The Uncredited Artist of Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy
Tyler, the Creator’s fourth studio album, Grammy-nominated Flower Boy, has garnered widespread acclaim by critics and listeners alike. With huge features and accolades from top music reviewers, the album reached near-perfect esteem. But behind the industry’s top voices, countless uncredited actors took part in the production of Flower Boy. Despite not being credited, BEE was featured on the album’s cover, his face in the foreground, impossible to miss. I was lucky enough to snag an interview with the most iconic face of the album.
I tracked down the residence of BEE to a farm in South Dakota, a state known as one of the most prominent honey producers in the United States. Driving through the hilly dirt roads, I was certain that my GPS had led me astray. There was no way that one of the biggest recent faces in the music industry lived such a quaint life. I presumed that BEE was one of those artists that needed space in order to create. I finally found the farm after three hours on a winding back road that I later found out was actually a major highway.
BEE’s house was small and rustic, but it had a certain charm that reminded me of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Nervous, I knocked on the door, but BEE did not answer. A man in a full white jumpsuit with a strange headpiece approached me. He had a net covering his face; perhaps he was worried about the upcoming flu season. I know I was. I explained my situation and the strange man– who I then assumed to be BEE’s butler but now assume to be BEE’s manager– led me to the backyard. BEE appeared to be throwing some sort of party with hundreds of friends. I had a feeling he was more into the glamorous lifestyle than he appeared. Finally, BEE and I sat down for the interview
Porkspork: How has your day been so far?
BEE: [nervous flying]
Porkspork: I understand. How has life been different since the debut of Flower Boy?
BEE: [flight pattern narrows]
Porkspork: How about since Flower Boy was nominated for a Grammy? That had to be a big moment for you.
BEE: [lands on arm of chair]
Porkspork: So you weren’t officially credited for the work that you did for the album art of Flower Boy.
BEE: [wings twitch]
Porkspork: Does that upset you at all?
BEE: [moves slightly towards back of chair]
Porkspork: Do you and Tyler, the Creator still keep in touch? Are you on good terms?
BEE: [flies quickly to other arm of chair]
Porkspork: Do you have any major plans moving forward? Are you going to continue to work with Tyler, the Creator?
BEE: [becomes airborne]
Porkspork: Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it.
BEE: [continues flight]
On the long drive back I thought about my brief but meaningful interaction with BEE. It really opens the dialogue about artistic credit. Despite BEE not receiving any credit for BEE’s work on the album, BEE seemed fully invested in the work that BEE and Tyler, the Creator completed together. Hopefully, more will come from BEE in the next year or so, and hopefully, this work will be credited.