REVIEW: Odd Future – “The OF Tape Vol. 2”

[Mar. 20th 2012 – Odd Future Records // Find it at: iTunes | Insound]


“It’s called progression”. In an interview with The Drone just over a year ago, OFWGKTA’s Tyler, The Creator showed a firm belief in the ideology of not repeating himself as an artist with just three simple words. 12 months later, the Los Angeles group’s new collection of recordings entitled The OF Tape Vol. 2 stands by the phrase. For a spread of an hour, the album still grinds along in the vein of Radicals and 2008′s The Odd Future Tape, it’s just this attempt lays next to the group’s version of raw, gutted hip hop and kickflips out an experimental intent. It’s not Stevie Wonder meets Stefan Burnett – as the most psyched out tracks on the album have Frank Ocean crooning over a piano cut (“Analog 2″) and The Internet’s woozy electronica hooking up with a 90s’ hip hop hook (“Ya Know”) – but it’s enough to shut out the inner wannabe Pitchfork ego in you and say “damn, this is different”. The OF Tape Vol. 2 not only sounds like an Odd Future collab effort, but it feels like one too.

Tyler and the gang chop up everything little thing that attributes to the group’s reckless, picturesque taste of rap and frame it – from the hostile MellowHype thud of “50″ to Domo Genesis’s solo venture over a knee-shaking bass and piano line (“Doms”) to Ocean’s casual vocal reflection on “White” that fittingly belongs in place of The Delfonics in Jackie Brown. Even Mike G’s three minute right hook (“Forest Green”), which is the release’s oldest track, boasts Left Brain’s best work. Amidst the tightness, the album still preaches the group’s underrated flow and lyrical ingenuity. Sure, the beats aren’t first class, but the production couldn’t have filled out a better profile to line up next to the tape’s outbursts. There’s Hodgy Beats’ thought-to-words rant (“Snow White”), his drowned-out joint effort with Domo (“Lean”) and the “single” “Rella” that fights over songwriting dominance with the 10-minute group closer “Oldie”. Though it’s not preached enough, age affects music. The OF Tape Vol. 2 is the group understanding what being older is like, and with the chromatic, melancholy production and impulsive lyricism, it’s hard to wonder how Odd Future can eclipse it. Funny how much meaning three words can hold.

Download: “P”, “White”, “Doms”, “Snow White”

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