Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All is a rap collective based out of Los Angeles.
That’s the only sentence in this post that isn’t going to sound like I’m scrambling to add my voice to a blast of blog-powered, career-kickstarting hype for these guys. Tyler, the Creator – the de facto leader of the group – released a music video for his track “Yonkers” that’s pushing two million plays, and in the past week they’ve released a Funny or Die spot, been featured on MTV, and taken Jimmy Fallon by storm (video below).
At first listen, their appeal might be tough to define. The lyrics seem borderline nonsensical, hooks – if they exist – are chanted, and the content is off-putting. Hurdles, sure, but the Ramones and Nirvana faced similar criticisms.
Things turned out okay.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that what Tyler, Hodgy, and the rest of OFWGKTA bring back to music is the same thing those bands brought: danger. These kids, most still in high school, funnel an obscene amount of raw talent into a sound that blends free-association wordplay with horror-core, gangster rap, and a kind of teenage debauchery that borders on nihilism. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Odd Future’s feeling fine. In fact, they’re writing the soundtrack.
The beats are sludgy, the verses conjured up from some NyQuil powered netherworld where Reptar, rape, and the death of Bruno Mars are intertwined – at least syllabically, if nothing else. The result is a line in the sand, a stumbling step forward for a genre barely older than the young bastards in the driver’s seat swerving all over the road. Gone are the bangers, the ballads, the guest spots, hell, even the swagger takes a back seat. Who needs it? If these guys aren’t the best, there’s a good chance the competition’s already dead.
The result sounds like Slim Shady rapping through a tank of raw sewage, or like the Boston Strangler figured out how to use a drum machine. Maybe it’s filthy, maybe it’s wrong, or maybe it’s just what happens when rap finally figures out how to be more dangerous than rock.
Punk is dead. Long live Odd Future.
*Most of their video work appears to have been directed by a mirror universe’s Harmony Korine. Highly recommended.
Chris Cullari |Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @ChriswithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |