Underground Rap has an "Odd Future"

Not since the days of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and the Sega Genesis have we seen the prominence of hip hop groups in mainstream music. The 1990’s contained, arguably, the peaks of hip hop groups such as A Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC, and the Beastie Boys – all starting as a couple of kids with little money, but big talent. Although these names are some of the most influential and biggest names of hip hop, the underground rap scene has recently been buried underneath the thick layer of studio-produced beats whipped together in 30 minutes and catchy, shallow lyrics (i.e. Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black). However, music critics and underground listeners alike agree that Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, or better known as Odd Future or OFWGKTA, may come to save us and our ears. And they agree, too. In a recent interview with MTV , the group’s leader, Tyler the Creator, stated that the objective of the group Odd Future is “t o be better than everyone. ’Cause I hate everyone and I want to be better than them and I want them to know that.” OFWGKTA is a ten man group from Los Angeles, California. Each of their members may work separately, yet they are united as a whole collective. Rapper and producer for the group, Tyler the Creator formed the collective in 2007. After receiving media attention first in 2008, the collective has been unstoppable since. Since then, the members have released four mixtapes and eight studio albums, all available for free download at their website. Three rap groups exist within the collective itself (MellowHype, The Jet Age of Tomorrow, and EarlWolf). And the amazing part? The youngest member, Earl Sweatshirt, is only 17. The rest of the members are between the ages of 17 and 23. Their shows are high energy with stage diving, crowd surfing, and moshing. Their London show, their first show outside of Los Angeles, sold out in less than 48 hours. Odd Future also performed at the April 2011 Coachella Valley Music Festival, and is also scheduled to play at Pitchfork Music Festival in July 2011. Senior Malcolm Squire plans to see OFWGKTA at Pitchfork in Chicago, Illinois. “Chances are I’m going to be in the mosh pit at the front and Tyler, The Creator is going to jump on me when he stage dives and I’m probably going to break my nose,” Squire said. “But it will be so worth it.” Pitchfork Media regards Odd Future as “talented, hilarious , villainous, immature, precocious, and viral ,” and that they are “at the vanguard of modern hip-hop.” A lot of their material is explicit and even considered disturbing. “A lot of the stuff they rap about is creepy and disturbing to most people, but [their music is just] different from the normal rap you hear nowadays,” Squire said about the group. “It’s not just poppy synth beats with raps about money and cars and hos – they rap about stuff that has more meaning to them.” Although these lyrics contain material that is very much obscene, the lyrics are a way for the members to speak the truths lingering within themselves, as well as many other teens. “Tyler, the Creator’s raps are really good, and he raps about subjects like murder, rape, and his dad not being around in his childhood. They’re all around [our age], so the lyrics are very easy to relate to,” Squire said. Young and talented, with lyrics that are more relatable to teens than “Friday”, it is possible that we will see them rise to the top in the near future.