Welcome to the world of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) by way of 17 year old Earl Sweatshirt. You thought Chicago youth were bad, peep the hard truth of LA. This is your first day of millennial purgatory, complete with super drugs, aggressive sexuality, and lyrical violence. If you ask me, Earl’s morbid mind should be given credit for his ingenious acceptance of the axiom: you can be whatever you want to be. You may be looking at your children right now, hoping that they never meet Mr. Sweatshirt; shoot, even his mother sent him to boot camp. But even I’m incapable, as a youth, of seeing what I’d do if I had a similar kid. All that we can do is recognize that the video “Earl” universally scares parents and youth worse than any youth project in history. Every single nightmare combines within this young imagination that no one’s ready to see televised. Earl has an apocalyptic charisma that represents the strength of my generation’s will. A new language is among us that will actually take some listening to enjoy.
OFWGKTA communicates on a level higher than a series of slaughter images. In fact, if you un-package the gore of the Odd Future culture, you will see that their subjects can only make sense in extreme absurdity. Songs like my favorite on the Earl EP, “Luper,” reveal something so real that it resonates with the thoughts that all teenage males have, but conceal. Luper is a song that follows Earl around from the time his mother yells at him to wake up. His mother struggles because Earl doesn’t want to see his recent ex at school. Making it to school, the day’s forever occupied with the senselessness of the breakup. At the end of the song he exposes a concluding anti-fantasy:
The basement light is dark and the switchblade is sharpened/
Your name on my arm and the face on the 2 percent carton/
See her face while you fixing your breakfast/
And know she’s in my basement rejecting the sex with/
Me. Murder spree surges/
I want the next b@tch/ Tombstone reads RIP cuz his pieces they rest in/
Ah here’s that Odd Future literary culture. Hate or love? I’m guessing Earl chose hate and violence, because “I love her” is played out. The idea is not that he kills his old lady, but that he wants to be with her indefinitely; hence the obsession with materials, the milk carton, the brand, her body in the basement. “Luper’s” last two lines really hold Earl’s genius as they make a dark Romeo and Juliet situation. Both of the ex-lovers die to be left by the irrationality of love. She dies because Earl can’t let go, but he dies because her rejection of him broke him into meaningless pieces. What a bizarrely respectable way to represent the complexity of teenage romance.
Some of you probably still can’t get over OFWGKTA’s crude dialect. I’m not going to lie and say that you won’t find the b-word, homophobic phrases and rape images. However I will ask that you attempt to translate the irony before you dismiss them as hooligans looking for a record deal. Like I said earlier, they have a charisma and will that can’t be crushed, not to mention that they manipulate a youth sensation all across the nation. No one can save you. We are headed towards an odd future. With the option of self broadcast and production, OFWGKTA has the type of power that can only be simulated in a dream, and they are only using words and footage.