So in celebration of the release of Tyler, The Creator’s delightfully mediocre new album Wolf, I figured I’d do what I’ve been meaning to do for a few years and compile a little Odd Future playlist.
Here’s ten songs by Odd Future that if you’ve never listened to them before, will tell you very quickly whether or not you’ll get into them in the future.
A word of caution to those of you that are new to Odd Future. These songs are not for the fainthearted.
1. Earl Sweatshirt – epaR feat. Vince Staples (Earl, 2010) - Well, start as you mean to go on. Earl is probably the most naturally gifted rapper I’ve ever heard. He piles rhymes on top of each other with no effort, and this song’s quite scary themes of murder and rape don’t quite distract from that. Much.
2. MellowHype – Chordaroy feat. Earl Sweatshirt and Wolf Haley (BlackenedWhite, 2010) - MellowHype are the union of Odd Future members Hodgy Beats and Left Brain, and their incredibly stoned vibe suits Hodgy to a tee – here Earl and Tyler show up for some extra mischief.
3. Mike G – Moracular World feat. Vince Staples (Ali, 2010) - One of the few songs I genuinely love by the Odd Future also-rans, mostly because Vince Staples’ guest verse is so immature and so hilarious.
4. Tyler, The Creator – Assmilk feat. Earl Sweatshirt (Bastard, 2010) - A technique I rarely see used if ever, a totally different beat for each featured rapper to the extent of alternating them mid verse.
5. Mike G and Earl Sweatshirt – Cool (Radical, 2010) – From one of the more chilled out mixtapes they released, it’s just interesting hearing Earl bounce of someone other than Tyler.
6. Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers (Goblin, 2011) - The song which truly brought them to the dance. A terrifying verse, a fantastic video, everything that makes Tyler great (sometimes).
7. Frank Ocean – American Wedding (Nostalgia/Ultra, 2011) - It takes big brass balls to sample ‘Hotel California,’ but not only does Frank Ocean do it, but I now can’t stand listening to the original – ‘American Wedding’ is the truly classic song here, with this heartbreaking tale of teenage love.
8. Odd Future – Oldie (The Odd Future Tape, Vol. 2, 2012) - Having achieved all the success they never expected, we’re reminded that Odd Future really is just a gang of young MCs who want to enjoy themselves. So they do. For eleven minutes. Props to Frank Ocean for both sipping a Starbucks frapp and checking his watch.
9. Frank Ocean – Pyramids (Channel Orange, 2012) - I have literally never heard anything quite like this song. It is Pink Floyd meets R’n'B. It is stunning.
10. Tyler, The Creator – IFHY feat. Pharrell (Wolf, 2013) - Tyler goes off the rails with his insane desire for this girl over a dreamy beat before Pharrell shows up with the vocal hook that made Wolf worth it on its own.