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.
Gangster-Rap-Godfather Ice-T is really unhappy with the mainstreaming of Hip Hop. And outside the premier of his new documentary “Planet Rock: The Story of Hip Hop and the Crack Generation,” HE WENT IN.
On Rick Ross:
He thinks he’s [Freeway] Rick Ross, he thinks he’s Larry Hoover, he thinks he’s Big Meech, he thinks he’s MC Hammer, he thinks he’s Tupac. Like, who the f*ck are you really, dude?”
On Lil Wayne and Hip Hop Going Pop:
“Rap was a counterculture that went against pop. But when you have Rihanna singin’ on your records and you’re doin’ records with Katy Perry, that’s no longer rap. It’s pop music, pop using rap delivery. When you hear Lil Wayne sayin’ ‘I got a chopper in the car,’ you go, ‘Yeah, right you do.‘”
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.
So Lil Wayne’s highly anticipated (and routinely delayed) Tha Carter IV leaked onto the internets earlier this week. And it’s pretty damn good. But thus far, all anyone can talk about is that Jay-Z diss.
Confused? Well, it all started in a 2009 interview where Birdman declared that Lil Wayne is a better rapper than Jay-Z because he “do the most and make the most money.” Perhaps you’ll recall Jigga’s response earlier this year on the song “H.A.M.”:
“Like these rappers rap about all the shit that I do daily/I’m like really, half a billi, nigga, really you got Baby money/ Keep it real with niggas, niggas ain’t got my lady money.”
Clearly, Wayne was not impressed with Jay’s not-so-sublte double entrendre. And that brings us to C4’s most controversial track, “It’s Good.” “It’s Good” is essentially a traditional, solid slab of hardcore Hip Hop, opening with a flawless verse from Jadakiss. Drake does his best to keep up before Wayne hits the ground running with a closing verse.
Then he says this:
“Talkin’ bout baby money?/I got your baby money/Kidnap your bitch, get that ‘how much you love your lady’ money”
This is a clear and direct jab at Jay-Z (and Beyonce, technically haha).
Mitt Romney and Jay-Z have a lot in common.
Like Jay-Z, whose widely considered to be the most influential and important figure in Hip Hop today, Mitt Romney is currently the front runner for the Republican Presidential Nomination. In fact, like Jay-Z, he’s been the de facto “front runner” in the race for a while now.
And like Jay-Z, Mitt Romney continues to hold onto this position for no good reason at all. And probably won’t be holding onto it for long.
You can tell a genre of music is dying when a) it gives too much of itself away to a radio-ready pop sound, and b) it becomes artistically stagnant, with too few of its practitioners willing (or able) to innovate and move the genre forward. With Usher’s lowest-common-denominator Pop&B, as well as Chris Brown’s douchbaggery and Trey Songz’s utter mediocrity dominating the charts, R&B music has certainly been sliding in that general direction over the past few years. These guys can dance and sing (or whine) with the best of them, but their music is just formulaic, thematically bland, and entirely missing any kind of edge whatsoever. Too much watered-down Michael Jackson and not nearly enough Prince, in a nutshell.
Maybe these R&B cats thought they were safe from the kind of utter embarrassment and panic OFWGKTA is inflicting on Hip Hop’s many phony, undercover pop stars. No such luck, sorry. Allow me to introduce you to The Weeknd’s House of Balloons.
Say hello to the dark, smoldering future of Rhythm and Blues.
“I created OF cause I feel we’re more talented
Than 40 year-old rappers talkin’ ‘bout Gucci
When they have kids they haven’t seen in years.
Impressing they peers.”
-Tyler, The Creator “Bastard”
A lot has been written about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. And if my intuition is correct, plenty more will be written in the coming months. Because Odd Future isn’t just going to become popular; Odd Future is revitalizing Hip Hop music. And more than anything else, the above quote perfectly encapsulates why.
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.