Tyler, The Creator’s Cherry Bomb is beautifully chaotic. Hate it or love it, the album begs for further examination, an investigation into what the fuck it is and how the fuck it came to be. Courtesy of filmmakers Mikey Alfred and Illegal Civ Cinema, Cherry Bomb is being placed under the microscope in a new documentary being released in January.
Over the weekend, Tyler unveiled a short trailer for the film, featuring appearances from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q and The Internet. At his Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles, he previewed 10 minutes of the documentary (which runs 45 minutes in total). In one clip captured by rap journalist Eric Diep, Tyler turns his goldfish attention span to “Smuckers,” his collaboration with Yeezy and Weezy that he believes will go down in history.
10 years down the line, niggas gon’ be like “Smuckers” is legendary. That one’s for the books, for sure.
Needless to say, Tyler is pretty confident in what he does. He has an unshakable belief in his own ability, which took him from his grandmother’s couch to the MTV VMAs stage to being a multi-disciplined artist who owns his own record label, clothing line, and media network. It’s the reason why he aired a clip from a documentary on his album at his own festival.
But saying “Smuckers” will be seen as legendary in 10 years’ time isn’t just sky-high confidence talking; Tyler actually has a point.
For starters, the words “featuring Kanye West and Lil Wayne” alone are incredible. Somehow, Tyler managed to bring together two all-time greats for their first proper collaboration since 2009—better yet, for a crazy, thumping, jazzy record no one expected. His guests didn’t disappoint, either: Ye delivered one of his most racially-charged verses in years, while Tunechi traded bars with Tyler, treating the funky Gabriele Ducros sample like a gymnast uses a high bar (“I’m starin’ at a tramp-on-lean, make my eye jump”). It sounded like Kanye and Wayne loved rapping again.
Was it because no else thought of making a song like “Smuckers”? Or was it because no one else had the sheer audacity to think they could pull it off? That’s Tyler’s lane: thinking up shit no one else thinks of, and doing everything in his power to make it happen. “I’m like, “Oh my God, this is fucking amazing. Lil Wayne would sound so good over this,” he toldBillboard about making the song. So, he did just that. “[Tyler] text me and he was like, ‘man, I got this joint,’” Wayne says in the Cherry Bomb documentary. “He’s a perfectionist, so he’s one of those guys that knows exactly what he wants from you.”
Tyler operates strictly from a fan’s perspective. It’s why he told Wayne the specific tone of voice he wanted him to use on “Smuckers.” It’s why he got Kanye to perform his favorite song “Late” at Camp Flog Gnaw in 2013. And it’s why he even thought about bringing the two of them together in the first place—not to boost his album sales (he literally says, “Money, money, money ain’t the motive,” at the start of “Smuckers”), but because he wanted to hear a song with Kanye West and Lil Wayne on it. “It’s the music I’ve always wanted to make,” Tyler told Billboard.
It’s easy to say “Smuckers” won’t be seen as legendary because it wasn’t a hit. Cherry Bomb debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, while “Smuckers” didn’t even dent any singles charts. It could have used a music video, as logistically impossible as that might have been. But if that’s the way you look at music, you’re wearing the wrong prescription. “Smuckers” doesn’t need a Platinum plaque to be validated, the same way MF DOOM and Madlib don’t need No. 1 albums to be called legends. In Tyler’s world, creativity rules everything around him.
In 10 years’ time, when Kanye West finally stops screaming at fashion people we’ve never heard of and Lil Wayne finally releases Tha Carter V, there’s no guarantee that everyone will call “Smuckers” legendary. We’ll be lucky if the young rap fans of 2026 even do their homework and hear it. But for those that have been bumping it since last summer, “Smuckers” will forever be a reminder of Tyler, The Creator’s fearless approach to life, not to mention two of the best late-career verses from Kanye West and Lil Wayne. If those french horns haven’t blown out your ear drums, that is.
By Andy James. Follow him on Twitter.