With the raucous L.A. hip-hop unit in town tonight, get to know the component parts.
I posted a feature about Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and my full interview with Hodgy Beats, but there are a lot of names associated with Odd Future. Here's a quick guide for noobs in advance of tonight's show at the Newport.
Tyler, The Creator: The undisputed ringleader and visionary of the bunch, matching a gruff vocal delivery beyond his years with lyrical content he arguably should have grown out of by now. He designs artwork and directs music videos, and his charismatic/mischievous personality seems to be the driving force that pushes the group forward.
Earl Sweatshirt:Typically considered the best rapper in the group, Earl mysteriously disappeared around the time Odd Future started to take off. It turned out his mother sent him to a program for troubled teens in Samoa. Since his return to the States in February, he's disavowed rapping about rape and violence and is working on his major-label debut album. This New York Times feature is a great read. He's only doing spot dates on tour, so the chances of seeing him tonight are slim.
Hodgy Beats: The angriest rapper in the bunch, yet also a member of the relatively chilled-out duo MellowHype. Hodgy is a jolt of electricity in the Odd Future live show, as exemplified in his performance of "Sandwitches" with Tyler on Fallon. Though he seemed to be running off energy and bile at first, Hodgy's rapping is arguably the most improved since Odd Future first came into the national spotlight.
Left Brain:A producer and sometimes-rapper who teams with Hodgy in MellowHype. Lyrically, he's pretty run-of-the-mill. Musically, the MellowHype stuff is solid, ranging from the horror-movie sounds of "64" to the Latin flavor of "La Bonita." He looks way older than the rest of his buddies.
Domo Genesis: Best known as the group's marijuana enthusiast, Domo raps in a Ghostface-like rasp - but, like, a super relaxed Ghostface. He sounds great over classic New York hip-hop beats as well as woozy cloud rap, and he just released an entire project with ace producer The Alchemist called "No Idols."
Syd the Kid: A producer, DJ and member of The Internet, Syd is the only woman in Odd Future. Despite the group's frequent homophobic rhetoric, Syd is openly gay. She came out with a lesbian kiss in The Internet's "Cocaine" video.
Matt Martians: A producer, Martians is a member of two notable duos. He founded The Internet with Syd the Kid, plus he partners with Atlanta producer Hal Williams under the name The Jet Age of Tomorrow.
Mike G: He's pretty chill.
Frank Ocean:The New Orleans native linked up with Tyler and the gang after moving to L.A. He signed to Def Jam before Odd Future's rise, but his material was stuck on the shelf until Tyler posted Ocean's mixtape "Nostalgia, Ultra" to the Odd Future Tumblr. From there, Ocean became an instant underground sensation. By the time his Def Jam debut "Channel Orange" came out this year, he was among the most in-demand names in music. He also revealed in a Tumblr post that his first love was a man, further complicating Odd Future's stance on sexuality.He's part of the group, but he doesn't typically tour with them, so don't expect to see him tonight. (Although that would be SO AWESOME.)
Jasper & Taco: Friends of the crew who have more involvement in the "Loiter Squad" TV show than anything musical. Tyler kills them on "Goblin." Jasper did make his way onto "Oldie" long enough to spout, "Hey it's Jasper, I ain't even a rapper." Speaking of which, here's the whole crew in action: