Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or OFWGKTA or Odd Future for short) is a rap collective of a bunch of LA teens, all ranging from 16 to 23 in age, who have taken the rap world by storm in less than a year. The group is comprised of skaters, rappers, visual artists, and producers, who exist in their own little pocket-niche world with their own lingo and lifestyle (ie. if it’s cool, it’s “Swag”. Steve Harvey and the site NahRight are considered the opposite of everything that is swag) with little care if you the listener get it or not. Well, people have been getting it; Odd Future have blown up within the last few months, being on the frontpage of damn near every music blog and social network you can thing of, even making both The Rap Up’s list of 2010 breakout artists and the best songs of 2010. Following an amazing performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, that people are still talking about almost a week later, we’ve decided to compile a list of the top ten best songs by Odd Future, so that newbies can get on the bandwagon before they’re left in the dust and these kids really blow up onto the main level:
10.) MellowHype – “Polyurthane”
MellowHype is the main branch off project of the Odd Future collective. Consisting of producer Left Brain and rapper Hodgy Beats, the duo have put out two very well received albums, Yellow/White and BLACKENEDWHITE, that help to diversify the musical offerings that come out of the Wolf Gang camp. “Polyurthane” is one of the standout tracks, built over a very laid back beat and an impressive verse by Hodgy detailing a very average party. Even though the song is chiller, Odd Future fans were still able to mosh to it during the groups most recent concert in Washington D.C.
9.) Domo Genesis – “Super Market (Feat. Tyler, The Creator)”
Domo Genesis is the weed-based rapper of the pack; he operates in the same lane as Method Man/Redman and Wiz Khalifa, in that his raps generally focus on the act of and the lifestyle that comes with being high. Again, Domo joins MellowHype in diversifying Odd Future, by honing in on a different subgenre of rap, only shown through the lens of Wolf Gang. “SuperMarket” features Domo and Tyler on a (rather hilarious) trip to the super market, as a destination to cure the munchies.
8.) Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt – “OrangeJuice”
This is a song found on the Odd Future Radical, which has the crew freestyling over other beats, a rarity for the crew who chooses to produce all of the songs that they officially release. The mixtape is in my opinion essential for any new Odd Future fan who is trying to figure out the crew, as it introduces the entire crew in one tape. “Orange Juice” is one of the standout tracks, with brothers Tyler and Earl (who together go by the title “EarlWolf”) absolutely annihilating the Gucci Mane song “Lemonade”.
7.) Hodgy Beats, Jasper, and Mike G. – “Round and Round”
This song is also off the Radical mixtape, and introduces more of the crew, including Jasper who claims to be a terrible rapper, but gets the most women of the entire crew so it doesn’t really matter. This song features the song “Round and Round” by Hi-Tek, and has the crew showing how they’d be perfect dates. See? it’s not all about horrorcore!
6.) MellowHype – “Chordaroy (feat. Tyler, The Creator and Earl Sweatshirt)”
This was off the second MellowHype album, BLACKENEDWHITE, and is the one song to feature all of the most known members of Odd Future. For anyone who is starting out on Odd Future, yet finds the rapping of Tyler and Earl to be too dark for their listening, MellowHype is an excellent place to begin, as it is both Odd Future in all it’s forms, and the most mainstream rap offering from the crew. And in the words of Tyler from this song: “When I say ‘Wolf Gang’/ You say ‘Fuck That.'”
5.) Tyler, The Creator and Hodgy Beats – “Sandwitches”
This is probably the first song by Odd Future that a lot of people have heard, as it was played by Tyler and Hodgy during their first ever TV appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The song also features Tyler’s official renouncement of the groups label of “horrorcore”, saying we should listen to the music deeper before you try to label it into a cookie-cutter subgenre. Whether or not the group deserves the label is up to debate, but what is for sure is, “SandWitches” is an amazing song.
(ed note. the live version of the song from Fallon is here. Pay attention to Mos Def jumping out at the end to scream “Swag!” repeatedly; THAT’s how big these kids are getting)
4.) Tyler, The Creator – “French! (feat. Hodgy Beats)”
Easily the darkest song by the crew, “French!” features Tyler at his absolute most evil, even dropping his voice down lower to make it sound even more villainous. The song consists of hauntingly slimey synths and Tyler’s brutal lyrics (“I’m opening a church to sell coke and Led Zeppelin/ and fuck Mary in her ass”); even a fairly light guest appearance by Hodgy can’t pick up the song, before it is swallowed back up by Tyler with another dark verse. It’s songs like “French!” that earn Odd Future the horrorcore label, and after viewing the accompanying video the crew shot for it, it’s hard to argue against. Songs like “French!” aren’t for everyone, and it sort of lays the line in the sand for the audience of Odd Future: either your with us or against us.
3.) Tyler, The Creator – “Bastard”
If “French!” represents one half of the enigmatic Tyler, The Creator’s personality, the dark and evil part, then “Bastard” represents the other half, which is a kid just wanting to belong. This is what Tyler meant when he asked people to look deeper than the label of horrorcore with the group; behind all the threats and evil lyrics, Tyler is just a regular kid, one who wishes his dad was more in the picture and that he fit in better at school. Honestly, who can’t relate to that at one point in their life? The video for “Bastard” that Tyler shot is similar to the one for “French!”, yet couldn’t be further from the same in terms of content. As the opening to Tyler’s debut album Bastard, the same-titled song featured Tyler in a faux-therapy session, explaining his entire life and twisted mind to the audience. This and “French!” were the first Odd Future songs that broke through to the masses eardrums, and “bastard” ended up on numerous top ten lists at the end of 2010, including The Rap Up’s.
2.) Earl Sweatshirt – “EARL”
Earl is Tyler’s little brother, and even though he is no older than 17, he is arguably the most accomplished lyricists in the entire Odd Future collective. Adding to Earl’s persona is the fact that he has seemingly gone missing, with the crew repeatedly declaring “FREE EARL”, to the point where it has almost become a calling card for the group (ed note. Earl’s actual whereabouts are a mystery to the listeners, with options ranging from he is in jail to his parents sent him away to boarding school for acting up. It’s not really clear, and it’s clear that OF doesn’t want you to know, since it plays up the mystique). “EARL” is the first single of Earl’s self titled album Earl, and the video has the crew doing their best Jackass impression by beating the ever-loving hell out of their own bodies. Messed up, twisted, and head noddingly awesome, the song and video summarize everything Odd Future is in theory: Kids who don’t give a fuck and make amazing music.
1.) Tyler, The Creator – “Yonkers”
“Yonkers”, the first single off Tyler’s upcoming album Goblin (set to be released in April), tops this chart because it is the perfect hybrid of everything Odd Future has been up to this point with everything they will be going forward. The song has every element that has comprised a Tyler song up till this point: a dark synth beat produced by Tyler, twisted lyrics, and an even more twisted video. But the song is crucial because immediately upon its release, it toped the worldwide twitter trends, and had every hip-hop blog under the sun doing a write up about the crew and the hypnotizingly-good song. This reaction proves only one thing: Odd Future isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it’s going to be pretty interesting seeing what they have in store for us next.