They epitomize what is criticized and praised about rap music with their embellished tales of run-ins with police and female conquests delivered via a production style and lyricism that's undeniably raw.
Coming from the Crenshaw District in Los Angeles, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is just that. A gang. Consisting of 11 members (Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Mike G, Jasper the Dolphin, Taco, Casey Veggies, Jet Age of Tomorrow, and Syd Tha Kid), Odd Future (for short) is a collective of creative teens who have banded together to create chaos. To call them a rap group would be a disservice because not all of the members rap. There are photographers, engineers and producers sprinkled into this Wu-Tang like reincarnation.
Instead of the kicking and screaming heard from most underage musicians, Odd Future beats have a dreary minimalist vibe which allows the listener to clearly hear their testosterone-driven lyrics about sex, rape, Steve Harvey rants, white models, and their hatred for hip-hop blogs Nahright and 2DopeBoyz. Their musical content and delivery is often compared to early Eminem (before the Top 40 Rihanna duets).
The pack is led by the alpha wolf, 19-year-old, Tyler, the Creator. Tyler is the epicenter of the vulgarity and lets the indecency spread to his crew. His already matured voice is often distorted to create a dark monster-esque tonality, which is fitting for most of his content. In “French” off of his debut album Bastard he raps, “ I’m fucking Goldilocks up in the forest/ in the three bear house eating their mothafuckin’ porridge/ I tell her its my house, give her a tour/ in my basement, and keep that bitch locked up in the storage.” The theme seems to be: the more shocking, the better.
The “Best Rapper in the Group” award goes to Earl Sweatshirt, who also holds the “Where is Waldo?” title. Not long after his self-titled debut album was released, Earl disappeared. Rumors place the 16-year-old in jail (according to an L.A. Weekly feature), boarding school, or on vacation. Whatever happened to Earl doesn’t appear to be too grim because he appears on a recent album by fellow Odd Future members MellowHype. It is apparent that the group knows his whereabouts, with a recent New York Times article stating that Tyler talks to him “almost everyday.”
The accompanying videos to these songs are even more disturbing — think Yeah Yeah Yeah’s “Y Control”. In the music video for Earl Sweatshirt's “Earl” (above) the gang files into a house and creates a smoothie concoction filled with cough syrup, marijuana, and drug pills. What seems like a good idea at the time soon crumbles and the group starts to vomit blood and bleed from unlikely places. With images like this its hard to tell how far Odd Future will go. XL Recordings, home of indie darlings Vampire Weekend, M.I.A., and Beck, seem to be knocking at their door with recent trips to New York and London being paid for by them. Their names are also being dropped by popular blogs such as Pitchfork and the Fader.
In the end, their fame rests in their own hands. They currently giveaway their albums for free on their tumblr page and often denounce any form of celebrity on Twitter. To these LA kids, making music is not a job, it's anarchy.
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