Tag Archive: odd future

Ever since they burst on the scene a couple of years ago, Odd Future reenergized hip-hop with a youthful punk energy rarely seen throughout the past decade.  A strong crop of young rappers has emerged since that time period, and many of them possess a similarly energetic spirit.  Out of all of them, Action Bronson might just be the most punk rock.

Early on in Bronson’s early-afternoon set at Coachella, the rapper stood next to a crowd of people, grabbed a fan’s sandwich and bit into it, holding his mic to the side.  The beat blared in the background as he commented on the food and grabbed blunts and cigars from audience members.

Well, March was a great month for music.  Here are some of the best albums released this month:

The Men— Open Your Heart

Brooklyn’s inventive punk band made a great album nine months ago and then returned with an incredible follow-up that lacks the kind of bland repetitiveness found in the work of similarly-prolific artists.  Open Your Heart was recorded around the same time as last year’s Leave Home but it sounds fairly different, demonstrating the band’s diverse styles and influences (even the songs within Open Your Heart vary in sound).  Best album of March 2012.

Modern rap superstars like Eminem, Kanye, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg and respected hip-hop legends like De La Soul and Nas are consistently represented at the main music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella and Bonaroo.

But Murs’s Paid Dues event is the best festival that focuses exclusively on hip-hop, bringing the genre’s respected elders, popular heavyweights and young MCs together at one event.  The lineup for this year’s edition of Paid Dues has been announced, and it includes Wu Tang Clan at the top of the bill.  Various Wu Tang members typically make an appearance at the festival, but it’s been a while since the whole crew performed there together.

I was first introduced to Speak! in the wake of the Odd Future hype frenzy that took place earlier this year, and I immediately followed his continual internet updates.  Like his compadres in the now world-renowned LA hip-hop collective, Speak makes unapologetic, dark, humorous, angry, vulgar, drugged-out and rebellious hip-hop.  He hangs with the up-and-coming rappers that create similar sounding music— Speak was the ghost-writer for Kreayshawn’s infectious viral hit “Gucci Gucci,” and all songs on his latest album were recorded, mixed, and mastered by Odd Future’s Syd Tha Kid.  He’s also a part-Mexican, part-Jewish rapper that dresses in thrift-store garb and displays an impressive beard.  His hilarious twitter account consists of WWE references, boasts about sleeping with American Apparel models, drug-related anecdotes, and angry rants about popular hip-hop.  He calls himself the “34th best rapper alive” as well as “The Craigslist Killer” and “Art Goon.”  In short, almost everything about the persona Speak has created (either intentionally or unintentionally) is captivating and intriguing.  It’s easy to become a fan of the rapper without ever hearing his music.

I have no idea what to expect from hip-hop anymore.  Today I came across this video (via passionweiss):

It consists of a guy wearing Black Flag and Bad Brains t-shirts along with various snap backs and big watches while rapping lines like “Think like George Carlin / Dress like Carlton” through a haunting vocal filter over hazy, atmospheric beats.  He also refers to himself as a “Young Henry Rollins” at one point.

Yesterday I proclaimed my overwhelming excitement with the recently announced lineup for Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest, set to take place this November.  After closer examination of the festival website, however, I have to relay a slight disappointment.

Listed near the bottom of the lineup for the hip-hop/dance stage was the word “Speak.”  After initially reading that word, I thought that it was referring to Speak, AKA the self-proclaimed 34th Best Rapper Alive.  This choice made sense.  Speak “fit the bill,” quite literally— not only because he was displayed as performing on the hip-hop stage but also because his pals and peers Odd Future were one of that stage’s headliners.  This addition to the lineup was exciting to see, especially since Speak has been gaining considerable media attention lately for his song “Way Back” with SPACEGHOSTPURP (featured below).

During a previously blogged-about trip to the Deep South, Austin, TX charmed me as a sort of safe haven for both the strange and musically-minded.  The city understands that reputation and continuously attempts to live up to it, at least judging by the unavoidable “Keep Austin Weird” souvenirs, shirts, and signs as well as the seemingly constant stream of live music.

Although the city is already known for two great festivals— SXSW in the spring and Austin City Limits in the fall— this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest might just make it the best festival in the United States.

If Tyler, The Creator truly wanted to distance himself from the “horrorcore” genre label that he persistently renounced on his second album, Goblin, he’s not doing a very good job.  However, that’s great news for fans of the rapper’s large catalogue of undeniably creepy, near maniacal work.

The video for Tyler’s latest, Frank Ocean-assisted single “She” debuted on Odd Future’s website last night, and it’s likely the creepiest hip-hop music video you will have ever seen.  A masked Tyler hovers over his female neighbor as she watches TV, sneaks into her room while she’s sleeping, and performs other crazed, stalkerish actions mentioned in the song.  If you’re alone in your bedroom at night, I’d suggest waiting until daylight to view the video.

90s nostalgia is no new concept.  Any one that lived through the decade is likely to have spent at least a few moments reminiscing about boy bands, President Clinton, and the early days of the internet.  There was even that whole VH1 show about the decade.

But now more than ever, it seems as if the 90s style and attitude is swinging back to the forefront of popular culture.

When the whole Charlie Sheen fiasco was still on pop culture’s radar, I wrote an article saying that, in a sense, the world needs more people like the former Two and a Half Men Star.  We need musicians to act the way that they used to act… unapologetic and rebellious.  We need a rockstar.

Since that article, L.A. group Odd Future has exploded in popularity.  After a couple years building buzz by releasing free albums on the internet, the group seems to be at the forefront of popular music.  They’ve already had an unforgettable performance on Fallon.  They’ve landed spots performing at Coachella and Pitchfork Music Festival.  They’ve graced the cover of Billboard Magazine and performed sold out shows in Europe, among other things.