There are two ways I can approach writing this introductory paragraph for Odd Future, the most controversial rap collective since N.W.A.. One, I can fly my Wolf Gang flag in the air and say that their new album, The OF Tape, Vol. 2 is the best thing ever, or I can be like a lot of critics and just label them as “a bunch of horrorcore.” Although those elements of that subgenre are definitely present on their new album, it seems like the giant collective is starting to successfully evolve and mature their sound.
Ok, let me rephrase what I just stated. They’re maturing their sound and style, but c’mon, they’re STILL the Odd Future parents are scared of they’re kids listening to.
Let me list the major OF players on this album: the leader Tyler, the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Taco, Frank Ocean, Syd, and Mike G. Each one really brings a unique flow and style to the entire album, making it seem more like a showcase of talent rather than one induvidual selection.
Let’s start with the first single, “Rella” which took some serious time to really get into, but I finally came around to the absurd and rather hilarious lyrics. “Bitches” (not to be confused with “We Got Bitches” or “Real Bitch”) has Hodgy and Domo going back and fourth, making for an epic rap game of tug-o-war (I think it’s a tie). “Analog 2” was a great mixture of dark R&B and rather decent singing chops by the leader Tyler. My favorite track “Sam (Is Dead)” is a down-tempo march into maturing into themselves.
The MVP of the album happens to be Domo Genesis. Although I HATED his verse on “Rella,” this entire album seemed to be his proving grounds. Proof? Go listen to “Doms” and see if you agree. He might not have been featured as much as Hodgy, but when he came up, he seemed to kill his verses.
I do have a couple of things that stood out to me in a rather negative way. Firstly, I would’ve loved more Frank Ocean! I’ve had his mixtape on rotation in my car for months now, and I would’ve loved more collaborative efforts in there for him (Ocean and The Internet would’ve made for a nice pairing). Also, some songs on the album could’ve been pushed back to other albums, or just out all together. Both of the Mellowhype tracks, “50” and “Real Bitch,” could’ve easily been placed on a follow-up to their debut album that came out last year. And “We Got Bitches” might have the most commercial rap beat backing it, it could’ve been easily cut, especially being followed by “Oldie,” a ten-minute song that everyone seemed to KILL their verses respectively.
Some people might not appreciate Odd Future, but if they keep moving their sounds and maturing as artists and lyricists, I wouldn’t be surprised if their OFWGKTA movement regains the hype that followed Tyler’s Bastard a couple of years ago. I’m definitely interested and invested in multiple members of the collective, and just like Vol. 1, it reintroduces me to members who I just brushed off (sorry Domo). The OF Tape Vol. 2 isn’t perfect, but is incredibly promising for a real Odd 2012.
Final Grade: B
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @AlanHST.
Go Download: Domo Genesis and Tyler, the Creator’s “Sam (Is Dead),” “Oldie”