May 28, 2012

Son Raw is knocking another one off the to-do list.

So…hey. We never reviewed this, in my case because I wanted to take some time to figure out why it wasn’t clicking. Long story short, man is this OF Tape boring. The vast majority of the tracks are completely forgetable compared to their previous work and it makes you wonder who’s idea it was to turn the group into an anonymous battle-rap vehicle for Hodgy and Domo. Oldie is awesome because Earl is back. Analog 2 is great because Tyler continues to be one of the most interesting character actors in rap today and he benefits from the ironic restrain he demonstrates here. Snow White and White live and die off Frankie and Sam (is Dead) is what the whole tape SHOULD have sounded like. That’s all you need to know – I doubt anyone outside of the group’s now established cult fanbase will find much to enjoy in the other tracks.

Internet rap commentary suffers from a weird form of polarity that demands instant and swift judgment and any shift thereafter is considered treason. Criticism of Odd Future suffers a particularly acute form of this syndrome as a result of the massive wave of hype the group ascended on last year, leading to a great many critics who either detest them for their success or alternately love them unconditionally because to do otherwise would be to admit that the group didn’t deserve what amounted to journalistic fellatio. The reality as usual lies in the vast middle-ground between these extremes: the group was awesome at chronicling the absurdity of teenage life but now that they’ve left this phase of their lives, they seem lost and lacking direction. While I can’t condone what amounts to a Californian skater version of “Devil’s Night”, what to rhyme about once you’ve grown up is a riddle that neither The Native Tongues nor the Hieroglyphics posse nor any other whip-smart ex-teenage rappers have solved. I’d like to see Odd Future succeed but it seems just as disingenuous for music journalists to gleefully bash them as it was for them to drive the hype cycle into overdrive. Maybe not reviewing this record was the right choice after all…

MP3: Odd Future – Sam (Is Dead) (128 KBPS)

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