What the fuck is OFWGKTA?

It’s a question I’ve received a few times after nerding out on Twitter: what the fuck is OFWGKTA? That unwieldy acronym stands for “Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.” Odd Future is an LA rap collective made up of rappers, beatmakers, artists and skaters. In name: Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean, Left Brain, The Super 3, Syd tha Kyd, Jasper Loc, and Taco Bennett.

Everything about them is polarizing, from fandom on down. They’re old enough to drive but barely old enough to drink. They love non sequiturs but have no love for their fathers, who are either absent or might as well be. Everything is swag or not.

The beats are grimey, borrowing from chopped-and-screwed trap hop, Stones Throw futurism and everything in between. Wu-Tang is the nearest comparison, if only in form but not function. Lyrical topics include, notably, drug abuse, violence, and rape, alone or in combination. The one-upmanship is pure high school male, the depravity and vileness a product of our unshockability. Blame it on 9/11 and / or the Internet.

If you don’t get it, it’s not for you. Hell, it’s barely for me. At 26, I might as well be 2 Dope Boys, Nah Right, or worse – Steve Harvey. So instead of trying to digest the group’s 150+ songs, I’ll just provide the essentials that capture Odd Future’s essence better than I can.

All music is freely available on the OFWGKTA web site.

OFWGKTA – Radical

More fully-formed than their original offering, the Odd Future Tape, Radical is their most accessible material, if only because of the Mos Def, Gucci Mane and Roscoe Dash beats they hijack. Here’s Hodgy Beats over Dash’s “Turnt Up” and Earl and Tyler over Gucci’s “Lemonade”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Turnt_Down.mp3″ text=”Hodgy Beats – Turnt Down”]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Orange_Juice.mp3″ text=”EarlWolf – Orange Juice”]

Tyler the Creator – Bastard

Tyler the Creator aka Ace aka Wolf Haley, in the inevitable Wu Tang analogy, is the RZA. On Bastard, he puts his cards on the table on the first track: “This is what the Devil plays before he sleeps… I cut my wrists and play piano because I’m so depressed.” “French” is a banger you might nod your head to until Tyler spits out “rape her and record it / then edit it with more shit.

Earl Sweatshirt – Earl

Tyler’s little cousin is Earl Sweatshirt, and like a younger brother, he has to go big or go home. Earl’s current absence from the group (due either to boot camp, jail, or a severe grounding) will definitely leave a void: he’s one of the sickest, most fascinating members of Odd Future. “epaR” is a violent fantasy sequence with a hook that beats its not-so-subliminal title. And his self-titled rant features their most telling video yet.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/epar.mp3″ text=”Earl Sweatshirt – epaR”]

Ready for more?

  • Hodgy Beats’ Dena Tape shows flashes of talent, but he really puts it together when he joins Left Brain to form MellowHype; the Halloween themed BLACKENDWHITE is their better album.
  • Domo Genesis takes the reins as the requisite weed rapper; he beat Wiz Khalifa to the punch on his Rolling Papers tape.
  • Odd Future isn’t just about rap: subgroup Jet Age of Tomorrow has released two albums of mostly-instrumental space funk that is trippy on another level.

One response to “What the fuck is OFWGKTA?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention What the fuck is OFWGKTA? -- Topsy.com

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