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Hit or Miss: Odd Future

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Odd future’s The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 is what happens when kids have no supervision. They are not exactly kids anymore since everyone on the album other than Frank Ocean is, as of its release date, at least
18- years-old but they are still young and immature, and it shows in their music. And thus begins the dichotomy of Odd Future, who under the direction of leader Tyler The
Creator, are a group of businessmen and women who have branded themselves and made themselves relevant in the
hip-hop and music scene.
Led by the production of
Tyler, The Creator and Left Brain, the group’s oldest members,
OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) brings listeners that
west-coast retro Cali feel that has teens wearing “Free Earl” shirts all across America. Rapper Earl
Sweatshirt is not on this album,
except a verse on the last track,
“Oldie.” He was away in Samoa, after his mom sent him to rid his bad behavior and drug problems but judging by Earl’s verse, it did not really work.
The lyrics are comprised mostly of the nihilistic, say-anything-that-comes-to-mind lines that have shocked young minds around the world and gained the group a cult following, but in all of that is an
undeniable talent for rapping mostly all of them posses. Their wordplay
is exceptional and their unique
voices and styles help to diversify what the listener is hearing and block out the fact that they are not saying anything of importance.
Domo Genesis wins the lyrical battle as he shows small flashes of introspection with his smooth,
easy-going flow. Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats sound like each other sometimes in terms of lyrical content, but Domo balances the two.
Three mellow tracks like “Analog 2” and “White,” featuring Frank Ocean and Syd The Kid, switch things up and escape the intense verbal assaults of the other tracks, which make the album have a good mix of sounds and flow.
The album ends with “Oldie,” in which Earl Sweatshirt raps over an old school beat. Tyler finally gets real and ends the track with
“I was 15 when I first drew that
donut/five years later for our label, yea we own it /So instead of critiquing and b*****n, being mad as f**k/ Just
admit, not only are we talented, we’re rad as f**k.”
Indeed, they are, but they will have to get a little more creative than two songs with the word “b*****s” in the title, for mainstream America to take them seriously.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Hit or Miss: Odd Future”

  1. Nick on September 28th, 2012 3:10 pm

    This is a great article; it is well written and articulate in describing all of the aspects of “Odd Future.” However, I have listened to this album as well as a few of Tyler, the creator’s albums and judging by your last sentence when you state that they must go beyond pure shock value “for mainstream America to take them seriously,” I think you may miss the general attitude and message that the group gives off, or attempts to market.
    In listening to their music, especially with Tyler, the creator, it is my understanding that these kids, which as you stated is really what they are, have no intention of being accepted or even taken seriously by mainstream America or anything mainstream for that matter. All of the members tend to give off the attitude showing that this is who they are, whether you like it or not is no concern to them, their main concern is just being who they are, which happens to be a few unique and creative, yet dark, twisted and perhaps even mentally disturbed individuals.
    Their sound is different, which is what makes them special, and for them to be accepted by mainstream America would mean that they must conform to what is mainstream in Hip-Hop music today. Doing this would go against all that the group stands for as they seek no part in conformity. Perhaps though, it is inevitable that if they receive enough attention, they will conform or “sell-out” in order to fit mainstream standards and give themselves the opportunity to expand their fan base in order to boost sales. However, for now it remains that the general attitude of the entire group, headed by Tyler, the creator, wants no part in being accepted or taken seriously by mainstream America.


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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University
Hit or Miss: Odd Future