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Monday, March 19, 2012

Odd Future: The OF Tape Vol. 2 (Release Date: 3-20-2012)

        If you're aware of Odd Future (or, as they're properly named, OddFutureWolfGangKillThemAll) chances are you've already established some kind of opinion of them. The Hip-Hop collective, who calls San Francisco home, absolutely exploded onto the scene last year, riding a mammoth wave of hype that only the internet can create. Their first application for prime time came in the form of Tyler, the Creator's Yonkers music video, a stirring, captivating clip that saw him to a VMA for Best New Artist, and brought his deplorable, profane world-view to the attention of numerous civil rights groups who only served to bolster his fame. Tyler was all of 19 when Yonkers dropped, and he's only 21 now, leading a slew of similarly-aged MC friends head-first into the world of divisive but popular music. The group has been releasing music together since 2007, but The OF Tape Vol. 2 is the first time that the boys got the whole band together since their star took to the sky.

        And what do you know; The group's second mixtape is, to the joy of some, and the misery of others, pretty much exactly what you'd expect it to be. It's extremely explicit, exuberant, long-winded, idiotic, and exciting. Just like we observed with Tyler's Goblin mixtape from last year, OF Tape 2 asks its listeners to sit through patience-trying grinds like We Got Bitches in order the arrive at thunderous jams like early-leak Rello and NY (Ned Flander). Again, the schizm between the innocence of these boys' youth and the harshness of their words takes center stage, endlessly offensive rhymes bouncing off of lines like, "And I've got a Capri Sun on me," causing their characteristic listener bafflement, though the power is eventually lessened through repetition.

        The only real thing that we learned from Odd Future's latest offering is the band's pecking order. It's always been Tyler and silky-voiced Frank Ocean on top, but here, Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats establish themselves as the primary supporting cast, spitting sordid plays on words at a speedy clip. This is not the album that sees Odd Future to another break-through, but it's also far from a misstep; As a matter of fact, it might be a statement of purpose. We are Odd Future, and we make sprawling compilations that make your jaw drop one moment, and bring your palm to your face at others, all on top of some cold, hard beats. Listen and enjoy... just not too loud when those parents are home.

Grade: B

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