Odd Future: The Next Collective Worth Watching
We have seen the future, and it is … odd.
The loose group of artists known as Odd Future are duplicating the 1990s blueprint of tight-knit groups of musicians, who often worked together. Be it the Missy Elliott/Timbaland school that included Aaliyah, Ginuwine, Eve and others or the Wu-Tang Clan, who revolutionized hip-hop by forming a group that then secured solo deals for each of its individual members, Odd Future has learned well from the past.
A 10-member collective from Los Angeles, California, Odd Future was formed loosely by Tyler the Creator. The actual full name of the crew is Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, certainly a throat-clogging moniker, but it appears to suit the eccentric group. Included among the hip-hop, R&B and category-defying musical genres the group encompasses is soul upstart Frank Ocean, already making a name for himself via his mixtape, ““Nostalgia, Ultra,” which is being re-released as an EP by Def Jam late next month.
Tyler the Creator is the group’s unofficial leader, but he has claimed up to 60 members in the entire crew. Other prominent members are Earl Sweatshirt and Hodgy Beats, Mike G and Domo Genesis among the rappers and Matt Martians and Syd the Kyd amongst the group’s producers. EarlWolf, The Super 3 and Mellow Hype are three groups within the overall group.
Odd Future has put out 13 records for free via their web site, but have since signed a label deal with Sony RED to release more. Tyler has released two independent CDs and is currently working on his third.
The group has had some controversy over whether they are “horrorcore,” and some of their lyrics would easily become targets for Tipper Gore if she was still in the business of monitoring rap lyrics. But the group is riding a wave of critical acclaim, even if their shows and music are still in the developing stages.
It’s not quite certain what the future for Odd Future will be, but given the strong buzz around them, they’re the collective to watch.
Written by Tonya Pendleton