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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Odd Future's The OF Tape, Vol. 2: A First Listen

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 3:30 AM

click to enlarge Odd_Future_Tape_Vol._2_art.jpg

Odd Future is here, get used to it. Posse albums usually failed in

the past because the star rapper's cohorts are always such dickheads, but when

being dickheads is your selling point....

This unambitious

sampler might be where the Goblin-polarized legions get won

back. And don't think they're not hiding behind Frank Ocean for cred now. Odd Future performs April 9 at the Warfield.

"Hi"

A minute and a half of one of their buddies insulting

everyone in the group without overexerting himself: "Mike G -- crusty ass!"

Establishes both their self-deprecation cred and their laziness cred. Crucial.

"Bitches"

Airy, stuttering lo-fi beat with funny new age synths for

Domo and Hodgy (rhymes "Benjamin" with "benjamins") to showcase their likable

dumbness. Likable dumbness is probably the theme with this one, which is

restorative: they need to stop acting like they beat people up and just go back to skating in the 7-11 parking lot.

"NY (Ned Flander)"

More bona fides. A classic Tyler piano loop: spare, broken

melody, more carefully arranged than it first seems. Hodgy and Tyler do their

don't-call-it-horrorcore thing. "I'm higher than a fat bitch's sodium" is

probably the baseline for wit here, but I only actually laughed when the girl

at the end yells that she sucked five of of (Tyler's?) friends' dicks "and one

of them was fucking fat!" Pretty sure Tyler says "coke-ular drugs" at one

point.

"Ya Know"

I wasn't as into The Internet's Purple Naked

Ladies as I wanted to be (that new THEESatisfaction album on Sub Pop

does fragmented, stoned/avant R&B way better), but Syd and Matt Martian have come up

with a pretty catchy song here -- albeit one built around a keyboard mistake that

sounds like Ween meets the Rocko's Modern Life theme. They're

some of the only OF members who might actually benefit from this thing.

"Forest Green"

A catchy, Eminem-ish beat without an utterance from

Mike G worthy of remark. OF's most traditional rapper I guess? He

double-tracks his

voice at the end, probably knows a thing about choruses.

"Lean"

I liked Domo Genesis' underrated, superhigh Rolling

Papers last year, but he seems to be mostly on board to say "bitch" a

lot and drop in the occasional stonedbrag ("I invented swag!"). Hodgy's style

doesn't really mesh with his at all, so I'm not sure why they're always

partnering up these days.

"Analog 2"

The bad news is we're almost halfway through this thing and

Tyler's only dropped in twice now -- and this one's a remake of one of Goblin's sleepiest moaners. The good news is that means a

Frank Ocean and Syd remake is welcome. The drum machine falls out of time a

bunch, on purpose maybe? Halfway through, there's complete silence, as if

they're checking whether you're still awake, and then boom, Syd's half kicks in and

it's absolutely luscious musically, especially the harmonized horn parts. They

are easily the prettiest sound I've ever heard on an OFWGKTA

release. So good call on this one after all.

"50"

Speaking of remakes, these numbered MellowHype songs are

becoming an anticipated treat in their own right. Hodgy's ferocious over these

now-requisite horror strings and post-Waka rattlesnake

hi-hats. The uncredited Lil Jon-ish hypeman knows how to do this one. "Fuck the

police/ Break the law/ Twist your fingers off/ Break your balls" -- that should

create insanity live.

"Snow White"

More Hodgy, and why not? He's on a roll between some of

these verses and his quietly very good Untitled EP from this

month, which experimented with letting Juicy J, Alchemist, and Flying Lotus into

the OF sphere. Frank Ocean's a marvel at navigating a post-Bomb Squad screech

beat like this to contribute a wiggly hook.

"Rello"

Loved this video because it plays up their absurdity (and

their secret love of fat girls), and the song's still kind of a banger with

those arcade synths. Domo's reliably dumb, Hodgy lean and sharp, and Tyler's basso

ridiculoso effect plays the detached Stephin Merritt cryptkeeper figure. In

double time! "I just want to see some tits" is probably the only honest thing he's

ever said. "Your mama look like a ugly" just depends on your taste.

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Dan Weiss

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