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Help us Odd Future, You're our Only Hope

A majority of teenagers in this country have rock star fantasies, but how many of us have the courage to go balls to the wall after that dream? And do it without compromising our vision?

Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Earl Sweatshirt, Syd tha Kyd, Mike G, Frank Ocean, Jasper Dolphin, Taco, and Matt Martians = OFWGKTA.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All; a group of young LA atheists out to shock the music industry by making the most perverted, violent, and misogynistic songs ever put on the internet.

OF took advantage of tumblr and twitter to promote themselves, and it worked. They were at the Mtv music video awards for crying out loud. And their front man, Tyler the Creator, won best new artist. Labels are hounding them, famous publications are interviewing them, and they got it all without changing themselves.

These guys aren’t some Orlando casting call boy band; no major label would ever approach them if they didn’t already have such a massive audience already. Take a listen to some of their stuff on youtube if you dare; because unless they decide to change their style completely, you will never hear an OF song on the radio. (If you ever wanted to hear an edited OF song, you might as well just listen to the instrumental)

I don’t like all OF songs, but I do consider myself a fan. I’m a fan because the music industry has been sucking the life out of music for decades and these guys found a way around it. I think one of the factors that make them so popular is that they are completely self-made. They made their own artwork, beats, rhymes, costumes, concepts, videos, everything. And they did this in RAP.

 The worst example of commercialization and artistic bankruptcy has been rap music. I won’t pretend like I’m a hipster that only listens to “good rap” because that statement is stupid and objective. Since rap became a corporate cash cow and conglomerates started buying up the small labels, the creative content has gotten weaker and weaker.

Two years ago when T-pain was all over the radio, every rapper had to use auto-tone. Even Jay-Z used it once even though he proclaimed later that he was above it. (P.S. his boy Kanye did a whole album with auto-tune) Before that it was Cristal, retro jerseys, and “bling”. Today its snapback hats, big shades, and “swag”. Rappers have even stopped wearing multiple diamond chains. The snake has been eating its own tail for a while now and rap aficionados like to complain more than they like to solve.

But ever since Odd Future started selling out shows, people are not only trying to copy them (they helped revive the snapback hats), but others are getting the courage to try something new. I see a lot of new rappers on tumblr right now trying to make names for themselves and not all of them are talking about money and women.

Odd Future is not perfect and I can understand some of the criticism, but I think some journalists are just missing the point.

Odd Future is part demonic rap part satire. They have a lot of songs about making fun of how lazy and lame other rappers are. I personally believe that if Tyler the Creator was a performance artist studying at NYU and performing in front of 15 people then there wouldn’t be as much controversy about his lyrics. Mos Def likes them, and white people like Mos Def, but a lot of white people over the age of 30 don’t like Odd Future. White journalists have always struggled to accept rap as art. And an OF album filled with cursing and gory stories just solidifies their argument in their mind.

As Chris Rock once said, it’s been hard to make the argument for rap as art.

But if Odd Future can set an example for other musicians to get their name out there without having to conform to the system, then I think we can all forgive a few curse words. Ok, a lot of curse words.




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