my ode to Oldie
Oldie is the closing track of the new Odd Future record, The OF Tape Vol. 2. Clocking in at 10:32 it features the same repetitive beat, only occasionally losing its’ basses and trebles, and features everyone from the collective. (And is the only track on Tape 2 to credit Earl Sweatshirt.) The trick to Oldie is it’s simplicity. While its all hook, they are their own chorus. Tyler, the Creator has come a long way. And now, he and the gang can arrange and produce while continuing to sonically innovate. Their array of voices vary in pace and decibel while they move like choppy waters over Oldie. This track puts them on full display as what they are: great lyricists.
Tyler opens and closes Oldie himself (and produces the track) leading off and finishing strong. In between, there are great verses from Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Mike G, Domo Genesis, Jasper Dolphin, and Earl Sweatshirt. Their sounds are progressive, as always. But they don’t seem to be letting themselves get too good. With just enough breathing room knowing that they’ll never stop creating, each record gets better and better with production, lyricism and delicacy.
Two years ago yesterday, we got Radical. Officially Odd Future’s second mixtape, I was writing about it here a year after it’s release. I was writing about their rise to fame (remember this?) And about their presence in our culture and in hip hop’s culture.
Radical was a self-released free download. And now The OF Tape Vol. 2 is on their own label, Odd Future Records. With full creative control not only did they make this record 18 tracks long, they made the closing track their masterpiece. I’d be happy to make my Top Tracks Of The Year list only eight tracks long, just to include Oldie. Because every Top Ten List needs it.
A lot of people don’t like Odd Future. Most people have a problem with their misogyny, the violence in their lyrics and the ignorance they play out in their public lives. My only guess is that not enough people are paying attention. (Syd tha Kyd is their only female member and the only openly gay member of the hip hop community. And yes, no one cares because she’s equal.) Yeah, they’re silly. And they say dumb shit. Odd Future isn’t rapping about world peace or war or Wall Street. They’re rapping and creating, staying true to themselves (and sticking together) while changing hip hop (and how we talk about it.) They rap about their lives and who they are, allowing a multitude of people to relate while they amass popularity.
Meanwhile, the rest of The OF Tape Vol. 2 is full of other Golf Wang creations. The fact that they made Oldie and still continued on with other essential pieces of the record shows a flexibility and a craving to create as much as possible. Each piece stands seperate from one another. Yet we know it’s still them.
With Hodgy Beats‘ Untitled EP (also out on Odd Future Records) and releases from The Internet and talks of an upcoming solo record from Earl Sweatshirt (and his own label) it’s clear that we have a lot to look forward to from OFWGKTA. And while I’m content with Oldie, more is always welcome.