Scene Magazine story: Odd Future, 2011

A story for Scene Magazine documenting the rise of LA rap collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA). Click on the scanned image for a closer look, or read the article excerpt underneath.

They perhaps didn’t know it at the time, but The Wire had stumbled onto something big.

The UK magazine is known for its coverage of avant-garde music, but stateside rap isn’t exactly at the forefront of their purview. Still, there on the cover of the September 2010 issue, below the names of such experimentalists as Paul Burwell and Graham Simpson, were two words: Odd Future.

It’s become an important marker in the career of hip hop’s latest iconoclasts, a navigational beacon within a shitstorm of digital hype, viral videos and headache-inducing think pieces. The Los Angeles collective, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, had taken the backdoor into rap relevance, and just three months later they’d be exponentially bigger than anything else covered in that autumn issue of The Wire.

The story of OFWGKTA starts back in 2005, when a teenaged skater named Tyler Okonma began recruiting photographers, musicians and other boarders to form an artistic collective some 40 members deep. Tyler was 15 at the time, still in school. Things began slowly for the multi-disciplined group, but by 2008 their ambition was gathering pace as Tyler and 12 other members of the crew zeroed in on the home recording studio of Sydney ‘Syd the Kyd’ Barrett, determined to lay down some tracks.
“I was on my way to In-N-Out and I said that they could wait if they want,” Syd recalled to Jeff Weiss of the LA Times last month. Syd is a budding producer, and mixes each Odd Future release. “Hodgy (Beats, born Gilbert Long), Left Brain (Vyron Turner), Tyler and their friends were still there when I returned, we recorded seven songs that night, and they never stopped coming.”

If hip hop hadn’t already established itself as the main weapon in the Odd Future arsenal, it certainly was about to do so. Syd’s studio space became a creative enclave for the group.
“Initially, it was just Left Brain and Tyler. I was trying to get into Odd Future because I understood it. We all had so much in common, it was like a miracle,” Hodgy told Weiss. “We just worked so much – whenever we weren’t in school, we were making music.”

For the full article, visit Scene Magazine.

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