What does it mean to have an odd future anyway? Perhaps it has no meaning which is why Tyler, cialis of OFWGKTA (OddFutureWolfGangKillThemAll), said in this month’s issue of XXL that they [the group] are a gimmick. I stand neutral and uninformed about who the guys (and one female) are as people. So this is not to co-sign for the naysayers who dislike them because they portray themselves as atheists and haters of religion. I’m not too concerned that they seem to be missing a few “upstairs” either. My concern lies in what their music means to fans who swear by their “SWAG!” Or rather, what is it that OF provides that music hasn’t already seen a thousand times over? Maybe it’s their ability to be lyrically brute and even grotesque. What bothers me is that people seem to be blind to the fact that their intentions are to raise the shock value in the public’s response to them. But I find them perpetually and completely “un” shocking on the principle that it seems unnatural. However, I think it says something about society at large to pay so much attention to whoever tries to get our attention. No, not by being naturally original, but by struggling to be outstanding. Rappers have resorted to being aliens and citizens of other planets to distinguish themselves. So really, it’s not surprising to witness the behaviors of OF. I guess it’s just not cool to be a human from Earth anymore.
Clearly, they are riding the current of fame in its infantile stage. The likes of giants like P.Diddy and Jay-Z are showing interest in them as well. But I’d like to think they are business savvy enough to recognize the capital a mega gimmick like OF can pull in. But where does this leave music as an art form? Does it even matter that most mainstream music is only ¼ art and three parts image? I don’t think it does. What matters most, is of course, who can sell the most. But moreover, it’s about who can get the most followers; it’s about who can pull the greatest stunt and gain the most idolaters. It’s always about who can set the next trend and now, more than ever before, you really are just as good as your last hit. This phenomenon causes artists to strive for a hit single, not a classic album or even music that will be thought of a year from now. And quite frankly, it’s all very blasé: one guy in dreads trying to outshine another with skinny jeans who’s trying to out-rap the rich older rapper draped in fine jewelry. I want to see something show-stopping like a rapper who serves a purpose other than trying to stand out; or at least if they aim to stand-out, actually be inimitable.
Fortunately, the future of music isn’t looking altogether odd. There are some artists emerging who have talent worth paying attention to. But there are a sea of others who will be forgotten until that one song comes on and you ask yourself “whatever happened to?” Hopefully OFWGKTA will outlive 15 minutes and shed the gimmick soon. And when they do, mark their places as musicians who have voices, over grotesque videos and outrageous one-liners: SWAG.