how it could possibly be bored despite having enough disposable income to do practice. Anything he wants will not explicitly stated in this interview. We can deduce from the themes of the em up until this point to determine that is. Boredom is partly feel by his loveliness, his only nesses feel by a lack of a love, life or partner and is like my partner is partially due to have not yet coming to terms with the sexual orientation fully understanding this. Let's get into the first performance of the songs hook, which
again son by Rex Orange County since, in this regard his collaboration with Tyler Rex Orange County, whose real name is Alexander, O Connor told enemy quote. He just pick me up on email like everyone else, and it came like any other collaboration. Would I was pretty convinced that it wasn't him at first, then it became clear that it was really him the song, order is actually something that he wrote and I came into. He wanted to hear my voice on it, so that song is pretty much entirely him, and it's just my they said he wanted to try out for the start, and indeed, despite the songs, many guess singers right
credits for border more solely given to Tyler, meaning that he wrote all the vocal parts his guests are singing the hook of boredom. The section that we just heard is particularly catchy almost anthem like according to Tyler, this was done purposefully inspired by white girls who attend? Could cello emails? I accordingly here is deep bass, voice reference long shut the fuck up into a hood sought a white girl that cultural legacy and I'm not lying doing festivals. You realize white people love single along this shit. That's why the jerking is to bananas, railways, s dislike sway. It's one thing to say that you're going to write a hook, everyone is going to sing it's another thing to actually execute. This would tat does extremely well for the hookah boredom his pair very simple, memorable melody when that anyone can sing pretty easily with a very simple lyric. When that anyone can pretty easily memorize, indeed, the entire hook uses just one line: five
some time to do something. Likewise, the majority of the melody is just too alternating notes, g in a flat. At the end, when the melody stops alternating between Jean a flat and descends, it does using step wise motion? That is, it doesn't take any drastic leaps and register ones be hard to sing or memorize. All of this, easy melody, the repetition of melody and the simplicity of single line lyric. It all makes for an dreamy. Singapore memorable refrain one that a person could hear once and be able to instantly sing along
Why? What for about a minute long, solo, guitar, vocal introduction board suddenly shift instrumentation most noticeable as the entrance of drums. On top of this electronic keys. Take
Chile heard on Qatar be first year. This change of instrument, tasted pair with a repetition of the songs, amphibia clear we just a sect it was now skip ahead. Would Tyler enter sport for the first time over a minute and a half to the soft,
over a minute and a half into the sun will not be able to launch the Rio summit for so long. For my problem with me, I'm not born after repeated boredom eight times tat begins his first describing the empty cereal boxes in his room rap, boy, my bedroom floors, cereal burial, I'm serious! I ate em all try boxes bodies, yeah caught him Tyler seems to be playing on the phrase serial killer cheaply, applying it to his murdering or eating of all the dry cereal in the house, which he does at a boredom Tyler continues. I've been in his fucking room,
so long, my eyeballs are turning to drywall. Drywall is what most interior walls are made from and Tyler plays off the word to cleverly expressed it he's been sitting and staring at the walls of his room, because he has nothing to do next. Tyler lashes out against his friends for not responding to his cause. Before concluding the verse asking why this might be, he asked what the fuck is. The problem is it me, because I'm not solved being ignored by his friends, has Tyler feeling in secure
Setting the stage for verse too, in which targets more introspective about the cause of his boredom desert land- and I also welcome message me- was that all is well thanks. Piles of cases handled performance must not make us reading them. Tyler begins
first to in a similar fashion, diverse one stating how his phone isn't entertaining him and that he wishes, as friends would text with something to do midway through the verse. Tyler says got some cars I can handle, but wherefore performance. Here we get yet another reference to Tyler Sports cars on flower boy just by having multiple cars tellers, nowhere to drive them has no end destination and perhaps, most importantly, no inter right. Past You're with him, like we ve, been doing all season, we can view the cars, a symbol for Tyler's wealth and now, despite having wealth, he still unfulfilled, still lonely still searching for meaning a place to go. Tyler continues, peeling back the layers beneath his boredom saying my stomach, angry and yellin. I need some food I could order, but I hate being solo, need someone
we can lawyer in parking lots as sunsets at the border. Here Tyler reveals an underlying loneliness beneath the surface of his boredom. He longed for someone to eat and watch sunsets with, and we instantly think about his continuous search for his dream partner laid out and see you again as a final verse of boredom concludes. Tyler's boredom loneliness and isolation hit rock bottom. He says I can't the alone I've been starting to feel. Like I don't know anyone so now staring at my ceiling, fucking going like I have no idea where I'm going. There is not much to interpret here. Tellers boredom is clearly lead him to question is entire existence. He feels a strange from his friends, his lonely and its direct.
Unless in just a minute, will see how these concluding lines help to propel the arms ongoing narrative. But before we go there, I would like to quickly knowledge and pretty cool musical development. Tyler employs here at the end of boredom after performance of the songs Hook, Tyler begins to introduce or kestrel instruments over the electronic keyboard playing the two five one progression His first heard on base is now played on cello and as the sexual continues. We hear more and more string. Embellishments enter a trilling, violent section here, a pit Sokoto or pluck melodic line there. Again. All these new instruments are ripping over the two five one that has been
Apples throughout the track tellers able to this instrumental section merely a minute due to the constant entrance of new instruments, melodic lines and embellishments Tyler then drop The brand new eight hundred and eight dominant drumbeat, over which the electronic keyboard continues to play, but rather than the two five one progression in e flat major we've been hearing throughout the majority of Boredom Keymod, relates down a full step and repeats continue.
Leah to five one and the key empty flat. Major this out your last nearly a minute making them two minutes of boredom, mostly an instrumental experience, save for some vocal ad lips. I point this out to acknowledge Tyler's, compositional skill ass. We ve heard all season. He very often gets the very most of his musical material through motive development changes in instrumentation orchestra, like ornamentation, and a handful of other compositional technique. case in point: boredom is far boys longest song at five minutes and twenty seconds, and yet it's only built on to court progressions, both of which are variations in the two five one court fragment he pulled from. God bless the child
just that tiny amount of inspiration from Stevie Wonder was all Tyler needed too create an anthem for the malaise of his generation, because at the heart of boredom there is a certain feeling that Tyler tapped into a feeling that seems to be permeating more and more in contemporary society boredom. I think right now, To me is like your Billy, Jean rarely, it really is kind of a seeing people connect with that's that's on import like They are called. You said I dont know if the song is creating an emotion for me or if it's like the soundtrack to something already feel like that's how powerful, I think drug car, Michael since Tyler quote, I dont know if the song is creating an emotion for me or if it's the soundtrack to something are already feel unquote. Personally, I would argue the latter. I think Tyler tapped into a generational feeling of boredom
a malaise, because we now live in a world with an unprecedented amount of entertainment options. We have access to an incessant constantly refers streamers of stimulation in the palm of our hands, but our entertainment and our experience of the world is increasingly digitized, is increasingly virtual. So to do something is often to do nothing that we often are physically stationary for our staring at a scream. We get it stimulation to be entertained, but not to be fulfilled. This is an unresolved double dichotomy of emotion to be at once related and unsatisfied to be engrossed, but not engaged, and when we extrapolate, song from far boys narrative. Would I hear, and boredom is an anthem forged duration, that is over stimulated and malnourished. a generation who are forever entertained and forever bore
one in terms: the Alps narrative, there's a few key plot points that occur near the end of boredom that we need to address. The first occurs at the end of verse, too: let's take another, listen raining. He gave them as long as we stated earlier. Tellers boredom leads to questioning his entire existence as he expresses estrangement from spreads his loneliness and his aimlessness. This rock bottom moment is followed by Tyler muttering to himself. Damn I gotta get.
Here remember negatively speaking Tyler still in isolation. At the end of the song porthole, we heard of exodus car and enter the garden this isolation is driven him to a kind of emotional breaking point that we just turn on board and second birth. At the end of boredom. We here just outlined chooses to escape is emotional turmoil. drives off. We got something right now, because you musicale here article operating it was that the loneliness and uncertainty brought on by his isolation was getting too much retired to handle after the apparent breakthrough that was guarded shed, we find now Tyler digressing back to his old defence mechanisms. He gets back into it.
Sports car, which we know he uses as an emotional, protective shield and speed off and just like food at boy. Tyler avoids dealing with its underlying issues by parading his ego and creating chaos. Indeed, flower boys next track is an emotional one hundred and eighty from the sentiments of bored of the song, of which Tyler begs for someone's time. We now find them saying the exact opposite. That's a border guards, of course we're talking about. flower. Boys, ninth, track. I ain't got time. A song salmon note by no line by line next time on dissect
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