Sometimes, certain people from the pop cultural realm can get so caught up in their legend that they become a walking stereotype. Group think makes this sort of thing happen, whether it’s hating on the celebrity of the month, or an artist/actor who seemingly won’t go away.
Odd Future was so hyped coming out of the gate that they naturally picked up haters and doubters. Comparisons to Wu-Tang had hip-hop heads rolling their eyes, while their violent and explicit-laden lyrics scared away casual fans. Perhaps it’s Tyler, The Creator’s lead that makes people think this way, with his growling, unforgiving voice, but there is so much more to this group than that.
1. “Forrest Gump” – Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE
“You run my mind boy, running on my mind boy.” This song is so catchy and summery that you’d almost miss the content of this song. Prior to channel ORANGE‘s release, Frank Ocean came out as bisexual, and this song appeals to his attraction to a young man, who happened to be his first love. Aside from very personal lyricism, the song is light and fun, not at all what someone would expect from Odd Future…right?
2. “Bullsh*ttin” – Hodgy Beats, Untitled
Hodgy Beats is an under-the-rader member of OF, and this soulful, well-paced song off of an untitled EP shows what the rapper can really do. While it’s not that catchiest song in the world, it is something hip-hop heads should respect. There’s some great wordplay here, and the bluesy sampling in this song is somewhat comprable to Kanye’s.
3. “Trouble On My Mind” – Pusha T (feat. Tyler, The Creator), Fear of God II: Let Us Pray
Tyler said that he had always wanted to collaborate with Pusha T, and he really brings some good energy to this song. Now, Tyler doesn’t back away from his usual content here, but there is so much tongue-in-cheek fun and a really good beat, that it can make a casual fan glance over some of lyrics. Plus, Pusha T and Tyler work really well together, with two distinct voices, flows, and lyrical content. P.S. “Kill Bin Laden, ‘nother four up in the Black House.”
4. “Ground Up” – Domo Genesis (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
Like Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis tends to get overlooked based on the group that he is in. His recent mixtape with Alchemist, No Idols, really showcased his ability. But “Ground Up,” a track that leaked earlier this year, included a surprising feature from Wiz Khalifa that gave Domo some attention. Oddly enough, the two work really well together, and the airy beat on this track suits both of them perfectly.
5. “Chum” – Earl Sweatshirt, the upcoming Gnossos
Earl Sweatshirt has become somewhat of a unproven legend in the hip-hop community. It was obvious from early Odd Future work and his first mixtape, Earl, that he had quite the rapping ability, even as a teenager. But then, because of who he had been hanging out with, his mother sent him to a military school in Samoa. Anyways, the recently released “Chum” shows what Earl can do, with some great wordplay over a simple, yet worthwhile beat. Those who dislike Earl’s monotone will probably not appreciate this song, but it’s their loss.
6. “Forest Green” – Mike G, The OF Tape, Vol. 2
Hailing from Houston, Mike G always has some sort of southern feel in his rapping. He almost slurs his words, but to a soothing effect. So, it sort of makes since that he does “chopped and screwed” remixes. “Forrest Green” is a hidden gem off OF’s second mixtape, and a real departure from the songs which surround it. A great, never-ending flow in tracks like this and “Everything That’s Yours” could really make Mike G stand out in this collective.
7. “Swim Good” – Frank Ocean, nostalgia, ULTRA
Ok, so really, this list could be eight Frank Ocean songs, since his music doesn’t really follow the OF moniker. Regardless, the man is part of the group, and “Swim Good” is an amazing song. Catchy and chill, this song is definitely something that can be for everyone, and played a big part in launching Ocean’s career.
8. “Oldie” – Odd Future, The OF Tape Vol. 2
They’re just having fun! This is a perfect introduction to the group, and the video shows off some personality and how much these guys like hanging out with each other. The simple beat is great in this case because everyone in the group gets to add their own style to the track, as they weave through a hookless ten-minute song. It even features Jasper, who, as he’ll tell you, is not even a rapper. And hey, we even get to see Frank Ocean’s rapping ability here. The lyrics aren’t too overwhelming (in a good way) and the majority of the song’s contributors provide great, distinct verses. So if you want to get to know Odd Future, this would be the song to do it.