The phenomenon that is [lastfm]Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All[/lastfm] ([lastfm]Odd Future[/lastfm] for short) within the “indie” community could be categorized by some as unprecedented. After all, the stereotypical Pitchfork reader is quite enlightened, often to a fault, giving away to pretentious opinions and an overly-critical view of pop culture that surrounds them.
Odd Future swings the haymakers, unleashing their anger in their stage shows, but jabbing away with more-clever-than-you-think lyrics on their EPs and LPs. Replacing chains with beat-up baseball caps and switching out scenes of poppin’ bottles with goofy sketches about golf, Odd Future goes against today’s mainstream hip-hop in a forceful way, unafraid to mock the culture of excess it introduced.
In reality, the newer artists popping up on critics radars are much more in tune with certain rap groups of the late 80s and early 90s, artists unconcerned with glamour or posturing. Artists such as A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and the whole Native Tongues collective are being done justice today by Odd Future, Kid Cudi, Childish Gambino, and B.o.B.
Kid Cudi and Childish Gambino bring unprecedented introspection, with Cudi frequently questioning his own mental state and weed-induced visions, while Gambino (the alias of actor Donald Glover) considers swallowing a bottle of pills with a whiskey chaser amidst fears of disappointing his parents, and admits to vomiting due to not sleeping for days in a row. While B.o.B. is by far the most commercially successful of this group, he might be the most bold, effortlessly moving between different genres, masterfully riding the fence between hip-hop and alternative rock with great production quality to back it all up.
Of course, if you’re not a fan of hip-hop, then you’re not a fan of Odd Future. They are unmistakably still rappers. There were more than a few people who opted to camp out for Ariel Pink instead of braving the massive raging tempest that was the Odd Future crowd. Just don’t be too shocked to see these indie kids trading in their swaying and bobbing for moshing at Odd Future. Because if you want to find today’s alternative music, hip-hop is where you’ll find it.