Reader Discretion Is Advised: This is a post about Odd Future
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All AKA Odd Future is all over the blogosphere, particularly due to its unpopularity with the feminist crowd. If you’re not familiar with the blog beef, here’s a brief list of reasons why some people are really not into Odd Future and its leader ‘Tyler, the Creator’:
1.) Lyrics include: “I tell her it's my house, give her a tour/In my basement, and keep that bitch locked up in the storage/Rape her and record it, then edit it with more shit” ; “I'm not a rapper nor a rapist nor a racist/I fuck bitches with no permission and tend to hate shit/And brag about the actions in a rhyming pattern matter/Then proceed to sat her down when I go splatter in her chatterbox”
2.) Above is only a taste of Odd Future lyrics concerning rape, violence, and disrespect towards women and the LGBTQ community.
3.) Tegan & Sara expressed their anger towards the work of Odd Future, “as journalists and colleagues defend, excuse and congratulate ‘Tyler, the Creator.’” In response Tyler tweeted, “If Tegan and Sara Need Some Hard Dick, Hit Me Up!”
4.) Apparently, the women-hating goes beyond the supposed ‘stage persona’ and the character of 'Tyler, the Creator'. This incident was witnessed by Emma Carmichael of Deadspin, who attended an Odd Future show:
“But if they were, they’d forgotten by the second ‘Yonkers’ verse, when Tyler bounded into the crowd and everyone surged towards him, camera phones aloft. He returned to the stage as Syd killed the track, and announced that near the bar, he’d ‘bumped into a bitch and she got mad.'
‘Bitch is a stripper!’ he yelled, and lots of people cheered and laughed at the prospect of the bitch being a stripper. ‘Why come to an Odd Future show if you gon’ get mad?’ he asked. ‘Pussy musta got like five licks. Bitch is a fuckin’ stripper, yo. You can go home if you don’t like it.’"
The list above is a simplified summary of what many bloggers (like Sady of Tiger Beatdown, who wrote a very informative rant against Tyler) are talking about, which should be enough to give you the sense that Tyler, the Creator is pissing off a lot of people. I’m overcrowding the Odd Future-related blog world today because recently, a video was posted on Hip-Hop Wired of an Odd Future performance at the House of Blues. In the video, the crowd is chanting, “Fuck Chris Brown,” to which Tyler responds, “He beats up women, he's a bitch.”
What? Tyler standing up for women? My answer to this is no.
The reason for this outburst is based on a pointless, idiotic Twitter battle between Tyler, the Creator and Chris Brown. While Tyler seemed to be making a stand against domestic violence, he is really just fueling his beef with Brown. (In a tweet, Tyler also called Brown ‘Ike Turner’.) I don’t believe for one bit that he made his statements with any kind of purpose besides dissing Chris Brown. My opinion on Tyler, the Creator and the Odd Future gang remains the same - I’m on a sharp, spiky fence, leaning towards the lawn with the angry bloggers and Tegan & Sara.
I’m going to be honest here. I like the beats that Odd Future cranks out (courtesy of DJ Syd Tha Kid). I like Tyler’s gravelly, dark rapping voice, and I’m really into “Yonkers”. I even think their wordplay is at times very creative and quirky. But my few positive comments about Odd Future don’t come without a feeling of conflict and hesitation; Tyler and his defenders have relied far too much on the inaccessible excuse that these words are coming out of a character named ‘Tyler, the Creator’, and not a real public figure who continues to influence the youth. In an Odd Future article by Pitchfork, Tyler attempts to defend his lyrics:
“What turns a teenager's mind so dark? Not much, really. Tyler explains himself flippantly. ‘It's the first shit that comes to our heads, seriously. I'm interested in serial killers' minds and shit, so I rap about it at the moment. Who the fuck knows, next week I can be rapping about oatmeal if that's what I'm into. ‘“
So maybe Tyler is a raging feminist at heart (I seriously doubt it), but as far as I’m concerned his lyrics don’t come with redeeming footnotes. Not all listeners aren’t going to hear his words and say, “Oh ho ho, that Tyler the Creator! What a character! What an act!” (Though some of the reviewers have been hyping Tyler because they believe and trust in Odd Future's idea of ‘creative license’.) Stage persona and alter egos are a part of the life of entertainment; Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce, Billy Corgan was Zero/Glass, and Eminem’s Slim Shady is a persona frequently mentioned in articles discussing Tyler, the Creator. But Tyler has extended the misogynist attitudes of ‘Tyler, the Creator’ into his real-world behavior. Frankly, for me, this sends Odd Future’s ‘But We’re Not Really Women-haters!’ defense right down the toilet, along with Chris Brown.