An Odd Feature

Camp Flog Gnaw 2019


Miranda McDonald, Goldenvoice 2017

Hayden Strange

OFWGKTA; if you aren’t a teenager then this may look like gibberish or the mumbles induced by a seizure. 

OF is the short version of OFWGKTA – Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All – affectionately called Odd Future. A group of belligerent, chaotic, and care-free kids defined a shift in hip-hop by bringing humorous and demented lyrics to cause uproar and controversy. Yet, behind it lies a die-hard online subculture of fans who defined themselves with the music produced by the group in the prime of our teenage development. The music wanted to encourage people to be themselves and stand out.

Tyler, the Creator, a rapper who became notorious after a music video for the song, “Yonkers” off his album Goblin surfaced featuring him eating a cockroach. Offering Odd Future some serious time in the spotlight. This birthed many of the careers from the Odd Future Era including Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, and Jasper to name a few. 

Though, I remember sitting back cracking up to Loiter Squad (a sketch comedy show by OF members) and hearing “Yonkers”, along with the rest of his debut album Goblin not really understanding it at the time. The abstract vulgar songs attracted confused teenagers in need of something to identify with. Impressionable teens interpreted the wrong message from ill-humored music and it left them with a false sense of reality, entitlement, and immaturity. Though Tyler has created an amazing fan base that has grown with him through his years. He has been experimenting with new music and sounds, yet a portion of them haven’t still have not matured.

Lyrics from the song, Radicals go as followed, “Kill people, Burn s***, **** school, and man” is it an anthem. An absolutely great song to blast when you are just feeling rebellious or even mad because it’s not meant to be taken literally it is just to cause a reaction – to have fun. I believe these lyrics and others alike were misinterpreted by his influence and caused a bad reaction of entitled outcasts who don’t have strong morals. 

When the group eventually disbanded because they each individually matured and moved on in their own way with their music they left a massive fan base vulnerable and without leadership. 

The non-sensical shocking rap of Earl Sweatshirt turned master wordsmith commented on the legacy of Odd Future, “There’s an incel community that [messed] with OF super tough, just the idea of just boys being misogynistic with their bros,” towards the involuntary celibate community that was produced. Like Earl, Tyler has grown from his childish, screw-the-system type music into an age of new music that is more true to who he is. 

To celebrate the late Odd Future and give fans nostalgia Camp Flog Gnaw; an anagram of Golf Wang is a highly praised annual music festival of Tyler, the Creator where members of OF perform towards the end of the year. Recently, the festival has been taking place in November, a common theme in Tyler’s music. One, in particular, is especially loved among the community – for good reasons as he is the modern king of R&B – Odd Future fans are very clingy to their R&B king Frank Ocean, a man who doesn’t spend his time in the limelight or performing in front of crowds often. Fans expected him to perform next to some of the biggest names in music, all in which Tyler has a personal connection too. Of course, nobody announced and confirmed Frank Ocean’s appearance at the festival.

However, one of these big names was possibly the biggest: Instagram tag ChampagnePapi, artist, Drake to perform. When Drake performed, the crowd gave the same response Soulja Boy gave during a Breakfast Club interview, “DRAAAAAAKE?”. While front row the wig-wearing musician Tyler was dancing with hands high in the air singing along with every word Drake was singing. The man was having the time of his life while the crowd behind him, his fan base was silent with echoes of boos and “no” to Drake asking if he should continue. With this, Drake politely said “Thank You” and walked off stage with his head high. Fans thought they’d be getting Frank Ocean another year but instead when surprised with “one of the biggest superstars on earth”  they acted as children not getting a toy from the toy section with mom. They ruined an extremely cool part of a festival that Tyler puts on year after year for a moment in which he wanted to have. 

Fans of artists need to appreciate the work of the artist and the artist themselves because they are more than music, the same thing you get thrilled or upset about is the same thing that may thrill or upset them. Tyler does a lot for his fans by putting out music and his fan base lets him down by stripping a special moment away from him. Tyler who has built himself as a staple in the music industry while giving everything to his fanbase was denied his moment of jamming to some slow Drake songs. 

Fanbases and subcultures of mainstream popularity need to realize that the people making the music are human; no different than the listener, just that instead they are sharing what’s on their inside. It’s our job as listeners to take the music and give it a reference special to our lives. When we start thinking that the music they are making is only for us that’s when things get twisted.