November 21, 2016

Will Schube peaked during 9th grade volleyball. 

Remember when Hodgy Beats was the best non-Earl rapper in Odd Future? Before the flood, there was Hodgy—the heart at the center of Tyler’s unrestrained id. The New Jersey born OF cult hero has always just sort of been around, which is unromantic and unexciting and hard to overcome. His work with Left Brain (MellowHype) fizzled, Tyler became more interested in everything other than music, and Odd Future stalled into complacency.

Hodgy’s (currently sans Beats) been fairly consistent in dropping mixtapes, although none have left the crater in our collective conscience like his work on Tyler’s Bastard, or his early tracks with Left Brain. To call Hodgy middling is unfair—he’s an insanely skilled rapper—but his career is now at a make or break point, which is strange considering he’s about to release his “debut” LP this December.

“Barbell,” the first single off his upcoming Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherside (out December 9th via Columbia), serves less as a re-invention than it does a reminder; a reminder that Hodgy is still really solid, his smooth flow displaying a veteran’s effortlessness—which, at this point, Hodgy is. He’s a little less nasally than he used to be, a little less drug-obsessed, too. He’s a grown up. Rap music is full of stop and start careers, moments once ecstatic turned ambivalent because time marches on and doesn’t care who it leaves behind. Hodgy can still rap his ass off, and as long as he can do that, I think he’ll be fine. “Barbell” is a nice start…Again.