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The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

The Student News Site of Elmwood Park High School

The Tiger

Tyler, the Creator

Wolf Trilogy


I’m sure that most of you reading this have heard of Tyler, the Creator at least once or had heard some of his well-known songs on social media at some point. Regardless, the name Tyler, the Creator is very well known and although Tyler has many fans, many don’t know the stories behind his albums. In this article, I will discuss the backstories behind some of the most important songs in the Wolf Trilogy (3 of his most famous albums) that tell a lot about his story. But before you start reading, I wanted to give a warning that this article contains may subjects that could be triggering such as murder, assault, and mentions of suicide, so please read at your own risk.

A little background on Tyler for those who may not know much about him…

The picture above is of Tyler when he was younger

Tyler Gregory Okonma, known by many as Tyler, the Creator, was born in 1991 in Los Angeles where he also grew up. Growing up wasn’t easy for Tyler, as he was raised by his single mother after his father left, who he never really got to know; this inspired many of his songs that you may have heard before. However, in 2008, Tyler founded “Odd Future”, which led to him gaining fame. He gained even more fame after releasing his first album, Goblin, which I’ll get into in this article.  






The picture above is a photo of one of Tyler’s official album covers for Bastard. This one being red, representing Tyler’s anger, an emotion that is prevalent throughout this album.

The year is 2009. Tyler releases his first album Bastard, marking the start of his career. As time went on, Bastard started to gain a lot of attention from people who listened to it. But what those people didn’t know back then was that there was a whole backstory behind each song in the album containing a deeper meaning. Other albums Tyler released later on would end up being connected. Each of Tyler’s albums is about one of Tyler’s alter egos, with this one being by Ace. Ace is considered to be the worst possible version of Tyler, often expressing his violent thoughts  in Tyler’s songs throughout Bastard. I think these songs are the most important in the whole story of the trilogy.

His first song on the album is “Bastard” (the same name as the album). It starts off with Doctor TC, Tyler’s therapist, explaining to Tyler how there’s going to be 3 sessions, today, tomorrow, and the next day. Tyler then talks to Doctor TC about how he got suspended from school and how his mom had to raise him alone after his dad left with lyrics including “Suspended from school coolest without effort”, My mother raised me a single parent so it’s apparent that I got love for my mother, none of you other f*ckers” and “I graduated without honors or f*cking father He died (I’m so sorry) No b*tch, don’t even f*cking bother”, which makes it clear why this song and this album is called “Bastard”.

One of the other songs on Tyler’s album, “Blow”, talks about how he wants to take a girl out to dinner, give her nice gifts, but then assault and kill her, which demonstrates Ace’s dark thoughts. 

Another song, “Sarah”, happens to be the name of the girl who broke Tyler’s heart in high school after she rejected his offer to go to prom with him. “Sarah” is also similar to “Blow” as it talks about Tyler killing Sarah after she rejects him.

However, some of his songs, like “Inglorious”, are considered to be more normal since they talk about more positive things, like how he comes to terms with his dad not being there. The song ends with a “bang!” which could mean that he killed his alter ego. After “Inglorious”, the album ends, meaning that the first therapy session also ended.

The picture shown above is a picture of the 2nd official cover for Bastard. This one being blue, representing happiness.




The picture above is a picture of one of the album covers for Wolf. The picture shows Wolf on the bottom and Sam on the top holding an inhaler. The blue around them also represents happiness, which is common throughout Tyler’s albums.

Four years after Bastard came out, in 2013, Tyler came out with a new album, Wolf. It’s about his other alter ego, Wolf Haley. Tyler once said in an 2011 interview, “This Wolf Haley guy is the guy that I really wanna be. He’s just wild”. Wolf is the best version of Tyler. After the 1st therapy session, Doctor TC thinks it’s a good idea to sign up Tyler for camp, and he does so by signing him up to camp Flog Gnaw, a camp for troubled kids. The first song, that’s also called Wolf, starts off with one of the characters, Sam, performing with his band at the camp, but Doctor TC interrupts him to welcome Wolf to Camp Flog Gnaw and to show him around. After Doctor TC leaves them both alone, Sam tells Wolf, “We don’t f*ck with you or anybody else here, alright? You stay the f*ck out of our way and we’ll stay out of yours, Capisce?” This is showing the type of person Sam is and what Wolf and Sam’s relationship will be like. In the song, “Cowboy”, Wolf first sees Sam’s girlfriend, Salem, and he’s interested in her. Sam then tells Wolf: “That’s Salem, That’s my girlfriend, Stay the f*ck away from her alright?” Sam doesn’t want Wolf by her, for any reason. But the lyrics “I am the cowboy on my own trip” could symbolize that Tyler will do whatever he wants because it’s his life. The song “Awkward” is about Sam and Salem and how their relationship isn’t the best but how Sam is obsessed with Salem at the same time. Another song that is well known, “Answer”, has 3 verses: one about his dad and how Tyler would talk to him if had a chance to talk to him; the 2nd verse is about the transition of Bastard to Wolf and him changing his name because he doesn’t want his dad’s last name; and, finally, the last verse is about Sam and Salem through Sam’s point of view as the last lyric of the song is: “That last verse was about this girl”.

The picture above is a picture of Tyler’s 2nd album cover for Wolf. It’s a picture of Wolf at Camp Flog Gnaw by the Lake on a bike.


The photo shown above is a photo of Salem.

“PartyIsntOver/Campfire/Bimmer” has three different focuses as well.  The first part, “PartyIsntOver” is about Wolf wanting to be with Salem. The 2nd part, “Campfire”, is about Sam. And the last part, “Bimmer”, is about Wolf and Salem hanging out. Sam finds out that Wolf and Salem were hanging out and the next song, which also is very popular, is “IFHY” and centers around Sam learning about what happened with Salem and Wolf. Throughout the song, it also shows the toxicity between Salem and Sam. They’re very troubled but, in the end, he still cares about her as she is his girlfriend. The song “Pigs” gives us a little more backstory on Sam. It was revealed that he was bullied at school and his prom date didn’t want him (similar to what Ace was mentioning in Bastard). It was also revealed that he had killed his bullies, which is how he ended up at the camp for troubled youth. Wolf is then sent to the doctor’s office, which is depicted in the song, “Lone”, the last song on the album. This song is about his behavior and how he’s minding his own business in solitude. Wolf also talks about his deceased grandma, who died a year before this album was released. Doctor TC also knows about Sam and so he asks Wolf where Sam is and Wolf responds very violently; it’s clear that Wolf wants to kill Sam, showing how their relationship between each other got worse in the end.

The photo above is a photo of Sam.




The picture above is a picture of one of the official album covers for Goblin.

Goblin is the last album in the Wolf trilogy. The first song on the album is also the ending of Lone and it’s about the second session with Doctor TC. The 2nd song on the album, “Yonkers” is about Tyler’s mental health as it’s getting worse and worse. In Goblin, both Wolf, the best version of Tyler, and Ace, the worst version of Tyler, are both talking in the album at the same time. This causes him to have a hard time knowing who he really is as both personalities collide.

A song that I think is well known on Goblin is “She”, and it features Frank Ocean. It’s about Salem. It starts off with Tyler stalking her after she and Frank were with each other.  Then he got the chance to talk with her and he told her to meet her at the lake. He said some violent things – Tyler is confusing Salem and Sarah – which is why this song is called “She”. He can’t tell the difference between the two women. 

The picture above is a photo of another album cover for Goblin.
The picture above is a picture of Tron Cat, the voice in Tyler’s head responsible for the violence things Tyler thinks of throughout the albums.

At the start of the song “Nightmare”, Doctor TC asks Tyler what’s going on and Doctor TC talks over him. But the song, overall, is about Tyler being nostalgic about his younger days before he was famous and how he wants to die now because of all the fame he has received. It is also revealed that there’s a voice, known as “Tron Cat”, that tells him to do the bad things that he does. Tron Cat is the most violent song I think Tyler has ever made. In fact, because of the lyrics of “Tron Cat”, Tyler the Creator got banned in the UK. The song refers to the horrible, impulsive thoughts that Tron Cat is making him think of. As seen through Bastard, Tron Cat is responsible for all the negativity that Tyler experiences and the worst version of Tyler. Tron Cat is also believed to be seen on the camp badge of Camp Flog Gnaw.

The picture above is a picture of the Camp flog gnaw badge which could also be seen on Sam’s hat.

 The next song, “Her”, is a sister song to “She”, but it shows Tyler’s genuine interest in Salem and how much he likes her.

The song “Window” starts off with Doctor TC and all Tyler’s friends from Odd Future. However, Tyler soon gets violent and he kills all of his friends, which ends with Tyler and Doctor TC being the only ones in the room.

The last song, “Golden” is very similar to the first song, “Goblin” , creating the word “Golden Goblin”. In “Golden”, it is shown that Tyler misses all of his friends, but then he gets into an argument with Doctor TC, leading to Doctor TC calling security. As Tyler tries to attack him, he gets held down on the floor and Doctor TC reveals to Tyler that he is Tron Cat, Ace, Wolf, and Tyler, himself.

In the end, everything was simply all in Tyler’s head.

Works Cited:


Bassil, R. (2013, April 2nd) The Conspiracy Theorist’s Guide To Tyler, The Creator’s ‘Wolf’ Trilogy – :

Chavez, J. (2023, Nov 2nd) Tyler, the Creator’s Trilogy – :

TennisThom (2023, Jun 24th) A Deep Dive into Tyler, The Creator’s Disturbing “WOLF TRILOGY” – :  

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About the Contributor
Maya Sawicki
Maya Sawicki, Staff Reporter

Hi! My name is Maya Sawicki. I am a freshman at Elmwood Park High School. This is my first year on staff! Outside of journalism, I enjoy listening to different kinds of music. I also love reading books, specifically classic literature and manga. I have a cat, who I love very dearly, and spend all my free time with.

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