Overhyped rapper all shock, little substance
It’s been nearly three months since Odd Future’s appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and, predictably enough, the group is now one of the hottest fads in the world of hip-hop.
The word “fad” seems a more than an appropriate description for the group of mostly college-aged performers, considering they are undoubtedly heading into the obscure abyss of failed experiments when the spotlight moves elsewhere.
You can call them horror-core, you can call them alternative hip-hop or you can call them mentally unstable. Only one thing is for sure: they are everything that is wrong with hip-hop today.
Tyler the Creator, the de facto group leader, is arguably the most explosive with his lyrics and handles all of the production (if you can even call it that). His latest album, “Goblin,” is even more deranged and disturbing than anyone could have ever imagined.
Hip-hop, even in its infancy, was and still is like most other forms of music; it has been a way for people to express their feelings in an artistic and creative way.
Some feelings, however, are better left unsaid.
Realistically one might think Tyler would grow bored of rapping about drugs he does not even consume or degrading women with his grotesque and sexually crude verses.
And, then again, maybe he won’t.
As of late, hip-hop has become less about the real struggles of real people and more about writing verses solely for the purpose of shocking or amusing listeners. The value of each verse is depreciated by the very unrealistic nature of it all.
The way in which Odd Future’s music is swallowed by the masses only suggests how desperate hip-hop fans are for something different, new, and exciting; so much so that they would allow themselves to be bewitched by nothing more than a sophomoric gimmick.
Even the mystical tones of Odd Future member Frank Ocean cannot save the group of misguided and miscreant juveniles looking for their 15 minutes of fame.
And even with the impressive production on Tyler’s first solo album, the production of “Goblin” plays more like the end of a book written by an author who became lazy halfway through and finished it just for the sake of doing so. The amount of filler tracks on the album is more than enough evidence of this.
Even Odd Future’s music videos demonstrate their odd, albeit fascinating, need for attention. The video for “Yonkers”, the first single on “Goblin,” is excruciatingly painful to watch, both physically and mentally.
What started out as a posse of unique, urban appealing high school artists is quickly turning out more like an army of delinquents whose psychosis has been put to tape, and yet still it seems like nothing more than a practical joke gone too far.
If legends like Tupac, Big L, and Ice Cube are the founding fathers of gangster rap, what does that make Odd Future? Nothing more than gangster rap’s deranged, bastard step-child.
John Lopiano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.