Last Night: Odd Future at House of Blues
Photos by Marco Torres
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All House of Blues December 4, 2012
"We finally made it to this motherfucker..."
A year ago, that wouldn't have been the lead sentence to this in-the-moment thought bubble about an Odd Future show. That's because the press machine around that time was firmly settled upon calling the punk-rap group breaths of fresh air and radical anarchists who decided to flip any and everything that resembled a tradition on its head.
In the year following lead member Tyler, the Creator's ascent to becoming a walking quote machine with an equally impressive Twitter account, the group has swashed back and forth between eclectic projects such as The OF Tape Vol. 2, another MellowHype tape and starring in their own show on Adult Swim.
And despite hitting Austin more than once for SXSW or whatever festival gig, Scoremore decided to bring them to Houston for the very first time.
They're stars, in their own handcrafted way.
It felt as such Tuesday night inside of House of Blues, where the theme for the evening drenched itself in the absurd. There were kids no older than 19, but definitely older than 15, who had definitely deemed OF the Adult Swim band of their generation. The roars for each member -- Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats, LeftBrain, Mike G (even Jasper got a few roars -- grew more intense as they strolled out one by one.
Then Earl Sweatshirt appeared and the crowd collectively lost its shit and when Tyler finally arrived, his wide smile and crude sense of charm latched onto his back, everyone could be seen ready to throw whatever they could at him in order to get his attention.
In the year since "Sandwitches" and "Yonkers" decided to crack everyone upside their head, the OF catalog has remained strangely in the same spacious vacuum many of their previous works did. "Fuck the Police" still feels like a 21st-century call to arms with nine near-adults spitting in the face of authority while their takes on Gucci Mane's "Lemonade" in "Orange Juice" and "Drop" from Rich Boy dress themselves up as modern takes on a freestyle with a twist. It's Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, the Creator ripping off furious punchlines with a sprinkle of shock and shots at rap blogs in the same sort of way the Sex Pistols made the middle finger and destroying stages seem more fun than it actually was.
Even when Tyler does that drop-the-beat-spit-a-verse-completely-a-cappella-that-all rappers-do pause, you instantly realize that beyond all the shock, they're just a group of purists at heart, marching to their own drum. Yet they believe in the idiom of being one not being above all.
If Domo Genesis can exercise the vocal chords of MC Eiht to near perfection on "Rolling Papers" and Mike G easily can prove he could succeed as a Southern rapper with plenty of bars on cuts such as "Forest Green" and "Go Mike G," then you can easily know that the other guys will pick up the slack in ad-libs. Although, we got zip-zilch-nada from The Internet portion of the group in Syd The Kyd and Matt Martians, so there was that bummer.
After touring the country for the past two years, it's clearly evident that nothing really fazes OF onstage anymore. They're one with their cult fanbase, ripping off high-school-like snaps when kids decide to wear fake Supreme gear (that happened) or give Jasper bus fare by tossing $20 onstage. This was then followed by somebody tossing a credit card onstage as well, thus making this writer wonder where exactly did his life choices go when kids were basically throwing money on stage AFTER already paying for a concert.
Then coins got tossed and everything tiptoed back into its surreal realm. Kids lose their shoes, but when you're in the midst of your heroes, you could lose a hell of a lot and still wind up smiling at the end.
Personal Bias: SXSW 2011 was my first Odd Future experience. Let's just say you won't ever enjoy "Yonkers" the same while asleep in your ex's bed.
The Crowd: Smelled so much like teen spirit.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Holy shit, Finn just showed up. But he didn't bring Jake, he sucks."
Random Notebook Dump: Of all the random things that got tossed onstage (coins, lighters, fake streetwear), nothing could quite beat seeing a chick tossing her weave to Tyler and company after hearing "Go Mike G." Yup, that takes the cake.
Random Notebook Dump II: The night also served as the five-year anniversary of Pimp C's tragic passing. He, DJ Screw and other Texas luminaries got shoutouts throughout from OFWGKTA and their damn near cultish fan base. I now wonder what a conversation between Pimp and Earl would have gone like.
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