Tyler The Creator is really leaning into this Grinch thing. While “Lights On,” his festive new bop with Santigold and Ryan Beatty, won’t be included on the soundtrack of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch with his sneaky good takes on the green meanie’s theme song and “I Am The Grinch,” that hasn’t stopped him from spreading holiday cheer a little early (Christmas creep is real, y’all) with this jingling, modern carol.
Tyler produces a beat which really sounds like a classic, Flower Boy cutting, just without the melancholy that permeated his most recent and critically-acclaimed album. “Lights On” is a lot more upbeat, with Santigold and Beatty trading verses evoking holiday moods on this modern update on “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” While “Christmas” isn’t specifically mentioned, the sunny chorus of “Keep the lights on / It may take a while, but I’m coming home” are undeniably inspired by holiday travel songs and would make “Lights On” an obvious Christmas song even without the giant painting of His Grinchness glaring out from the Youtube stream above. Besides, Tyler drops in a very short verse at the end of the song referencing bows and gifts, so there’s definitely an argument to be made that as much holiday store muzak as possible should just be replaced with fun Tyler The Creator Christmas songs until further notice.