Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – [Album]

Friday, 16 March 2012

Thanks to a few smooth moves and a prodigious amount of output by all of the performers involved over the last three years (side projects spilled forth after the collective first broke), there's no doubt that Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All's new release, The OF Tape Vol. 2., will have a tremendous number of eyes and ears on it when it hits. OF knows they're being watched and doesn't mind taking a bow for listeners right off the top with “Hi” too; there, emcee Lionel “L-Boy” Boyce rifles through a cocky “yeah, we're back and we knew you'd be back for more” spiel which name-checks all the group's members and spits a bit of fluff before dropping the mic to Domo and Hodgy for “Bitches.”

True, “Hi” is the “hip hop superstar” trip at its most formulaic and doesn't give a lot of hope for what's coming, but “Bitches” is a great slab of (to borrow a “journalism cliche) new hip hop which exemplifies the differences in the music “now” versus hip hop as it was four years ago. Unlike so many other production teams, Odd Future smooths out the samples and musical backing behind the emcees and makes them more fluid; in effect, what listeners get is a production which sounds like early karaoke instrumentals over which emcees can flow easily – which means no one is trying to cram more syllable than should be possible into any given stanza. As a result, Volume 2 feels more organic than hip hop ever has before and, while no less caustic, it definitely feels less rigid and forced. That impression is the one which dominates The OF Tape Vol. 2 and it leaves the record very open and accessible as a result; after introductions are made, the crew goes to work spitting rhymes at an almost disconcertingly smooth clip. Songs like “Bitches,” “Ya Know,” “Forest Green” and “Snow White” see different combinations of emcee and producer line up to present some of the finest expressions of “the new hip hop,” and listeners will find themselves trying to absorb it all fastidiously because it is that tight and is just that tasty. Of course, there are throwbacks included to the “old way” of doing things laced throughout Volume 2 (a prime example is “NY,” which sounds like it could very well have been borne of the park), but those incidences simply seem to want to present a sense of history and connect the dots between the “old” and the “new” to show the growth and imply where Odd Future might be headed on future releases. In that way, those listeners who got into Odd Future through the hip hop community before the crew broke as well as those who caught on after the crew began to enjoy some success will be able to appreciate Volume Two; it is accessible enough that newbies can get hooked on it and expands on the ideas that got the crew noticed in the first place for the older hands.



The OF Tape Vol. 2
will be released on March 20, 2012 via  Odd Future/Red/Sony Music. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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