As the fluffy green Grinch of this year’s cartoon remake prepares for a day of being utterly evil, Tyler, the Creator’s gruff remake of “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” bites the audience, who may not have expected to hear this artist grace the silver screen. But while unexpected, the brief track is the perfect spin on “The Grinch’s” classic theme song — who knew the flower boy could be so mean?
Tyler’s rendition is beautifully dynamic and surprisingly tailored to the varied audiences attending the anticipated film. Promoted by Tyler on Twitter and Instagram as being “FOR THE LITTLE HOMIES,” this kid-friendly bop is appealing even outside the context of Whoville. His musical style, with its elongated vowels complemented by the accompanying children’s chorus that chimes in at the end of each bar. He takes the Thurl Ravenscroft original and makes it completely his own.
However, this song signifies more than just a successfully modernized Grinch — it represents a milestone in the rapper’s career. In recent interviews, Tyler has expressed his appreciation for the opportunity and described his intention to make other soundtrack appearances spreading across many more genres. The Grinch is just the beginning.
Tyler’s creative progression from the complex bars on his earliest mixtapes to the wildly experimental production on “Cherry Bomb” was just a glimpse of his potential. This single proves that there’s more to this Odd Future rapper than lovesick rhymes and indie rap collectives. If you can make a Christmas bop, you can do anything.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 26 print edition. Email Avani Jurakhan at [email protected]