Odd Future, We Hate You and Your Youthfulness
In a 12-month span, Tyler, The Creator, and his gang of street punks have gone from relative West Coast obscurity to headlining their very own European tour, playing one of Japan's largest outdoor music festivals, Summer Sonic, and pissing off a slew of naysayers with their brash fuck-you attitude.
Tyler, The Offender
For many, the lyrical nature of Odd Future's music is incredibly offensive. Allegations of homophobia and misogyny are common among the group's critics, but seldom taken seriously by the group itself. "Big shout-out to the domestic violence group that's here," Tyler told the crowd at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago. "We love you guys."
Over the course of that weekend, Between Friends -- an anti-domestic violence organization -- held demonstrations outside Union Park to express its disdain for Odd Future. Passing out cardboard fans that read, "Cool It. Don't Be A Fan Of Violence," the organization's attempt to detract festival goes from supporting Odd Future never generated much momentum. And an hour before their performance, some Odd Future crew members presented Between Friends with several boxes of cupcakes -- both an olive branch and a metaphorical middle finger.
By midafternoon on Sunday, July 17, the massive crowd gathered around the festival's Red Stage provided backup vocals on each of Tyler's songs. "Goddamn, I love women/Daydream about penis being in 'em/Meet them with a big grin with a Mac-10/Rope, katana, and then I skin 'em," they sing on "Transylvania," a track off the rapper's second album, Goblin.
"Let's buy guns and kill those kids with dads and moms/With nice homes, 41Ks, and nice-ass lawns," Tyler belts during "Sandwiches." And the crowd loves every minute, reciting every word.
Tyler, The Captivator
Odd Future is captivating. Whether you get it or just think Tyler and crew are a bunch of underage hooligans setting bad examples, you're locked into their world. More press has been dedicated to Odd Future in the past year than most indie acts receive in an entire career. Music journalists, anti-defamation leagues, even lesbian sister act Tegan and Sara have weighed in, again and again, on Tyler's career.
One-half of the latter expressed her absolute disgust for the rapper on the duo's official website: "When will misogynistic and homophobic ranting and raving result in meaningful repercussions in the entertainment industry?" Sara asked. "When will they be treated with the same seriousness as racist and anti-Semitic offenses?"
But Tyler is unapologetic. As a former film student, he considers the narrative of his flow to be a form of lyrical, art-house cinema. "Have you seen Quentin Tarantino's fucking movies? Why does everyone fucking get their dick cut off or some shit? It's fucking art," he told music website The Drone during South by Southwest. "Why when a fucking black kid says it, it's such a big fucking deal? I'm not just talking about raping a bitch, it's a storyline. I'm writing this from the mind of some fucking serial killer from 30 years ago who was a white male."
Emphasizing that he's only storytelling, Tyler cleverly included a "random disclaimer" as part of his seven-minute track "Radical," which appears on Goblin. "Hey, don't do anything I say in this song, OK? It's fucking fiction," he says. "If anything happens, don't fucking blame me, white America. Fuck Bill O'Reilly."
What's so dangerous about this track? The chorus encourages to "kill people, burn shit, [and] fuck school."