By this time, LA hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or Odd Future for short) have made a noticeable impression on pop music. Publications as diverse as Pitchfork and The New York Times have given OFWGKTA a thorough examination. But the common opinion seems to be that Odd Future, for all the deviancy, is something to pay attention to.
The ringleader of this motley crew is 19-year-old Tyler, The Creator (yes, the comma is intentional). He oversees a stable of teenage rappers, producers, artists and skateboarders whose seriousness is often difficult to pin down. Their music is sonically advanced and their skills as emcees belie their youthfulness.
But in terms of content, Odd Future appear to be nothing more than a group degenerate cokehead burnouts that worship the devil and hate Steve Harvey for inexplicable reasons.
Intrigued? Here are their ten best tracks. Oh, and be sure to catch the hilarious interview with Narduwar.
10. MellowHype – “Stripclub”
MellowHype consists of producer Left Brain and rapper Hodgy Beats. As a duo, they’re perhaps the most outwardly accessible tracks in the whole clique. But make no mistake—their tracks are equally as conventional as their peers’. This song, from their album BLACKENDWHITE utilizes a brooding intro but turns into a kind of club anthem that features an entirely infectious hook. Paired with a jumpy keyboard loop, “Stripclub” is a deceptively listenable track.
9. Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt – “Orange Juice”
Appearing on the mixtape Radical, this freestyle over Gucci Mane’s “Lemonade” instrumental is a unique divergence from the Odd Future aesthetic. The crew prides themselves on their house made beats, but apparently couldn’t resist going in on this decidedly minimalist track. Needless to say, Tyler and Earl (who often recorded under the moniker of EarlWolf) destroy the track by completely out rapping the guy who made the beat famous—all without having ice cream cones tattooed on their faces.
8. Domo Genesis feat. Tyler, The Creator– “Super Market”
Domo Genesis is Odd Future’s resident stoner. He named his debut album Rolling Papers and can’t seem to go 20 seconds on a track without mentioning weed. Here, he trades fierce and acerbic verses with Tyler in a way that suggests he’s a bit more insistent than your average pothead.
7. Earl Sweatshirt – “Earl”
Arguably the best overall emcee in the whole outfit, Earl Sweatshirt recorded his debut album at the impressionable age of 16. A mere listen, however, would suggest he’s a rapper skilled well beyond his years. His ear for melody and confident persona surpasses rappers who’ve been in the game longer than he’s been alive. His lyrical content, meanwhile, sounds like the inane ramblings of an escaped mental patient. On this track, he boasts, “Earl puts the ass in assassin/Puts pieces of decomposing bodies in plastic/Puts them in a pan and mixes it up with scat/Then gobbles it up like fat black bitches and catfish.” …Right.
6. Hodgy Beats, Jasper and Mike G – “Round and Round”
Another cut from the Radical mixtape that features Odd Future’s best emcees not named Tyler or Earl. Again, the crew goes in on an established beat and makes it their own. It’s somewhat simple, lyrically, but no less inventive considering how formulaic the beat is. The trio make something out of nothing. Though certainly not the most visible or active members of the collective, Jasper and Mike G prove there isn’t a slouchy performer among them. On this track, they showcase their own unique styles with verses that show promise.
5. Tyler, The Creator feat. Hodgy Beats – “French”
Another absolutely bonkers song—lyrically and musically. The beat ebbs and flows at a subdued pace, but still manages to pack a punch to match Tyler’s flow, who sounds like a more gravely version of RZA of Wu-Tang fame. Fitting. Choice lyrics: “I’m 17, already sniffing blow/I tell my friends it’s asthma every time I itch my throat/I got a new show for MTV called “Pimp My Boat”/Because some bitch said my semen was dirty/That silly ho.”
4. MellowHype feat. Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt – “Chordaroy”
This is perhaps the closest thing to an introductory track Odd Future has. For this song, also featured on the BLACKENDWHITE album, MellowHype enlist the help of Tyler and Earl to showcase everything that makes this group what they are: it’s a catchy song, musically advanced and completely demented lyrically. Everything unique about Odd Future can be found here.
3. Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
The first single from Tyler’s upcoming album Goblin completely encompasses the young emcee. Its dark synth beat matches his grisly cadence perfectly. But perhaps more intriguing is the success it’s seen upon its release. On the same night the track’s video hit the web, “Yonkers” became a trending topic nationally on Twitter, forcing everyone to take notice. Those who unaware of the group before got a full helping of Odd Future, as the video depicts Tyler devouring a cockroach, vomiting after devouring said cockroach, and capping it all off with a ritualistic suicide. You can’t make this stuff up.
2. Domo Genesis feat. Tyler, The Creator– “Rolling Papers”
The title track of Domo’s album is a sonically advanced weed anthem. The chaotic drum patterns and fuzzy bass booms make drugs unnecessary—the music itself is enough to elicit a zoned out mentality. And, making good on his leadership duties, Tyler pushes the track over the top with a feisty hook. This one bangs.
1. Earl Sweatshirt feat. Tyler, The Creator – “Pigions”
Not only does it showcase Earl’s dexterous flow and the kind of beat Pharrell could only dream of making, it features a refrain that can adequately surmise the group’s entire ethos: “Kill people, burn shit, fuck school/Odd Future here to steer you to what the fuck’s cool/Fuck rules, skate life/Rape, write, repeat twice/Odd Future young enough to get your priests mouth drool.” Whether you find that completely hilarious or extremely disturbing is none of their concern—Odd Future shows no shame. And no sign of stopping.