Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Fans feed off Odd Future’s energy

Fans feed off Odd Futures energy

Standing outside the fences of the 2011 Thrasher South by South West show in Austin, Texas, was not enough for the crowd. Fueled by the energy of the performers, the mob pushed down the gates and rushed to the center of the audience, throwing themselves into the movement.

The movement? Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (often called “Odd Future” or OFWGKTA), a rap collective from Los Angeles, Calif. This group of 10 young artists, ranging from rappers to producers to singers, has introduced a new revival to the stale world of rap and hip-hop.

In an MTV interview, Tyler the Creator, front man of the group, said, “When you go to any other rap show, they just stand there and rap… For us, the fans feed off our energy.”

Energy was radiating off every person at the Thrasher show. The audience formed a mosh pit, kicking, pushing and screaming alongside Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats, two members of Odd Future. Jumping from a speaker on the side of the stage, Tyler the Creator dove into the audience, breaking the nose of an audience member.

“Look at this kid’s nose man, this s— gets real, man,” Tyler the Creator yelled into the crowd.

Their music screams of women, drugs, anarchy, death and life, yet their SAT-ready vocabulary makes their lyrics intelligent and fresh. Their production and beat making skills are as intense and original as their concerts and word choice. The young group produces each beat and every lyric, and their talent has been noticed by legends such as Mos Def and Jay Z. Kanye West recently tweeted that Tyler the Creator’s music video “Yonkers” was “the best music video of 2011.”

The group has experienced a whirlwind of excitement in the past months.  Debuting their first public performance on Jimmy Fallon in February, Tyler the Creator and Hodgy Beats took the television stage with complete disregard to any notion of censorship, alarming parents and Republicans across the nation. Their lyrics are undoubtedly insensitive and inappropriate, and the age of their fan base makes them a threat in the eyes of many.

Yet, dismissing the term “rappers,” Odd Future’s work fits more under the title of a poet. And while you may think, “A poet? Really?” Consider history: when John Donne released his poem “His Mistress Going to Bed” in 1633, it was seen as obscene and sexist, and it breached the formalities of poetry in society at the time. It was unconventional, and that made people uncomfortable. Now, Donne’s “His Mistress Going to Bed” is in our literature books, and his poetry methods shaped the evolution of British Literature and poetry.

And while Odd Future’s lyrics may not show up in our American literature books anytime soon, their unconventional (and uncomfortable) message, production skills and way of delivery will change the world of rap and hip-hop forever.

“I want Grammies, I want VMAs… I want a hundred years from now they look in the history book and they see me as some f—ing icon type s—,” Tyler the Creator said.

They have become the voice and face of a movement. They are implementing the idea that words hold greater power than physical violence.

“Any problems with your baby’s momma and s—, come to our shows, be front row. Throw up your middle finger to us. You don’t know how many fingers we get at our shows,” Tyler the Creator told MTV.

As the mob of the 2011 Thrasher SXSW concert pushed in closer to their source of music, the passion of the crowd radiated through the chain link fence. The emotions of anger, love and hatred that Odd Future expresses have always been present; what they’re changing is the way to express it.

Check out for a look at the music video “Yonkers,” and to download their music for free.

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