Seven months ago you couldn’t tell me that Odd Future would achieve mainstream representation; I guessed that they were a group of outlaws that would manage their own channels. And here my predictions have been assassinated: while Earl is under a boarding school in Samoa, Tyler has won MTV’s Best New Artist and Frank Ocean is chillin’ on Kanye’s throne. Not even thinking about the success of Goblin and the cult of young adults that follow behind him, the pack’s front man Tyler the Creator has been blown by the whole situation. If Tyler is serious about the stuff he’s been saying lately this could be an artist that leaves the indie game quickly, but with a legendary grace.
Last Saturday night, Kreayshawn and the White Girl Mob played a sold-out gig in Hollywood. And according to Spin Magazine, it was an insane show.
“…the audience rushed the stage where they proceeded to completely freak out — bouncing, stripping, cooking, and flipping into the crowd — until the music was done and they were forced bodily from the limelight by the venue’s security. It was intensely electric.”
The next day, she hit the VMAs, where she was nominated (and a favorite) for the Best New Artist Award. She lost to like-minded and equally controversial Tyler, the Creator. Like Kreayshawn, Tyler and Odd Future rose to prominence through YouTube, blogs and social media, don’t fit in any radio format, and have sharply divided critics and fans.
A lot of people aren’t taking Kreayshawn and Odd Future seriously. And that’s understandable. When something comes along that is so alien to mainstream standards and tastes, it always gets dismissed.
But don’t be fooled. Their success is organic and real; not some record label’s scheme. The rise of artists like Odd Future and Kreayshawn (as well as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame) is subversive to Hip Hop’s status quo. And it might end up being a big deal.
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.