Music Bloggers Are Dumb (Odd Future)

27 comments

If I get behind a band/artist it’s because I feel a connection to their music.  Music as we all know is a very powerful art that can make a listener happy, sad, or feel a range of emotions.  Last night I witnessed a general wave of buzz from music bloggers that could only be defined as hypocritical and disgusting.  Yes, I agree with the majority that the performance below was high energy and entertaining, but as a human, a flashy object doesn’t blind me from seeing the whole picture.

For context sake, here is the performance everyone went nuts for:


But let’s start at the Santo’s Party House in NYC the day before. 


That’s right.  Kill People, Burn Shit, Fuck School.  Also, “I want to slap the fuck out of parents, and all bloggers, and ugly people.”  Well Tyler, we all agree about ugly people, right guys??? But bloggers?  Ok, so we have this rebellious youth who doesn’t give a shit about bloggers…fuck them, right?  If you see one of them you will punch them in the face, right?  Right?


 

Ooooooops.

You had the opportunity to punch the king blogger and you called him “chill”.  I also really enjoyed the fact that the audience in the above video is comprised of %90 Caucasian hipsters who have the money to live in New York and attend shows like that at Santos.  One could only gather that more than half of them have at the very least undergraduate degrees…but still chanting “fuck school”…which is probably more to the point of “fuck school, for putting me into debt with these student loans and then graduating into the real world during a recession”, yeah, that’s what Tyler meant by “fuck school”. 

The paradox in art and culture right now is that smart people are championing dumb people, often times in jest.  In the end, it’s the smart people who are fooled.  Jersey Shore is a hit show and the cast members make millions a season off of smart people watching the show just to make fun of them.  It’s the same trend here with Odd Future.  If you honestly enjoy the music, then good for you, you have every right to do so.  But, is it that hard to break down a few of the illusions and wade through the bullshit to get a better answer?  Odd Future is being handled by the most powerful people in music.  Tyler (the captain of the group) signed a one off deal with XL Records and Pitchfork will write about anything they do…that’s a deadly combination that we’ve seen work before (VW's Contra goes #1). 

The problem I have is how we as music consumers are so easily swayed by buzz.  The most common tweets about the Fallon performance focused on how scary they were, how punk they were, how out of control they were, and how Mos Def repeated SWAG over and over.  We’re talking about a group of youngsters signed to XL, supported by Pitchfork, adored by the white middle class educated youth, who have a youtube channel, tumblr, twitter account, and are relegated to the lowest common denominator of communication (repeating words over and over like SWAG or saying fuck _________).  That’s scary?  That’s punk?  No...it's just dumb.

Maybe it’s just me, but as a music blogger and someone who enjoyed my education, I find the mocking of the things that make me who I am a turn off and not a reason to chant along like a sheep.  The problem isn’t with Odd Future it’s with music bloggers. Odd Future has every right to say what they want and produce the music that they want to make.  It’s up to the music blogger to share with their loyal readers quality music that reflects why the listener choose them as a source for finding music in the first place.  It’s up to the music blogger to spot hypocrisy and not promote it.  I for one view Odd Future in the same vein as ICP.  A group of shock and awe musicians whose content when analyzed if nothing more than ridiculous for the sake of being ridiculous.  ICP puts on a pretty fucked up, high energy, insane show…why don’t you blog about them? 

It’s not about how crazy an artist can be or the image they create of themselves.  It’s about the music and nothing else.  The music of Odd Future plays like a disgruntled middle school kid who throws out as many shocking phrases to get attention.  The use of rape, Nazi imagery, and violence based lyrics by Odd Future is no different or more artistic than the bands/rap groups bloggers make fun of and would never write about.  Yet, last night Odd Future was the talk of the indie music bloggers…why?…because it was the thing to talk about and nothing else.  The buzz was sweet and people were hungry.  Do your readers a favor and don’t push shit down their throats because it’s simply there.  I’m turned off of the whole blogging world at the moment and where I go from here I don’t know.  I do know that if I continue with this site you’ll never see me support music that completely contradicts who I am and what I stand for.  

27 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I understand where you're coming from, but I think there's a difference between music as entertainment and music as something that you can relate to/identify with. Odd Future is pretty extreme, but a huge chunk of mainstream hip-hop sales come from people that can not identify with the topics in the songs. It's just about entertainment.

    The hype isn't just because Odd Future is being crazy and extreme and energetic. They're bringing a new style into hip-hop and being really fucking entertaining while doing it. I don't identify with rape and murder, but A Clockwork Orange was awesome. And I love blogging, peace, and love, but Odd Future is fucking entertaining. Personally, I think that was one of the most fun late night performances I've ever watched.

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  3. The ICP comparison might hold up if it wasn't for one thing: ICP is really bad and these guys aren't.

    And who ever said that all lyrics need to be 100% truthful? I bet Thom Yorke didn't really wake up sucking a lemon yesterday.
    (If you don't like this analogy because it's supposed to be poetic imagery or whatever, replace it with some NWA lyrics or something)

    Face it, lots of people genuinely like these guys. Up until "Yonkers," I defended them by telling people about how young they were (16-19 years old) and how they had put out like 10 albums by themselves and were garnering a lot of attention. Yea, I don't like all the rape lyrics, but they're just kids. And they're (well, Tyler and Earl at least) showing a crazy amount of promise already.

    Bottom line is, Tyler has a crazy amount of charisma. He's a natural leader and showman. He's also a pretty good rapper. And he produces his own videos. Earl is also a great rapper and he's only 16. These guys will mature and maybe the lyrics will become more acceptable to you. Maybe they'll even become another MGMT to you.

    But I don't see them making guitar music anytime soon, so probably not.

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  4. I really don't think you understand what Odd Future is doing, plain and simple. They are bringing an energy and hysteria to the public that hasn't existed in such a long time. I could sit here and overanalyze them but that's not what it's about. Let go of your pretentious, peace-loving intentions and realize that OF isn't serious about raping, killing, or any of that. They're young, raw, and having fun, what more could you ask for.

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  5. I want to make it very clear that this is not a rant about if you should like Odd Future or not, that's up to you and your own taste. Nobody can ever be wrong for what they like and what they don't in art.

    This is about music bloggers who don't typically or rarely write about rap or shock and awe music but decided to jump on this ship just because.

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  6. And you do know that even though this is negative buzz, it's buzz nonetheless.

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  7. I thought what you wrote was interesting and totally see your points. This is not something I generally post about in my music blog,But I did. The mere fact is all that they have done to get their name out there was done basically by themselves and for their age its pretty incredible. No. I'm not chanting along to all their songs and wanting to say what they say, I find them interesting on a whole other level.

    To me, I do not dig all their music, but I love the energy they showed on television. They have a presence for such young kids and captivated the audience. I have not posted anything but their videos for the fact that people need to see what they are doing and why their is hype behind them, and from that point on can judge whether or not to continue to listen to odd future. Same with Lil 'B the basedgod or whatever his name is, hes terrible but his social networking and amount of music he releases is still interesting to people.

    From confusions standpoint, they are entertaining and that is somtimes good enough for people, no one said odd future are lyrical geniouses, just pure entertainment.

    I enjoyed your post though, and was a good take on the opposite side of the spectrum.

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  8. And totally agree if people just post it to shock, I write about hip hop alot so I thought this odd future stuff was worth checking out. Keep up the work on the blog, I dig discussions like this

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  9. The anti-(insert whatever band here) posts on this site always come across as the kid stomping his feet and yelling "STOP LIKING WHAT I DON'T LIKE!"

    So some people who normally focus on other genres are on board with these guys and you don't get it. So what? They've got a lot of hype behind them because they deserve a lot of hype. Tyler is also really good at marketing his group.

    Most of the rest of your post just makes it seem like you have a hard time separating art from real life.

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  10. That "killpeopleburnshitfuckschool" song is absolutely horrendous. Sandwiches was actually pretty cool though, and so was the performance. They win the award for most wild late night performance EVER.

    I agree with Confusion, how is blogging about this rap group any different than blogging about cats playing keyboards? They're being shared on the web because it's entertaining and has the "wow you gotta see this it's crazy/funny/cute/whatever" factor. It's not enlightening, and it's not trying to be.

    It's going to be all right, I promise. Don't take everything so seriously. It's okay to embrace nonsense sometimes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTSOML0hMYw

    :)

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  11. I'm going to cite two blog posts from Ta-Nehisi Coates about hip-hop. They can be read here:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2010/10/hip-hop-forever/64680/

    http://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2009/11/feed-me-hip-hop-and-i-start-trembling/30676/

    Regarding the validity of hip-hop in general:

    "hip-hop doesn't require the approval or sanction of any pundit or opiner. All the insipid blatherers, all the credentialed hand-wringers, all the weak dilettantes fall back in awe of the break-beat. It does not much matter whether my generation is listening, or not. It doesn't much matter if we think the music is poisoning the kids, or not. No amount of unvarnished boosterism or blank-minded moralizing can clean hip-hop or argue it away. It is here, much like the people it speaks for, beautiful and fractured."

    and, pertinent to the Odd Future performance specifically:

    "Hip-Hop, at that point, took the pose and iconography of the streets and melded it with the traditional job of the party MC--moving the crowd. From that fusion, you got a mythological figure--the MC as a literary swordsmen who, in a violent world, dispatched his enemies with words.

    ...

    More than that, I just loved Rakim's imagination. He took that concept of the MC, and infused it with surrealism, mythology, hints of narrative. He built a world around it and there always felt like there was more going on in the song then what you were actually hearing... I didn't get it at the time, but in retrospect, I loved all the caverns and nooks which Rakim's lyrics left behind, all of those spaces where the listener's imagination could explore and build their own narrative. "



    Assuming the highest level of intelligence, the music blogger buzz was rooted in something. That second quote, that's what I think the buzz was about. Hip-hop is communal; what Tyler meant by "fuck school" doesn't have mean the same meaning for the observer. The point is that Odd Future revealed themselves to be literary mercenaries, crushing enemies with words.

    It was a primal performance, and all good art is primal. And it was a primal performance that contrasted against "indie backpack rap," ironic appreciation of old-school hip-hop, the ICP's moneymaking insincerity, and so on. Odd Future's authenticity is the root of the buzz.

    (All of this puts aside that "dumb" chanting is actually heavily coded behavior descendent from call-and-response traditions.)

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  13. "oh, not again- another critic writing report. i'm stabbing any bloggin' ****** hipster with a pitchfork."

    odd future is a joke, a very good joke.

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  14. "I also really enjoyed the fact that the audience in the above video is comprised of %90 Caucasian hipster who have the money to live in New York and attend shows like that at Santos. One could only gather that more than half of them have at the very least undergraduate degrees…"

    Man, what is this section of this post even ABOUT? White people can't like black artists? People in New York can't go to $15 shows because it means that they're rich? All white people graduate from college? College people can't say "Fuck school" out loud?

    I think some of what your saying is well-founded and some of it is completely off base, but that paragraph is just ridiculous.

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  15. personally i like them, they are great and practicing freedom of speech and they are good entertainers. Take it for it what it is....a lot of rap or hip-hop is entertaining, thats why i like it. Its not icp, its not intelligent hip-hop, its a buncha kids having fun. I find it much better than icp, but only a little better than die antwoord.

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  16. This is barely music. There's no melody, harmony, etc. It's organized shouting and head banging, which can be fun and entertaining from time to time, but I agree, "fuck school" is a pretty lame mantra.

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  17. You are now my favorite music blog. Also, I think you meant to say, "they have every right to do so" you wrote "right to do show"

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  19. your way to emo dude, OFWGKTA is all about having fun and not taking shit so seriously, and your taking this shit VERY seriously, light something up and relax, blogging is not serious business, golf wang bitch

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  20. Well, that's just, like, uh, your opinion, man.

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  21. Fuck this faggoty ass white guilt motherfucker.

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  22. I don't think there is anything to say besides you obviously just don't get it.

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  24. on point as usual

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  25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM4im6spLt8&feature=related

    WOLF HANG WOLF HANG.
    Jesus saves.

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  26. Odd Future are great entertainers. It's easy to critique there lyrics when you're not an insider when you haven't seen them in concert. It's satirical to hip-hop and also its just a romping visual and aural experience just like clockwork orange. The song 'Radical' exhibits clearly a longstanding component in hiphop, its a powerful vehicle for those that are unheard or marginalized. They are just saying f*#k all that judges me and puts me down and tell me how i'm supposed to be, i'm radical just for being me. I actually think they are a positive group and I don't think they are influencing anyone in a bad way. There beats are great, there energy is amazing and there shows are unlike any hip hop show i've ever seen. it was exciting.

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