A few months ago, while listening to the always hilarious and insightful Hype Men podcast, hosts Jensen Karp and Eric & Jeff Rosenthal were going over their top ten songs of the year.
(Note: Hype Men, get at me. I mean, sure, I’ve done nothing to warrant being on your show besides blogging but I’m a big fan. Hip-hop nerds need to unite!)
While I had never heard them, I checked them out on YouTube which left me with one simple impression: holy shit!
Their staunch nihilism is a combination of N.W.A., the fuck-you-all attitude of the Sex Pistols and the violence of The Droogs of A Clockwork Orange. They also hate Steve Harvey which I can understand. (Seriously, he’s not funny… except for his suits and mustache.) But with all that, there’s actual talent in the group which you don’t find with young rappers and some old rappers. (Looking at you, LL!) The verses display above-average technical prowess, a rarity in this age.
Tyler, the leader, is only nineteen and the eldest of the group.
I don’t know what’s scarier: the ultraviolent lyrics or the skill they all seem to possess at how good they are at such a young age. Also, I think the violent lyrics are probably typical of young men of that age. At some point, they’ll probably grow past it. (Boys will be boys.) Aside from Earl and Tyler, Odd Future a.k.a. OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All), consists of eight other members (Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean, Left Brain, Syd tha Kyd, Jasper Dolphin and Taco Bennett).
While, they haven’t received a lot of hype from the more popular blogs, word has slowly spread about then, leading to a rabid fanbase. It also doesn’t hurt that you can legally get all their music on the internet for free. (I know, weird.) Well, it seems that their unique model worked as they not only got a spot at Coachella but also performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night. Note: Mos Def gave them a shoutout at the end by yelling “Swag! Swag!” (Odd Future’s slang for dope) right into the camera. I mean, a Mos Def cosign… what could beat that?
The interesting thing is that despite their grim lyrics, they seem genuinely happy to be on TV and making music. Tyler jumps on Jimmy Fallon’s back and stays there. There’s a definite fun vibe amongst all the murder talk. It’s a breath of fresh air amongst the crap that gets played on the radio. (I don’t have to name names… but I will: Lil Wayne, Drake, etc.)
The future looks bright. Maybe that’s what odd about it.