These days it’s kind of hard to ignore unorthodox rap collective Odd Future (a.k.a OFWGKTA). Whether it’s inciting riots in public, selling out shows across the globe, or having their music videos become viral sensations, Odd Future is here to stay. Not since the Wu-Tang Clan has a rap crew been so charismatic and engrossing (although the band has admitted in interviews to have no strong feelings for RZA and co.).
After a string of independent releases, some good (Frank Ocean’s debut), some bad (Domo Gensis’s Rolling Papers), the whole crew comes in full force for their second mixtape release and first official studio album as a rap crew. The Odd Future Tape Vol. 2 is a powerful album for a group whose members are mostly under the age of 21. And although this probably isn’t one of the strongest rap albums you’ve heard, the strength in The OF Tape Vol. 2 comes from glimpses of what’s to come.
Compared to 2008’s Odd Future Mixtape, the beats are a lot more polished this time around. The bass is felt rather than heard, laying low in the mix to propel certain instrumental tracks along. The drums have a grainy RZA-esque quality to them, giving songs a harder edge, while spicing it up with more soulful tracks, like “Ya Know”.
The highlight of the album comes from album closer “Oldie,”a 10-minute plus grand opus that has the whole crew laying down verses amongst Tyler, the Creator’s bookend segues. At times it is pretty obvious that some members of the group have a lot left to learn, with rhymes being a little too simplistic against Earl’s abrasive flow, Left Brain’s baritone and Hodgy Beats’ cough syrup drawl. But that all being said, it’s still pretty obvious that there is strength in numbers with this crew.
Don’t expect these guys to be disappearing anytime soon.