Tag Archives: ofwgkta

90s baby Spaceghostpurrp swags out Miami

The defining story of hip hop in 2011 was the rise of Odd Future. Tyler and company spent the year inciting riots and confounding critics, before establishing a record label and getting a TV deal. Whatever your take on the divisive and controversial crew, suffice it to say that the biggest lesson for fans of the genre is that 90s babies do hip hop differently: weirder, darker, and more drugged out. Knocking down the door that OFWGKTA opened up, Harlem’s A$AP Rocky has dominated the scene since LiveLoveA$AP dropped on Halloween. A$AP is nobody’s idea of a gifted lyricist, but the production on his debut is striking; it’s more sinister and more ethereal than anything in the game. The best known and most talented producer on the album is Clams Casino, but the album also features two cuts by the next star of based / swag hip hop: Spaceghostpurrp.

Miami’s Muney Jordan has christened himself with a name only a late night stoner can appreciate. Spaceghostpurrp’s influences are the epitome of millenial hip hop: early Three 6 Mafia and DJ Screw, Mortal Kombat and the occult, purple weed and purple drank. The beats are detuned, dripping with syrupy bass. Purists will no doubt blanch at his simplistic flow, but as for creating a vibe and a mood, Spaceghostpurrp is unmatched. From the skull emblazoned cover of last summer’s Blackland Radio 66.6 mixtape (stylized as Blvcklvnd Rvdix, in the style of the day) to fuzzy cassette type mastering, everything feels as underground as a coffin.

The 22 track Blackland Radio is predictably sprawling and uneven, but the highlights are diamonds in the rough. Beyond the unprintable chorus, there is actually a safe sex anthem somewhere in the raunchy boom bap of “Suck a Dick for 2011” (and fear not, there is already a 2012 follow-up: “Blvck Lipstick S.A.N.D. 2012“). “Pheel Tha Phonk” is classic g-funk lean, as if ripped off a tape released sometime around Spaceghostpurrp’s 1991 birthdate.

Last weekend I attended Spaceghostpurrp’s first hometown show, held in downtown Miami’s Eve (the former White Room, where I saw Rusko in December 2009), a pretty shady venue that stretches the definition of a nightclub. The crowd was, like Spaceghostpurrp’s Raider Klan, mostly underage, decked out in snapbacks and streetwear. Members of the Raider Klan crowded the stage, with various rappers and DJs taking turns warming up the crowd, with mixed results. The headliner’s set was brief but intense, and the crowd – ecstatic to see one of their own on stage – ate it up.

The fact that the show was one of his first is indicative of the music world in 2012 (just ask Lana Del Rey). This is an artist raised by both the streets and Adult Swim who has honed his craft in the unnerving glow of the computer screen rather than the stage. The contrasts are the foundation that allows Spaceghostpurrp to craft this otherworldly music. Other than sounding vaguely Southern, there isn’t a sense of place in his music (“the Internet” doesn’t count). Still, when he grounds his production in something more local, Spaceghostpurrp turns in one of his tightest songs yet: the Miami bass jam “Don’t Give a Damn.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SpaceGhostPurrp-Dont-Give-a-Damn-Miami-Bass.mp3″ text=”SpaceGhostPurrp – Don’t Give a Damn (Miami Bass)” dl=1]

In 2011, the world discovered Odd Future.  In 2012, Spaceghostpurrp proves that 2011 was just the beginning.

Download: Spaceghostpurrp – Blackland Radio 66.6

Unofficial OFWGKTA After Party, presented by Postcultural.com

In LA, Tyler, the Creator was detained by the cops.

In Boston, a meet-and-greet at Newbury Comics nearly turned into a riot.

In Detroit, the audience threw glass bottles, Hodgy Beats attacked an audience member, and the Wolf Gang called it a night.

Is DC ready for Odd Future?

What press-captivating antics will transpire before, during, or after Wednesday night’s sold-out show at the Rock and Roll Hotel are a mystery. But if the show is anything like the collective’s Valentine’s Day gig at U Street Music Hall, it is sure to be a memorable night.

That’s why Postcultural is proud to present the unofficial OFWGKTA After Party, featuring the DJ stylings of Matt Rose and Blake9.

The last time an eagerly-awaited performer graced the stage at the Rock and Roll Hotel, he spent some time upstairs, mingling with fans. Will the same be true tomorrow night? Come hang out after the show to find out. Just don’t ask about Earl.

Album Review: Tyler, the Creator – Goblin

If Odd Future has taken over the world, Tyler, the Creator is the evil mastermind. Hip-hop needs provocateurs – NWA, Kool Keith, Eminem – polarizing artists that both shock and entertain. Tyler and Odd Future are the next in this line, set apart from their peers by their barely legal ages, Internet-age productivity and Wu Tang-like devotion to their brand.

Goblin is the collective’s first proper album, released on trendspotters XL. Continuing his conversation with his fictional/internal psychiatrist, as on Bastard, Tyler opens with a nearly seven-minute title track, a spoken-word diatribe about the downside of his meteoric rise (“I don’t even skate anymore, I’m too fucking busy.”). This isn’t new territory – see Kanye, Drake, Childish Gambino, etc. – but like those artists, Tyler has a well-developed image and style.

The Odd Future movement revolves around self-gratification, not breaking new ground. Tyler’s closest comparison is Eminem, with his odes to sexual violence, suicidal fantasies, and parental disappointment. Like Eminem, he reiterates the obvious to his critics: his lyrics are fictional, going as far to call out “white America” (the target of the first song on The Eminem Show). Tyler even adopts his cadence at times.

Tyler is all about contrasts and juxtapositions, reveling in dualities. Admonishing the listener one moment for taking him too seriously, and then grabbing them by the throat and forcing them to recognize him the next. First self-confident at his accomplishments in the last six months, and then suicidal over his existential, self-esteem issues. “Tron Cat” includes jazzy, la-la-la breaks: momentary respites from grimy negativity like “rape a pregnant bitch and tell my friends I had a threesome.”

Posse cuts present contrasts, as well. The swagged-out “Bitch Suck Dick” has the bombastic production of a Soulja Boy track, while “Window” is clouded and syrupy – a barely-there beat that lets the storytelling do the heavy lifting. Advance single “Sandwitches” gets a spit-shine and a proper release; the Odd Future anthem pairs Tyler with Hodgy Beats. The duo returns on “Analog,” one of Tyler’s smoothest songs yet. Companion pieces “She” and “Her” are Tyler’s unique attempts at ballads: nakedly confessional tales of high school love and loss. “She” features crooner and break-out candidate Frank Ocean, who shines, as usual.

Tyler is the first to admit that he isn’t the best rapper. His flow is lazy and repetitive at times, and he’s obsessed with the same topics. These are largely products of his age. Behind the boards, he already has developed a trademark sound: queasy, horror movie boom bap. His greatest pressure to improve will probably come from within Odd Future: standout track “Transylvania” is the only produced by someone else: Left Brain.

Goblin is a fine sequel to Bastard. Musically, they go hand-in-hand. Lyrically, Tyler’s work is informed by the last year and a half, as he joins his fame-challenged peers. No doubt, the album is uneven. But Goblin is another testament to Odd Future as the most exciting and vital artists of their generation. Bastard announced Tyler to the world. Goblin ensures that this is just the beginning.

The Weeknd gets chopped and screwed

While many are vying to tag The Weeknd’s music with a genre name, not many were clamoring for slower, meditative versions of his already down-tempo jams. Despite this, two chopped and screwed takes on the House of Balloons mixtape have cropped up, with mixed results.

Swishahouse co-founder and chopped and screwed pioneer OG Ron C gives his trademark treatment to House of Balloons, as does Odd Future member Mike G. Both versions provide the syrupy (in more ways than one) sounds for which the genre is known, but as expected, OG Ron C’s comes out ahead.

The veteran does more chopping than a sous chef; his sample twisting on mixtape standout “What You Need” manages to make the tune even more hypnotic.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/WeekndOGRonC.mp3″ text=”The Weeknd – What You Need (OG Ron C version)” dl=0]

Mike G, on the other hand, opts for a more straightforward BPM drop. Sometimes that’s enough: the sinister “Glass Table Girls” coda on the title track doesn’t need much work before sounding like witch house.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/WeekndMikeG.mp3″ text=”The Weeknd – House of Balloons / Glass Table Girls (Mike G version)” dl=0]

At first glance, chopping and screwing House of Balloons seems redundant and unnecessary. But the inspiration seems to be drawn straight from The Weeknd’s lyrics.

From “Wicked Game:”

Bring your love, baby I can bring my shame
Bring the drugs, baby I can bring my pain
I got my heart right here, I got my scars right here
Bring the cups, baby I can bring the drank

Or more succinctly, from “The Morning:”

Codeine cups paint a picture so vivid

Download: OG Ron C – House of Balloons (Chopped-up not slopped-up)
Download: Mike G – House of Balloons (Screwed)

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.