Review Summary: Odd Future's debut studio album sticks to the theatrics that define them, except with much better production this time around.
Odd Future is proving that they deserve to be listed among hip-hop’s elite, with their first official studio album, “The OF Tape Vol. 2.” The album features some of the best verses and beats that Odd Future has released to date, while keeping the same immaturity and shock factor that the group of misfits has become known for.
Tyler, the Creator steps up his production immensely; “Doms” easily becomes the most addictive beat on the album. As far as Tyler’s verses go, “NY,” and “Sam (Is Dead),” boast tons of lyrical development, showing less of Tyler’s demonic side, and focusing more on his clever references and punch lines. Smooth singer, Frank Ocean steals the spotlight on Tyler’s “Analog 2,” and even gets his own solo track, “White.”
Even the more low-key members of Odd Future get their moments, especially Hodgy Beats and Domo Genesis, who are both featured extensively on the album. Hodgy’s flow sounds refined, but his lyrics remain "off" in some cases; "bitch" does not cease to be his favorite word, as much of a surprise as that might be. However, MellowHype track, “50,” is Hodgy's best performance on the tape. Domo Genesis produces good verses throughout the tape, such as his verse in "Rella," but is lacking the same type of vigor that the other members deliver. MellowHype DJ, Left Brain, contributes stellar production to a select few songs on this album, and even has a verse to add to “Oldie.” Mike G’s “Forest Green” is among the best tracks of the album, as the quietest member of Odd Future proves that he has much more to bring to the table.
The gem on this album is “Oldie,” which has every member contributing a verse. Yes, even Earl Sweatshirt, whose grandiose return verse stands out, along with Mike G’s surprisingly technical fourth verse, in this ten-minute long opus. Earl’s return to Odd Future is of tremendous importance, as the 18 year old’s rap career has just begun. Tyler’s beat on this song is among the best, and mellowest, that he has offered yet.
“The OF Tape Vol. 2” easily stands as Odd Future’s best work yet, and is a big step in the right direction for the Wolf Gang. For fans, this may be the cream of the crop, as far as intra-Odd Future collaborations go, but the lyrics are still extremely hit or miss, as always. The subject matter is still just as racy, and the profanity is still at the forefront of the music. This time around, though, it's a little less hectic, and a little more professional. "The OF Tape Vol. 2" is not a masterpiece, but it demonstrates some stronger points, both in the songwriting and production. If they can capitalize on these in the future, Odd Future is something to keep looking out for.