Posts Tagged ‘ofwgkta’

Blog Watch Edition 9: Odd Future, Again and Again

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Everyone’s talking about Odd Future but most online writers keep a cool distance between themselves and the collective’s actual musical content. Details after the jump. (more…)

Shad, Curren$y, and Earl Sweatshirt (OFWGKTA): On The Rhythmic Path

Monday, November 15th, 2010

In the third decade of recorded rap, we are privy to the subtle and sometimes mysterious distillation of stylistic influence; we need not rely on a blatant rehashing of an old favorite’s concepts in order to fall in love with genre again. Elements of A Tribe Called Quest’s debut LP People Instinctive Travels and the Paths Of Rhythm have trickled into far-flung nooks and crannies of the rap world; my best guess is that The Neptunes and Kanye West have played a major role in this process post-2000. Rather than redraw every strand of the web of influence I will examine how PITPOR shaped the sound of certain groups in the 90s and then point to contemporary artists whose works are reminiscent of these developments.

PITPOR‘s enduring contribution to the art of rapping is the melding of a deceptively relaxed vocal presence with odd unexpected cadences and similarly eccentric lyrics. Q-Tip’s matching of this vocal style with drums tweaked to sound harder than even Paul C’s productions and a surprisingly melodic set of samples inspired Mobb Deep to craft their distinctive deliveries. ((I expound on this argument, in far greater detail, here and here.)) However, while Mobb Deep recited damnation narratives and darkened their sound ((Arguably to the brink of self-parody.)) other groups that were likely inspired by PITPOR —namely K.M.D., The Future Sound, ((I wrote a piece on their brilliant debut The Whole Shabang, and another piece about their song “The Function” and the decline of dancing of hip hop dancing after 1992 here.)) and UMCs— were less hesitant to incorporate joyous digression into their lyrics. (more…)

Tyler The Creator (OFWGKTA), De La Soul ft. Black Sheep, The Roots, and Sonic Sum: The Wondrous Mundane

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

De La Soul Is Dead is one gray rainy day of an album, and not just because the cover art and the themes that run through the music are elegiac/morbidly funny. The songs themselves —with the exceptions of “Keepin’ The Faith” and that god-forsaken rollerskating jam— sound just as mellow and overcast as the songs on 3 Feet High and Rising sound chipper and day-glo. Of course, the somber mood found on cuts like “Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa” is to be expected given the group’s desire to distance themselves from their widely misunderstood “D.A.I.S.Y.” image. Still, I am amazed at how they effortlessly incorporate gloominess into songs that do not seem to fit this mold at first, like their bizarre take on romantic quarrels “Hey Love,” their satire on stereotypes “Afro Connections at Hi-5,” and even their assault on classless trollops “Bitties In the BK Lounge.” By rapping happily on darker tracks and disinterestedly on topical songs, and by busting out into exaggerated skit-like dialogue in the middle of verses, De La teases and confounds your expectations to sustain a tragicomic sensibility. “Fanatic Of The B Word” is more of the same, except that they are beaten at their own game by newcomer Dres, of Black Sheep fame.

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Mos Def Poses with Odd Future (OFWGKTA) After NYC Show

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

The homie Nobs attended the Odd Future show at renowned NYC venue Webster Hall tonight and uploaded this picture. Tyler the Creator, MellowHype and Mike G. performed. It’s good to see different generations of rappers chilling together, isn’t it? I think this photo is a refreshing testament to the durability of rap, and a sign of good things to come. Some up-close concert footage after the jump. (more…)

Peace, Party People: MellowHype (OFWGKTA) and A Tribe Called Quest

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MellowHype is a duo consisting of Hodgy Beats and Left Brain; they are affiliated with the Los Angeles area crew known as Odd Future (OFWGKTA), who have gained quite a bit of blog-o-sphere notoriety in recent months. ((Steady Bloggin’ has been reporting on OFWGTKA for some time now, so catch up if you’re intrigued.)) Their video for their song “Polyurathane” which they recorded to promote their upcoming album Blackened White, sees Hodgy calmly denounce youth violence ((I have written other pieces about rap songs that deal with this topic, most recently in my post here on Juelz Santana and Masta Ace, but also in pieces on The Future Sound’s “The Function” , Twin Hype’s “Nothing Could Save Ya“, and yet another that examines songs by Main Source, Gang Starr, and Three Times Dope.)) in a concise but evocative verse ((I am not sure if the actual song is longer but for the now I will treat the song in the form it is presented in this promo video)) over somber but forceful production. (more…)