Odd Future have been reigniting indie kids love of hip hop by bolting the kinetics of a rock show onto the pared street boom bap of hip hop. Tonight’s show at the Academy is heaving with young middle class white kids flinging up their fingers and hurling bottles of water through the humid auditorium, ready for the onstage anarchy the collective are reknowned for. And Odd Future don’t disappoint. With seemingly limitless energy they bound around the stage, smack into each other, climb the fixtures and exhort the crowd to sing along.
Tyler, The Creator earns his position as the groups unofficial leader, with a growling presence on the mic that- at it’s best- sounds like a pissed off Beezlebub rhyming to the pit. Inevitably Yonkers causes near total destruction, a manic mosh forming and the ceiling dripping with sweat. Similar boisterous joy greets the gang’s version of Gucci Mane’s Lemonade.
For older hip hop heads however, Odd Future, whilst having all the skill and bravado to deliver a hyper live show, don’t offer anything new. When they unite the crowd in a chant of ‘Wolf Gang’ it sounds uncomfortably like ‘Wu Tang’ and the difference between the two is tangible: The Clan innnovated whilst Odd Future appropriate. Nearly all of the groundwork for OF’s beats, attitude and rhymes was laidin Statton Island some 20 years ago, and all these new pretenders have done is replaced the guns with skateboards – (not neccessarily a bad thing ..!). And to the 16 year olds going nuts at the front, all that matters is going on right here and now.