With the formal release of Tyler the Creator's first non-self-released full-length record, Goblin, the MC has been the focus of all the hype surrounding Los Angeles-based (and young as hell) hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.
But while Tyler's album and its lead single, "Yonkers," have been the most prominent representations of the Odd Future camp, the collective's discography runs deep and weird.
After the jump, check out five Odd Future tracks that give Goblin a run for its money in the "Odd" department.
5. Syd Tha Kid's "Flashlight"
Freeform music blog Blastitude tipped us to idosyncratic (even for OFWGKTA) engineer/producer/vocalist Syd Tha Kid. Syd is the only female member in a collective that has made a name for itself, in part, for harsh, often violently-detailed misogyny. The plot thickens when you check out her tunes. "Flashlight" is Odd Future's ground zero for sensitivity and maybe even a lil tender loving (as opposed to, y'know, assault). The instrumental is a smooth new age drone and Syd's breathy vocals boast a tasteful autotune sheen that sounds like Enya if she was a hometaper. P.S. Check out Syd's super Queer "get it, bitch" Tumblr.
4. Frank Ocean's "Swim Good"
On the new age R&B tip, Frank Ocean's "Swim Good" takes a super minimal beat and light, organ-based instrumental to share Odd Future's take on soul-infused hip-hop. We're going to cite R. Kelly as the founder of applying rap's lyrical flow to gangsta-in-love content alongside r&b instrumentals and a vocal style halfway between singing and spitting. The autotuned vocals matched with Ocean's evidently robust chords locates the track somewhere between pop megastar Akon and gritty, cult favorite Texas-sizzurp rapper Z-Ro. P.S. Here is Frank Ocean's highly competent instrumental-grab of MGMT's "Feels." Way more ambitious than Jim Jones's nearly useless remix.
3. N.E.R.D.'s "Inside of Clouds" featuring Tyler the Creator
Tyler is famous for no-mercy lyrics like "I'll crash that fucking airplane that that faggot nigga B.o.B. is in/And stab Bruno Mars in his god damn esophagus/And won't stop until the cops come in." Tyler is just as expressive on "Inside of Clouds" but a little more introspective. Much like the signature angst on Tyler's breakthrough "Yonkers," his verses on "Clouds" details a brooding young man overmasticating his thoughts. Unlike that track, though, Tyler conveys a dreary, restless melancholy rather than aimlessly seething rage: "What's it really worth? (shit) / Now its fucking pouring (ugh) / Wanted to go skate (can't) / Now my day is boring." Paired with N.E.R.D.'s lush production, Tyler's rhymes make you want to bring him from out of the rain, wrap him in a towel and serve him a cup of coacoa.
2. Jet Age of Tomorrow's "5th Echelon"
Something tells me Odd Future is a pack of secret hippies. That something is all of these YouTube videos featuring new age music. Like "5th Ecehlon," by OFWGKTA micro-group Jet Age of Tomorrow. The track features a droning vocal chorus and spritely, violin-based instrumental that, along with the beat, conjures a Stones Throw b/w Windham Hill kind of vibe How long before we see Odd Future themed incense and/or stone healing?
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1. Anonymous YouTube Bros's "Sandwitches" (Acoustic Cover)
Music is awful and the next clip proves it. Though Odd Future are not the direct arbiters of the following obscenity, I'm sure this is the kind of pop culture reverberation we can all look forward to as the group goes from Fallon to Letterman to hosting their inevitable own 24 hour talk show on their personalized TV station. Sometimes you want to see a bro sing T-Pain, but you never want to see a bro, let alone a trio of bros, singing Odd Future.