July 5, 2022

The majority of the album is mosh-pit music in “kill individuals, burn shit, fuck college” mode, foregrounding the group’s rappers and aggro beats from Tyler and Left Mind. Loads of critiques dismissed the songs as Waka Flocka parodies, however I don’t suppose there’s something parodic there in any respect; it’s clear that everybody concerned is actually into Flockaveli, and who wasn’t again then? Tyler even shouts out Brick Squad on “Hcapd.” Past Lex Luger worship, the beats dabble in G-funk whistles, Memphis horns, entice hi-hats, and RZA-like piano stabs. Pure adrenaline gas.

These tracks are silly enjoyable, like chopping highschool to gap up with junk meals in a buddy’s lounge. Hodgy Beats seems on 10 of the 18 tracks, and never all of his verses are keepers. However at his greatest he’s fired up and speaking shit like a shirtless man at a home get together, like when he raps, “Military fatigue Bape containers for the league/ No ghetto barrettes and weaves all the way down to the sleeve for the charges,” swapping four-bar verses with a mellowed-out Domo Genesis on the album’s first music, “Bitches.” Domo doesn’t usually develop his material past his weed and his rapping potential, however on “Sam (Is Useless)” he displays on rising up regardless of his errors and his father’s failures via a cloud of wake-n-bake smoke, within the vein of AZ on “Life’s A Bitch.” It’s among the finest verses on the tape.

Then Tyler’s manufacturing expands to incorporate cavernous brass and navy chants, and the OF chief commandeers the rest of the music to speak about his awkward teen followers and crack grim jokes about Kurt Cobain’s demise. It summarizes Tyler’s fashion all through the compilation; the teenager pathos generally heard on Goblin is absent in favor of Eminem-style popular culture punchlines and grumblebrags about his fame.

Mike G can also be current through “Forest Inexperienced,” which was a 12 months previous by the point it appeared right here. Good music.

Future generations could discover it ridiculous that an album the place Tyler raps about taking three drugs of Extenzo till he’s “longer than a five-door limo” — on the lead single, no much less — appeared like a step in the direction of accessibility. However the group did clear their fashion up barely for this tape. They deserted the rape fantasies, and Tyler solely makes use of homophobic slurs twice. Their fashion continues to be crude and juvenile, and generally hilarious. The worst bars depend on lazy misogyny and Asian stereotypes, however regardless of the jugs of ink spilled on the morality of their lyrics, Odd Future had been removed from the one weblog rappers — or in style musicians, interval — with these flaws.

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OF Tape Vol. 2 additionally options the non-musical group members, associates who led the crew’s sketch present Loiter Squad, which debuted on Grownup Swim the identical month. L-Boy’s roast of the entire crew opens the album, and Jasper and Taco rap with Tyler on the intentionally “ignorant as fuck” battle membership anthem “We Bought Bitches.” Taco’s slow-jam monologue about his ideally suited lady on “Actual Bitch” is actually problematic, to make use of a well-liked time period of the time, however listening to it now, I simply discover how younger he sounds. The joke tracks share the identical flows, flaws, and humorousness because the “severe” rap tracks, tracing the skinny line between rappers fucking round and goofball friends fucking round with some raps.

The highlights of the album are the outliers, the R&B songs from precocious musicians who had grown up on Erkyah Badu and Missy Elliott CDs. Name it neo-neo-soul. The Web was then only a duo of producer Matt Martians and tour DJ Syd Tha Child flirting over N.E.R.D.-y rock on “Ya Know.” With its psychedelic allusions to past love and TV static, the piano ballad “White” was successfully a teaser trailer for Frank Ocean’s debut Channel Orange, launched a couple of months later. Channel Orange even included an interlude by the identical title, that includes John Mayer soloing over the identical instrumental.

“Analog 2” is dripping with lazy summer time horniness: Tyler and Frank croon, “Are you able to meet me by the lake or on the park or in your room?” over synth pads and funk bass, then the observe segues into the unlisted “Wheels 2,” a duet with Syd that strikes the setting to midnight. In 2012, Tyler tweeted that “Analog 2” was his favourite music, and “The Closest Factor To In My Thoughts And Speaking Ebook Ive Made. Ayyye.” A excessive normal, however it is likely one of the greatest songs to return out of the Odd Future period.

The R&B songs seem sporadically among the many raps, clashing like a poorly sequenced Mediafire .zip. “Snow White” combines the 2 sounds most successfully. Ocean’s hook provides an surprising sweetness to the MellowHype observe, like Dean Stockwell lip syncing right into a lamp for Frank Sales space’s amusement.

“Oldie” concludes the tape with the purest distillation of Odd Future’s attraction as a gaggle. Almost each member raps over Tyler’s laidback beat in a 10-minute posse lower. It’s “Stairway To Heaven” for hip-hop followers who put 666 of their gamertag and received caught with it into maturity. Hodgy calls himself “Zeus to a Cronus,” whereas Domo claims “Mr. Smoke-A-Lotta-Pot.” Jasper contributes a blustery nine-bar verse. Left Mind conjures up a “Wolf Gang get together on the resort” with group intercourse and gin and juice, and Mike G claims “OF ’til I OD, and I in all probability will.”

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I’d guess good cash Frank Ocean’s “Oldie” verse has been posted to Twitter every single day since 2012. It’s an idyllic portrait of an LA afternoon, searching for Persian rugs that appear to be classic video video games and hitting Muscle Seaside in a brilliant automotive. And his “I’m excessive and I’m bi, wait I imply I’m straight” line was a wink, confirmed by his well-known popping out a couple of months later.

On its Finest Songs Of The 2010s listing, Pitchfork referred to as “Oldie” “a Russian nesting doll the place the prize on the heart is the primary Earl Sweatshirt look following his fabled exile in Samoa.” The entire tape builds to Earl Sweatshirt’s return, and he doesn’t disappoint with a head-spinning 40 bars, poetic photos of juvenile mayhem filled with inside rhyme like “4 Loko in a cobra clutch” or “stomach stuffed with hen and a fifth of previous petroleum.” Earl raps like he had been making ready for this music via his whole absence.

Tyler ends the music by rejoicing within the empire he constructed earlier than he was sufficiently old to drink a beer and sums up the group’s go-for-it ethos as refusing to show their colour into black-and white. OF dropped the “Oldie” video the identical day because the album, and it solely provides to the camaraderie. Everybody on the music plus Syd and dozens of associates lip sync with toy swords and superhero masks impromptu whereas on set at a Terry Richardson picture shoot. Jasper messes up his personal verse, Frank seems to be fake nonchalant with a straw in his mouth, everybody chimes in on backing vocals and ad-libs. It’s an ideal snapshot of the height of Odd Future.

The frequent comparisons to Wu-Tang didn’t make a lot sense past being hip-hop teams with many members, however the maintain OF had on my highschool associates and I — memorizing the skits, evaluating the bars of every member — matches Enter The Wu-Tang’s grip on the youth of the ’90s. The basis of Odd Future’s attraction was the rise from Tumblr pages to worldwide pages as a gaggle, with out altering the anarchic vitality they cultivated amongst their collective. It helped that their MS Paint aesthetic was superficially surprising and simple to undertake. The thought of recording some humorous and heinous shit with your mates as an entryway to music was fairly influential. I’ve interviewed a number of rappers in recent times who’ve alluded to an “Odd Future part” with an embarrassed grimace.

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In a 2011 LA Occasions story, Questlove praised Odd Future for not being “consumer pleasant” and in contrast them to Geto Boys and Unhealthy Brains. Together with underground appears like Raider Klan out of Florida and the drill scene in Chicago, the collective supplied a jolt to hip-hop as a brand new technology was adapting to social media and file sharing. Their adoption of stage dives and different punk signifiers echoed via the next decade in rap via Travis Scott, Lil Peep, Playboi Carti and past. Signing teenage rappers primarily based on self-produced viral hits quickly grew to become normal working process for main labels, although few of those artists had the aesthetic and multi-media pursuits that prompted then-manager Christian Clancy to boast there was no distinction between Odd Future and an advert company.

The OF Tape Vol. 2 was a reasonable success within the digital obtain period, spending six weeks on the Billboard 200 and peaking at #5. The members of the group progressively had fewer excursions and collaborations in frequent, and Odd Future’s splintering was made official in 2015. For all of the early chaos and controversy, the group’s best legacy could also be queer R&B: Frank Ocean’s blockbuster albums, the Web’s enlargement as an ensemble, Tyler’s journey into Stevie-worshipping sound. Earl in the meantime grew into among the finest rappers alive whereas nurturing a brand new technology of underground artists on each coasts.

The remainder of the group continued to work in music (see Domo’s nice 2016 album Genesis) or the larger Los Angeles rap-adjacent way of life leisure trade (see Travis Bennett’s 2021 rebrand away from Taco). There’s been some animosity within the years since, however Tyler has typically saved spots open at his festivals for his previous bandmates. Odd Future’s break-up was brought on by the straightforward tragedy of associates outgrowing one another, compounded by media consideration and the music trade.

The previous members of Odd Future appear to carry their roots within the crew in the identical esteem their followers do. When influential Los Angeles membership evening Low Finish Idea led to 2018, Tyler, Earl, Syd, and Hodgy reunited to carry out early OF deep cuts. In 2020, Tyler was requested about the opportunity of a Vol. 3. He responded that he’s open to the thought, although everybody has moved on to disparate kinds, and mirrored on the group’s older work: “It was only a enjoyable time, however musically, it’s like, ‘Uh, coulda did higher.’ However, for the time, it was tight.” Like a diary or Fb picture album, I doubt anybody that made the tape goes again to it fairly often, however I guess they smile after they do.