Review Summary: The sound of an emerging generation starting to get paid.
Capitalizing on the Internet and the exaggerated anguish of millions of teens wasting time on it every day, OFWGKTA (from now on referenced as Odd Future) found their niche while quickly moving beyond it. It's apparent that they wish to continue their rebellious attitudes and over the top approach to the dilemmas of youth today. However, making some cash to back it up is placed firmly beside it, which becomes clear when examining how quickly this hit retail stores instead of being available for free download. Some fans will have a problem with it, but you can't blame the group for wanting to insure their future. And at this rate, their future is looking pretty solid
It is becoming increasingly difficult not to compare Odd Future to the golden age of the Wu-Tang Clan. It contains a handful of rappers, each with their own flow and approach to the art, who are all capable of standing on their own. There's one dominant producer (sorry Left Brain), a few rappers who control most of the album leaving the rest just out of the spotlight, and a revisiting of some of their previous adventures on other albums. And to top it off, their own in house promotion and dedication to making it big are the reasons they're being recognized. But as far as production goes, they create a sound that is purely their own.
The producing team of Tyler, The Creator and Left Brain uses samples and original material to create instrumentals which are unique for hip-hop. Many of the instrumentals Tyler creates remain lo-fi in nature and aim to create a creepy atmosphere instead of trying to assault the listener with bass. The strengths of this approach are the use of keys, which are almost always excellently executed, and the creation of off the wall beat patterns. Left Brain's technique is more traditional. There's an emphasis on the bass, snare, and symbol patterns found in most hip-hop, but he adds enough personal style to give the impression of a sound which is individual in nature. The two sounds work together to create variety on the lengthy release.
The album is always interesting lyrically, and it's often humorous, but it would be more enjoyable if there was somewhat of a unifying theme among the songs. There's a ton of pop culture references tied in with the group's profane mentality to keep the listener entertained from front to back. And when they're not making jokes about celebrities or spouting off about some random act of violence, the lyrics will always revolve around women. This is highlighted by how many times the group references bitches
. A quick glance down the track list and one will see the word present in three of the song titles. If this album says anything to its listeners, it's that it's all about women and money. And that's nothing new for hip-hop, or music in general.