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Artist Spotlight: Odd Future

By Ohad Amram

In today's music scene it's difficult to differentiate a specific musical artist and categorize them as "different" due to their unique approaches to the art of music because what's different to one listener may very well be just another musical artist to another. However, this is hardly the case with emerging Los Angeles rap collective Odd Future, otherwise known by their infamous acronym OFWGKTA, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. Headed by "leader" Tyler the Creator also known as Wolf Haley or Ace, the cohesive and very innovative talents of Odd Future have been in effect as of 2007, yet it was only recently that Odd Future has been publicized and given recognition from some of rap's most adored and respected MC's, including artists such as Kanye West, who claims Tyler the Creators video for hit single "Yonkers" is the best video of 2011. Mos Def, who saw the groups' first live performance in New York City, and Das Racist, who was there the night of Nov. 8, 2010 when the group debuted their highly anticipated first performance on the East coast.

Within Odd Future are two groups: EarlWolf and MellowHype. EarlWolf consists of rappers Earl Sweatshirt and Wolf Haley, as mentioned. MellowHype consists of rapper Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain. All four mentioned are active members of Odd Future. Other members include Domo Genesis and Mike G, both of which have solo Studio Albums.

The group as a whole has conceived well over a dozen mix tapes and studio albums. Producers Tyler the Creator and Left Brain have produced the vast majority of the groups work. More prominently, Tyler has not only rapped on and produced nearly all of the groups music, but also heads the majority of the groups' interviews and therefore assumes the title of "leader." With that said, other members of this provocative and controversial rap outfit should by no means be overlooked. Specifically, Odd Future's youngest member, Earl Sweatshirt, whose self-titled album, Earl, has been deemed 24th best album of 2010 by Complex Magazine. If that alone isn't enough to make you want to give this well worthy experimental rapper, a listen, then this ought to do it: lyrically, Earl has been compared to Hip-Hop legend Nas. In fact many claim that Earl, at 16, his age when his solo studio album was released, is better than Nas at 18, when Nas released critically acclaimed album, Illmatic. Currently, Earl is the only member of the group that is not touring and producing new songs alongside the rest of the rest of the group. Speculation has arisen as to exactly where this fellow Odd Future member may be. The little merchandise the group sells at shows, does consist of a shirt that has been a hot item at both shows, as well as online merchandisers; the shirt simply reads "Free Earl". Although the controversy of the matter is indeed a story within itself, rumors of the groups' perhaps most talented member, have stated that upon having received word of Earl's musical career, his mother took great offense to Odd Future's subject matter and thus sent Earl to boarding school. Other rumors state that Earl is to be released from this facility on the April 11, 2011.

All rumors aside, Odd Future shows no sign of slowing down. The group first garnered the attention of mainstream media when Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats played a live performance on February 16th, 2011 on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." Then on the MTV Woodie awards, the two yet again stunned audiences with their extravagant performance. More recently, Odd Future has played SXSW, otherwise known as the south by southwest festival in Texas. The groups' live performances are reminiscent of bands from the early 70s in the sense that crowd is more so involved and very receptive of the groups' shenanigans. Those interested in experiencing something new, musically, should give the group a listen. Any song off of the groups' collaborative mix tape, Radical, is inventive, and can honestly be categorized as "different."  The latest in new Odd Future will be Tyler the Creator's next solo studio album titled "Goblin" which will be released on May 11,, 2011 on XL recordings, other bands on this label include acts Weezer, Vampire Weekend and Radiohead. While audiences patiently anticipate the album's arrival, any and all other Odd Future albums, mix tape or studio album, is free for download on the groups' website, 

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