A GUEST SERIES
12 – Yonkers – Tyler the Creator (2011, XL Recordings)
Released as a single in February 2011 (Did Not Chart)
Camborne, a rundown market town in the depths of West Cornwall is not usually the sort of place that you associate with the discovery of fantastic music. I mean it’s a shit hole. A grey, dull shit hole, that smells of resentment, despair and stale chip fat. But it is there that I first heard the genius that is Tyler the Creator.
In April 2011, that’s where I found myself. I was there for a few days for work, I was housed in a terrible hotel where I was literally the only guest. The hotel in a pique of generosity, immediately upgraded me to the ‘wedding suite’.
I’ve never been in a ‘wedding suite’ before this day, I have to say it was disappointing. It had a mustard coloured bathroom suite which had for some reason carpeted all the way to the edge of the bath. It promised ‘cutting edge’ technology, I got a television with a built-in video player. A video player. In 2011. In the cupboard below the TV machine thing, were two videos, Series One of ‘Allo ‘Allo, which for those in the dark, is an English comedy series, set in France during the second world war. It is about as funny as stubbing your toe on a metal post and then finding a parking ticket attached to the post. The second video was a kung fu film starring some bloke called Sasha Mitchell.
I decide instead to have a walk around the town of Camborne, I turned down the hotel’s dining options – preferring instead to perhaps treat myself to a takeaway. I grab the iPod – shove it on shuffle and leave my suite. The first track to come on is this
Shorley Wall – Ooberman (1998, Tugboat Records, Number 47)
Which is all sorts of twee brilliance and puts me in a great mood as I walk down to the town.
The town centre is perhaps a 20 minute walk away, and it is largely unremarkable. It is like most small towns full of young lads, known down here as ‘boyracers’, driving souped-up sporty hatchbacks around the town on a loop. One of the cars, a sparkly purple and blue VW Golf is pumping music out of the window as loud as possible. Its hip hop and it sounds incredible. You can literally hear coming and it the same track each time, a gravelly-voiced affair that rebounds off walls and the bass is so deep that some of the lamp posts are shaking. I immediately wonder what it is. That is before I reach the chip shop and I soon start thinking about whether or not I want onion rings or not.
On the way home I decide to pop into Tesco’s and stock up on supplies which will get me through the evening and Series One of ‘Allo ‘Allo, as I walk back through the car park it becomes evident that this is where the boyracers all appear to be congregating.
There are perhaps twenty or thirty cars clustered in one corner of the car park, amongst them is the sparkly VW and that same song is playing still. I toy with the idea of wandering over to the owner and asking him what the track is but decide this would be daft. I mean they are all in their late teens, ridiculously cool, listening to blistering hip hop and grime and I am none of these things. I am in my mid-thirties, ridiculously uncool and am listening to Gorkys Zygotic Mynci.
Patio Song (1996, Fontana Records, Number 41)
So I sit on a handily placed bench and munch away on a doughnut and decide to try and memorise some of the lyrics and then google it when I get back to the hotel (If the WIFI works that is). But its hip hop and it’s going too fast. The lads help me though because there is one bit which they all shout out.
“And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus”
Which I can just about remember.