What Genre Is Tyler, The Creator?

Tyler, The Creator is a multifaceted artist, with his music spanning several genres such as hip-hop, neo-soul, alternative hip-hop, and R&B. Yet his shift from horrorcore roots to evolving styles speaks volumes about his unique approach to music.

In the early years of his career, Tyler, The Creator established his musical base in the genre of horrorcore. This allowed him to push the boundaries and explore multiple aspects of music creation.

However, as his career progressed, his style began to evolve. His transition from horrorcore-like sounds to R&B displayed his diversity as an artist, earning him numerous awards and recognition.

Exploring Tyler the Creator’s Musical Roots

Tyler, The Creator, began his journey into music as a founding member of the alternative hip-hop collective Odd Future. This collective brought together a host of talented musicians who would go on to shape the sound of hip-hop in the 2010s. The gritty, confrontational style and esoteric humor of the collective are distinctly reflected in Tyler’s early work.

Influences of various genres, especially hip-hop, were evident in his first couple of works—”Bastard” and “Goblin.” The former was a mixtape released in 2009 and garnered attention for its raw sound and controversial lyrics. This album can be said to have defined Tyler’s initial style, falling under the ‘Horrorcore’ genre—a subgenre of hip-hop known for its macabre and horror-influenced themes.

“Goblin”, released in 2011, continued the transgressive horrorcore style of its predecessor. However, it also marked the beginning of Tyler’s exploration beyond traditional hip-hop stylings, setting the stage for the evolution of his music in the years that followed. Both albums formed a crucial layer of Tyler’s musical roots and laid the foundation for his future experimentation in various music genres.

Evolution of Tyler’s Style: From Horrorcore to R&B

Over the years, Tyler, The Creator has experienced a considerable evolution in his musical style. While his early works were deeply rooted in horrorcore hip-hop, his subsequent albums witnessed a shift towards more experimental and R&B influences.

“Wolf,” released in 2013, began to showcase a softer, more melodious side of Tyler, introducing elements of jazz and alternative hip-hop into his sound palette. This album marked a significant deviation from his earlier horrorcore style, offering a wider range of styles and themes.

“Cherry Bomb,” which followed in 2015, was a much more eclectic album. It combined rock, jazz, and soul influences, heralding Tyler’s move towards more distinctive and experimental music creation.

Subsequent albums, “Flower Boy” and “Igor,” fused this transformation. “Flower Boy” was an introspective record leaning heavily into soul, funk, and R&B, exploring themes of love, loneliness, and self-discovery. “Igor,” however, was Tyler’s full embrace of R&B. Released in 2019, it secured Tyler’s reputation as an artist unafraid to explore and branch out across genres.

Tyler’s Influence on The Music Landscape

Despite being linked to a variety of genres, Tyler, The Creator has often emphasized his unique, self-defined musical style. Rather than tying himself down to specific genres, he seeks to redefine his sound with each album, allowing his artistic expression to take precedence over traditional classifications.

When he won a Grammy in 2020 for his album “Igor” in the Best Rap Album category, he made it clear that artists like him can explore beyond one genre and shouldn’t be limited to just rap. This event sparked discussions and went to show that Tyler’s music is all about creativity and being true to yourself. It shows that artists don’t have to stick to just one style; they can blend different elements to express their individuality.

As a direct result of his bold and unorthodox approach, Tyler has left a big mark on the modern music scene. His influence signifies the changing dynamics of creative freedom in music as artists continue to redefine genres and shape the landscape of modern music.


Throughout his career, Tyler, The Creator has demonstrated a dynamic evolution in his music, embodying a diverse range of genres—from horrorcore to R&B—while continually expanding and redefining his artistic boundaries. In a world where music genres are often restrictive, his innovative approach reminds us that creativity thrives outside of constraints and that music, in its true form, is a boundless expression of personal truths.

Tyler, The Creator Featured Image by: Raph_PH, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons