Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All

Posted on 19 January 2011

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Odd-Future-WolfWith the year barely underway, the online hype machine is already working over time with blogs rushing to tip Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (or OFWGKTA for short) as the hot Hip Hop act to take 2011.

Having completely missed the boat on this one (OFWGKTA’s stock has been rising since last year), I thought I’d better check them out. I would encourage you to do the same, if you haven’t already done so.

I had no idea what to expect but was greeted with Hip Hop reworked, like transmissions coming in from another planet; minimal, alien-sounding, haunting. With a skate aesthetic, coupled with laid back flows and head nodding beats, as well as some dodgy lyrics to boot, OFWGKTA are a guilty pleasure, especially during this most penitent of months, January.

With numerous albums already produced from across the crew, they display a spectrum of styles, flows and new ideas that should embarrass most rap acts sitting pretty on their record deals yet ever disappointing releases. OFWGKTA have yet to sign a deal and release everything through oddfuture.tumblr.com

Their crew name obviously sets them apart. Individual members’ names, such as Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, also give OFWGKTA an alternative edge. You begin to get a feel that they cut a different dash to your average rappers. Imagine the style quirkiness of The Pharcyde meeting the swagger of Wu Tang and early tracks by Schooly D.

Eleven or so strong, they hail from the Crenshaw district of LA, which is apparently more of a suburb than a ghetto. Their suburban background has seen them somewhat positioned as naughty boys about the neighbourhood: the web was rife with rumours when 16-year-old Earl Sweatshirt didn’t attend a recent LA Times interview; the online gossip is that he had been grounded by his mum after she saw the grisly video for the track Earl.

Tyler-the-Creator-new-tatooWhen I visited the OFWGKTA website, one of the crew – Tyler the Creator – was pictured in a series of photos getting his first tattoo. Adolescent arsing around is what they seem to excel at and the smile and reaction on Tyler’s face (pictured opposite) is hilarious – like a boy who’s just popped his cherry. (But surely the most street-hardened rapper would already have a few tats under their belt, right?)

It is worth noting that their lyrics are seedy, lewd and ugly; the subject matter veering from disgusting and surreal to serial killers: “It’s the first shit that comes into our heads, seriously,” says Tyler the Creator. “I’m interested in serial killers’ minds and shit, so I rap about it at the moment. Who the fuck knows, next week I can be rapping about oatmeal if that’s what I’m into.”

There’s definitely an element of misguided youths pissing around in much of their output. But it is good stuff and 2011 is probably the year we’re going to hear more of the shit that comes into their heads, even if it is a rap about oatmeal.

Listen to: Various tracks by OFWGKTA at mostlyjunkfood.com including Fuck The Police by MellowHype (ft. Tyler the Creator)Blaccfriday by OFWGKTA

Watch this: Earl by Earl Sweatshirt

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