“Dogtooth” by Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, the Creator’s 2021 LP, “Call Me If You Get Lost”, proved a very-successful outing in that it topped three Billboard charts (including the Billboard 200) in addition to earning the rapper his second Grammy for Best Rap Album. 

On 27 March 2023 the deluxe edition of that project, which in turn is titled “Call Me If You Get Lost: The Estate Sale”, came out through Columbia Records. To announce its issuance Tyler dropped its single “Dogtooth”, a track that he wrote, produced and also directed the song’s music video.

“Call Me If You Get Lost: The Estate Sale”, A Deluxe Edition After Tyler’s Own Heart

Also rationalizing the release of “The Estate Sale”, the rapper let it be known there were a number of tracks he “really love(s)” that didn’t make it onto the standard edition of “Call Me If You Get Lost”. 

He also went on to express that in all of the projects he has put together thus far, this is first time he has felt that way. 

Lyrics of “Dogtooth”

First off, it’s not abundantly clear what Tyler, the Creator means by the expression “dogtooth”. The term only pops up twice in the lyrics, at first in the intro where, amidst the vocalist being engaged in some braggadocio, in the midst of which he puts forth that “we back at it, dogtooth”. 

The “we” would likely be a reference to him and his crew. And in terms of being “back at it”, that would obviously be along the lines of the rapper exerting that they’re making power moves, such as “trying to buy (his) neighbor’s house”, whereas perhaps the deluxe edition of the album will operate along a real estate-inspired motif.

Then in the outro, he also goes about muttering “dogtooth” repeatedly, using it to harmonize, if you will. 

The term “dogtooth” is most often used to actually refer to a dog’s tooth. But in the case of this song, it can be easily gleaned that it is an expression of the vocalist’s undefeatable attitude. Or put otherwise, Tyler is using this track primarily to boast.

To note, the word “dog” (or “dogs”) itself is also found a couple of times in the lyrics. In that sense, the vocalist utilizes it as a slang term for a close friend, i.e. a ‘dawg’. But to reiterate, this track is not about canines, nor do the lyrics operate on a dog-related motif. Rather, Tyler gets to touting his superiority, i.e. his wealth, way with women and other such musings we would expect from a rapper.

“She could ride my face, I don’t want nothin’ in return
Except for some her time and all her love, that’s my concern
I’m tryna buy my neighbor house and turn it to a yard
If you don’t know my grandma name, then we ain’t really dogs, bi–h”

But since this is Tyler, the Creator there are a few completely-unexpected lines found herein. For instance, he apparently goes about negatively criticizing his own girlfriend’s looks. And shortly thereafter, in terms of men who ‘tell women how their bodies are supposed to be’, Tyler argues that “any nig-as with a lean gut” should not be taken seriously in that regard. 

Virgil Abloh

To note, he also uses the opportunity of the second verse to give a shoutout to the late Virgil Abloh (1980-2021) who, as with the vocalist himself, was into fashion.

The Long and Short of “Dogtooth”

Conclusively, we know Tyler is a unique artist, one who isn’t afraid to push the lyrical limits of the rap game, so to speak. For example, traditionally speaking it would be unconventional for a rapper to name a song “dogtooth” even though the lyrics don’t really have anything to do with said animal. 

But in terms of sentiment, this is more or less standard hip-hop fare, with the vocalist for the most part focusing on his sense of superiority while simultaneously letting rivals know that they don’t measure up.


1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this article.

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