Odd Future Wolfgang, where do I start? ; definitely not the beginning.
In this post I’m not going to give you a biographical account of Odd Future, there’s enough of those on the net and honestly they’re quite boring. Rather I thought I’d discuss what exactly excites me about this group, why I think they are destined to take over the industry and change it irreparably, for better or worse.
These guys made waves when their leader, Tyler the Creator’s video for a track called Yonkers went viral, got co-signs from Kanye West and the industry at large. Immediately people sought to understand this phenomenon the only way human beings know how, defining it. So how do you define Odd Future WolfGang? Many first described it as HorrorCore, a sub-genre made (in) famous by groups like Insane Clown Posse and Geto Boys; personally I felt it wasn’t horrorcore but rather the rap equivalent of Death metal. Tyler The Creator hates this label though, claiming he ‘doesn’t f*ckin make HorrorCore’, and as I listened closely, dude had a point. The disturbing imagery shook me at first and I listened with a closed mind till I was talking to friend of mine who had put me on to Odd Future in the first place, he compared Odd Future’s music to watching a Quentin Tarantino film. This is when it clicked, think about it, there’s death destruction violence the whole gamut, but there’s always a point, an artistic perspective he’s inviting you to see.
This was further vindicated when I heard Goblin, Tyler admits that he doesn’t do any of the things he talks about in his previous album Bastard on the intro track (doesn’t even drink or smoke haha). Now Bastard is conceptualized as a therapy session where he basically vents and this continues throughout the entire album. This is where I realized the brilliance that is Odd Future WolfGang. You see such cult movements are always ‘claimed’ by a certain crowd, usually hipsters and indie heads who insist on creative control, genuine artistry and most importantly that their favourite artists ‘keep it real’ and don’t ‘sell out’. This is a double edged sword , I mean it provides a target market for the group, however it also limits them artistically, now on this track, mimicking one of his idols Eminem’s flow PERFECTLY, Tyler talks about not listening to Immortal Technique and any underground music, he prefers to listen to Pusha-T, Wacka Flocka Flame etc…
What is the significance of this you ask? What’s my point? Well in one fell swoop Tyler has articulated the Odd Future manifesto going forward, these guys are in a unique position where they are a cult movement, alternative, yet they can do literally ANYTHING they want. This was also vindicated when I heard Odd Future reach out to Soulja Boi about doing a track, crazy!. This, for me is the most exciting aspect of the Odd Future WolfGang, they haven’t allowed themselves to be claimed by the hipsters and the underground, yet they haven’t conformed to the mainstream. These dudes have infinite potential musically and can do literally anything they want, putting themselves in a position to explode onto the mainstream and take over. What they will do with this potential and what direction they’ll take remains to be seen, one thing I can promise you is that NOTHING will be the same. Watch.