The following is an article that I wrote which got published in the Daily Cardinal in October 2012 about how much I love Odd Future. It’s pretty old but I decided to post it here because it is still my favorite piece of writing that I’ve done and I like to read it from time to time.
Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All represents a group of about a dozen best friends (eight of whom happen to be rappers and two of whom happen to be singers) based out of the Los Angeles area. You may have heard of their ringleader, Tyler The Creator, otherwise known as “that crazy dude with big ears that ate a cockroach and then killed himself in that really weird music video.”
You may also have heard of the group’s quintessential good boy, Frank Ocean, otherwise known as “that one guy who can sing really well and makes cool songs about girls but really he’s gay, I think.” Perhaps the name Earl Sweatshirt rings a bell, commonly known as “that short guy with the disturbingly big lips that went missing for a while and is a ridiculously talented lyricist.”
A lot of people associate the name Odd Future with recklessness, anarchy and all around devilishness, and these people are in no way wrong in their assumptions because the group is known to swear a lot at very inappropriate times, vandalize public and private property, smoke copious amounts of weed, blatantly disrespect authority figures and even rap about rape and violence against homosexuals and women. If your grandmother heard you singing some of their lyrics at Sunday dinner, you would scare her right out of her wig.
They abide by no rules and throw up lingering middle fingers to any outsider that gives them his or her opinion, whether it be good or bad.
Really, it’s no wonder why this enclave leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many. But for me, and hundreds of thousands of people just like me all over the world, Odd Future represents much more than just a group of rowdy young adults that don’t seem to care about anything other than themselves, their music and their money. For me, they represent freedom.
By freedom, I mean freedom from the constricting shackles that the opinions of a superficial society have put on our minds and actions. They mean freedom from the mundane traditions of the previous generations, and from any and all doubt in ourselves and our loved ones. When Tyler The Creator created (see what I did there?) the group around 2007, his goal was just to spawn a moniker for his close-knit group of friends to use when they all made music at each other’s houses. The Wolf Gang was initially a clique made up of best friends; it didn’t start as a rap group. Over time, more people were added, much more music was released and their name started to create a bigger buzz.
Throughout it all, they did not once compromise a friendship or pretend to be something they weren’t. The members act and make the type of music they want and are now selling out international shows as a result. They’re making their way in this world just by having as much fun as they can within their circle and not letting the opinions or critiques of others affect their course.
This is precisely why they’ve been a personal inspiration to me and others around the world. If they were able to make a name for themselves just by doing what they love deeply, there is absolutely no reason why anyone is incapable of doing the same either alone or with friends. Everyone has his or her own particular set of skills that should not be taken (see what I did there?) for granted. If I wholeheartedly enjoy finger painting, then I believe I should be able to do so whenever I want and not care about what anyone has to say. As long as it makes me happy, is there anything else I should be overly concerned with? Granted, that’s a rather caricatured example, but my point remains.
Aside from the thematic reasons of why I love Odd Future, I genuinely love listening to their music. I have seen them in concert live twice and those were some of the best live performances I have ever seen. When I saw them on stage, I didn’t see them as rappers or celebrities or gods of modern culture; I saw them as friends. I saw them as people I feel like I have a lot in common with. Then I looked around in the crowd and felt the exact same way about all the people that were surrounding me. Die-hard Wolf Gang fans know the feeling I’m talking about.
Odd Future is a cult. It has hundreds of thousands of members and devotees that are willing enough to get the moniker tatted on their skin forever (like me). No one will be drinking any Kool-Aid anytime soon but we may start a mosh pit or walk down the street screaming “Wolf Gang!” in unison for no reason. OFWGKTA.
THAT IS THE END OF THE ARTICLE
To clarify, at the time that this article was written I did not have an Odd Future tattoo; it was only an idea. But during June of that following year, I got an AWESOME gift for my 21st birthday from one of my roommates…