Artist Profile: Odd Future


(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Chloe Hoyle

Odd Future is a raucous hip-hop collective from Los Angeles, CA. The rotating cast of rappers, producers, and singers found fame in their assertive, freeform style, and lack of filter. The group followed in the footsteps of previous hip-hop giants like Wu-Tang Clan and turned themselves into a now-iconic brand. Their logo can be found on clothing, stickers, skateboards, pop up shops, and even an Adult Swim television show.   

 In 2007, Odd Future was founded by rappers known as Tyler, The Creator, Left Brain, Hodgy Beats, and Jasper Dolphin. Early tracks were recorded in Syd tha Kyd’s and Taco’s home in South Central LA. Before their album Goblin, Odd Future famously gave away more than 20 albums of material free via the internet. According to  “In the moments when he’s not loudly insisting that he doesn’t give a fuck, you get the distinct impression its prospective reception is weighing rather heavily on Tyler’s mind. “I don’t know. I have my doubts. Everybody’s going on it and I just think,\everybody might hate this. Everybody might go: ‘What the fuck is this? We wanted this, we wanted that.'” He says, “There we go. We made an album we wanted to make. If everybody hates it, OK. We have an album we like.”’

Today, Odd Future Records works with Sony to distribute various efforts, but the group operates more like a startup, engaging and reacting to their audience via social media. They use social media to incubate ideas for art, music, and fashion before a finished product enters the world. In the early days, it was all happening on their laptops, beats were fashioned in the bedroom, distributed on blogs, and promoted on Twitter. It’s a different scene from when 50 Cent or NWA were selling CDs after shows in parking lots. Odd Future’s business model is much closer to that of a Silicon Valley startup: lean, agile, responsive. It’s hip-hop powered by a punk ethos and tailor-made for the Tumblr age.

A rap group with such an extreme name reflects nothing, but the passion in its music and performances. The group members portray such anger and ecstatic energy in their music that their listeners are able to connect and ultimately only want to listen more. Odd Future prides themselves on not only making music that people like but also making sure that they, themselves can enjoy and truly like the music that they produce. Although their music may not be suitable for everyone. If one is capable and comfortable with listening to the many controversial topics they rhyme about, their music will be refreshing and exciting for its listeners.