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Tyler the Creator Releases New Single with An Apology

“Yeah, I could have made a better choice. I mean, what the f*ck. I’m sorry!” Raw and emotion-filled defensiveness pours out of this introduction of the song. It portrays his vulnerability as a human capable of making mistakes. Mistakes for which he apologizes all throughout the song, yet the presence of all of his past eras and album-cover-selves in the video suggests the dire necessity of the darkness in order to have light.

Tyler the Creator’s new song “Sorry Not Sorry” opens with the words ‘Pardon me.’ In this newly released single, this artist taps into his dark, inner self of the past and apologizes for that version of himself. All while at the same time somehow portraying the fact that he doesn’t owe anybody an apology. In this song, there is a juxtaposition between sarcasm and sincerity, which accurately represents his journey as an artist. Musically, this song also harbors styles from both eras since we see his rapping resemble that of his old music in some pieces of the song.

While he savagely defends that naïve and perhaps immature past version of himself by giving an explanation after each apology, the actual existence of the apology is still the epitome of a different man. 

Tyler the Creator manages to also portray himself as a protagonist by appearing alongside multiple “old Tylers” from throughout his career, who appear to be the villains of his new and evolved mentality.

This song includes apologies that range from topics like climate change: “I’m sorry, Mother Earth, polluted air with chemicals and dirt. These cars ain’t gonna buy and drive themselves, what the hell you think I work for?”. To topics like gender identity: “Sorry I don’t wanna bro down, sorry I don’t know your pronouns. I don’t mean no disrespect, but damn, we just met, calm the f*ck down”

If you compare older songs like “She” to newer songs like “Massa,”; you can almost fool yourself into thinking that you’re listening to two different artists lyric-wise. In his old self, you can see his careless ability to not mince words, while now his maturity is seen in his carefully-chosen diction. The representation of this change and how he feels about it is what “Sorry, Not Sorry” is.


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