Opinion | Bona Fide | “Music Inspired by Illumination and Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch”

A review of Tyler, the Creator’s take on the Christmas genre.


Tyler, the Creator has become a household name since the release of “Flower Boy” in 2017. So much so that he wrote two songs for “The Grinch,” the remake of Jim Carrey’s cult-classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” that opening, Nov. 9.

But writing two songs for the film was not enough for the musical tycoon. He released an EP titled “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” Nov. 16. Nonetheless, the latest release for the Flower Boy is a warm welcome.



Tyler, the Creator takes on the Christmas genre while infusing his production with the spirit of the holiday–a nod to his recent work. His musical styling are a current treatment of an often-cliché classification. What a refreshing treat for the holiday.

Listening to “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” brings out a special feeling that hasn’t been felt since Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” and holds a bright candle to the Christmas classic.

Clocking in at 10 minutes and 22 seconds, the EP is no full-length return for the Flower Boy but rather a delightful sampling of Christmas cheer. It’s a tasting of his diversity and an EP that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

The EP is a holiday-infused version of Flower Boy. “Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” is like when an artist releases a tasteful selection of b-sides and songs that didn’t make the cut on the actual album.

“Whoville” and “Cindy Lou’s Wish” are the two purely instrumental tracks that sound like Flower Boy interludes. They hold the same aura as the best-selling album but with Christmas flare added for the EP.

There is even a track titled “Hot Chocolate” that contains all the ingredients required for the best cup of the tasty winter beverage possible.

“Leche for my (Woo!) damn self/Hot chocolate/You can use water/Hot chocolate/I prefer milk if it’s two  percent/Marshmallows on top and some extra whip/You can even use cinnamon, cinnamon on top/Hot chocolate”

The strongest and most put-together track on the EP is “Lights On.” An ode to coming home for Christmas, “Lights
On” feels like a perfectly warm cup of hot chocolate next to a toasty fireplace.

“I’ll be there in the morning/I’ll be there before you know it/Going fast as I can/But the traffic is bad/And my rental is slow/I’m coming, I’m coming/I’m coming home/You on my team, I can’t be alone/You hear that ring, I pick up the phone/Call, a plane, a walk, a train/No matter which way baby, I’m coming home/Wish that I could press fast forward/To the part where I get there/Seeing all the lights on”

The song will stand the test of time and be joined by all of the best Christmas songs on the ultimate playlist.

The only rap song on the EP is “Big Bag,” which holds the Christmas vibe while still being an absolute banger. It also holds the most correlation to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” as Tyler, the Creator raps about filling his bag with produce and working in cahoots with Max, the Grinch’s dog.

“Big bag, fill ’em up with the produce/Quick, fast, big max with the big bag, I throw ’em/You stay up, get cake up/For new gifts I take ’em/You wake up like big mad (where’s my gifts?)/Roof to roof, I jump, I jump, I take, I take/It feels the void, I want, I want (more)/Way that I sneak in/I’m about as low as self-esteem when I creep in (boy)/Don’t make noise, my feet thin/I’m looking for the paper, same color my green skin/Toys what is on the list/When it comes to this, I’m too legit/Tell all them kids that he be the Grinch/When they ask who has type of heart to do this”

The song also hints at Flower Boy with a return to the theme of low self-esteem and a throw-in of the word “boy” if it wasn’t already clear enough. Tyler, the Creator’s “Big Bag” still holds onto “The Grinch” theme uproariously that undoubtedly satisfies the Tyler, the Creator fan inside of me.

Although concise in length, Tyler, the Creator produced the best EP that could’ve been with its short notice and defines Christmas-time with a mix of seasonal offerings for generations young and old.

Tyler, the Creator has an eclectic ability to conjure up a Christmas album with a presence that is short but ultimately sweet.