It seems as the years go on, more critics are becoming increasingly cynical about the classic “year-end” lists everyone tends to put out.
Top 10 free non-commerical Soundcloud only releases of 2012, Top 25 rap mixtapes not including Rick Ross or Gucci Mane, Top 5 non-Dubstep EDM DJ albums released from April 17th to October 27th, The 3 most influential Eastern European female pop singers…blah blah blah. There are a lot of complaints. Ex: “They are all the same”, blah blah, whatever Thom York/Radiohead put out, some new indie band with only one release out that hasn’t even gone on tour yet, Grimes, the new Kendrick Lamar album, Animal Collective, The XX, Some weird rapper, …Well fuck, I actually like these lists a lot. I enjoy looking back and reviewing the year, seeing what new songs, artists, and albums I spent most my time listening to and discovering. At the same time I can see what other people spent their time listening to and I can find great new tunes as well.
With that little rant behind me. I give thee…my 2012 list of favorite songs, EPs, albums, mixtapes, and overall new music related…things. This is basically a collection of the music that shaped my year. I’ll try and keep it somewhat concise and organized in some sort of manner but we’ll see how that goes.
Odd Future’s MellowHype (Hodgey Beats and Left Brain) is back with “La Bonita,” the first video and single from their upcoming album, “Numbers,” which drops October 9th.
The first time I heard this track I wasn’t into it as much but something about the accompanying video made it click. It’s got a real jangley chill beachy-mexican/spanish (obviously) vibe to it and I think the video is pretty dope. Also it’s nice hearing Left Brain come through with a verse. Check it out and cop “Numbers” on 10/9. If it’s anything like BlackendWhite, (or YelloWhite for that matter) it’s sure to be nasty. I played the hell out of the BlackendWhite album for months when I first got it and it’s still one of my favorite Odd Future releases.
Instromniais taking us in many different (wonderful) directions folks, and I’m only trying to keep up.
Listen to his latest piece of work as he turns The Internet’s track, “Love Song,” into uptempo liquid gold. Over 4 minutes long of fluid energy, the rework reminds me of the vinyls of late 90′s DJ sets that I love to find in record store dollar bins.
*Disclaimer* I’m pretty damn late with this, but I still wanted to share a bit of my experience from last month :
On March 20th, Odd Future came to NYC. I decided to make a day of it and really wanted to immerse myself in the whole experience. So, I checked out the pop-up shop they opened on Orchard Street (a one day merch store set up in each city on the group’s tour where fans can meet the guys and buy overpriced t-shirts and other assorted apparel) and then headed over to the concert later in the night. I’ve been following OF’s rise to fame for the last 2 years or so but this was my first time witnessing the pandemonium they bring with them.
I woke Tuesday morning to find an interview from Hot 97‘s Peter Rosenberg featuring Tyler the Creator and…for the first time ever, the long lost OF member EARL SWEATSHIRT. The interview solidified the rumors that Earl was in New York and started the buzz about the possibility of Earl joining the rest of Odd Future for the show that night. Needless to say, I was stoked about this possibility and watching the interview only added to my excitement.
The New York popup shop was supposed to open around 12pm, but when I arrived closer to 1:00, I came to find out that it had yet to open and there was an incrementally growing line growing creeping down the block. Generally I know things like this tend to NOT run all that smoothly, so I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that after about 3 hours standing in line, basically all the members of Odd Future had left the shop to get ready for the show that night. Although, I did get to grab the album from the store before heading back home to recharge for the night AND I did see Domo Genesis and Taco who were still floating around the store for a bit.
As I got to the show and entered the Hammerstein Ballroom to OF’s Syd Tha Kyd DJing, I immediately felt the excitement in the air. I also immediately noticed about 50% of the crowd was probably still in high school and 60% definitely under 21. But I’m not dissing the kids, I mean I was a dumb hippie kid in high school who went to moe and Keller Williams shows all the time (so I am in no position to say anything). The crowd got more and more hyped through Syd’s DJ set, especially when she dropped the Kanye West/ Jay-Z banger “Niggas in Paris.” But then, all of a sudden, Syd cued up the familiar sounds of Hodgy Beats and Left Brain’s MellowHype track “64.”
This first song set the tone for the show and after that, it was more or less complete madness. I hadn’t been to a show, not to mentioned a RAP show, in quite a while but I must say I was floored. These kids were insane, so much fucking energy! I somehow found myself near the front of the crowd, about 40 or 50 feet from the stage, in a sea of sweaty dudes pushing and shoving and yet I still had a blast.
BUT then, about half way through the set, the true moment everyone was waiting for. The keys to the song “Orange Juice” hit and after a few seconds, Tyler and the rest of Odd Future introduce their long lost brother, EARL SWEATSHIRT.
The entire room, including OF themselves completely lost it. At this moment, the event no longer became just a concert. For Earl, it was a return home and I would consider, a defining moment as his first live performance with the group. There will never be another “Earl’s first show” and I am so happy I was able to witness it first hand. On stage you could see the camaraderie, joy, and excitement from the entire OF family. A group of friends, fucking around with one another, doing what they love. This can be summed up by the last few moments of the concert; as the group performed the final track of the night (which is also the last track of their new album) “Oldie,” a sprawling 10+ minute throwback feeling track featuring a verse from every collective OF member. One by one, each member recited their respective verse and by the time it came to Earl’s verse (the second to last and by far the longest of the song) nearly the entire stage was full of OF family, backing their newly returned brother.
This might sound a bit lame, but it was a special day for me, and I am extremely happy still, as it is now nearly a month ago that I was a part of this whole event.
Just the other day Odd Future put this video up of Tyler the Creator rapping in Toronto with the instrumental jazz hip-hop group BADBADNOTGOODon the track they named “Seven”. I enjoyed it so I wanted to share.
Additionally, I am definitely digging on the actual band itself. The’ve got a good sound, kind of reminiscent of Medeski Martin and Wood (whom I also REALLY enjoy) and also have some enjoyable covers of Flying Lotus, J Dilla, as well as songs from Tyler’s Goblin album worth checking out (and their original stuff is nice too!).
I don’t think I’ve ever made this completely publicly known but I love Odd Future, Golf Wang, Tyler, Earl, Hodgy, Left Brain, MikeG, Domo, Jasper, Taco, Syd, Frank Ocean, and the whole rag tag bunch.
My reasoning isn’t just the music they put out (which I’m sure alot of people hate), it’s because of their creativity as a whole. They are essentially a “self sustaining” production company. They write, produce, and record, music, make videos, screw around, got picked up by Adult Swim for a TV show, create art, etc etc. I just think it’s really cool because they managed to do all this more or less themselves. And most of them are younger than I am.
Yesterday Tyler, as Young Nigga, OF’s “newest” (fake) member put out his first single, “Come Threw Looking Clean”, which is essentially him hilariously impersonatingLil B‘s free flowing based style of rapping. Apparently he is putting out a whole album entitled “Expensive Pasta” in the near future.
Now, just tonight another update was posted on the group’s tumblr stating, “Here at Odd Future, we Have Mellowhype, We Have EarlWolf, And Now, The Internet. Sunday At Midnight.”
I’m curious to see what the new project is all about (who knows it might be another joke) but we’ll see soon enough.
Normally I’d like to include some tunes but instead, just go to their Tumblr and download everything they have. Then go out and grab Tyler’s “Goblin” album and MelloHype’s “BlackendWhite”
Also they are currently on tour. Philly is sold out !!! (if somebody can get me a ticket?!? I’d like that)