(Editor’s Note: This piece appears on The Bowery Presents The House List. Check it out here)
Odd Future—the short form of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All—is a hip-hop collective, although that doesn’t properly explain the group’s appeal. About a year ago, they emerged from Internet stardom and began performing their playful creations to small crowds. But with a combination of crude lyrics paired with sinister beats and ecstatic live shows, their profile rapidly rose. The tipping point came in February when two of the group’s members—de facto leader Tyler the Creator and supercharged menace Hodgy Beats—performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. And now, at the height of their popularity, Odd Future filled Terminal 5 on Wednesday, a school night for many of the all-ages attendees.
Mythology, symbolism and style surround Odd Future’s culture. A motto, “Free Earl,” appeared on numerous T-shirts, and a sheet hung over the back of the stage with a Photoshopped cat in the clouds and the OFWGKTA cross on the bottom. And when the group flooded the stage, most members were dressed in their signature style: skater shoes, tube socks and baseball T-shirts.
The band seemed humbled by the size of the venue. “This is a lot of fucking people,” said an initially bemused Tyler. But, as the show progressed, most members adapted their energy to engage the fans. During showstopper “French,” Tyler and Hodgy threw themselves off the second-floor balcony and into the crowd, a thrilling sight. And, while Tyler seemed agitated to perform his YouTube sensation “Yonkers,” most knew the lyrics and answered the call to rap the first few lines. Because second to Odd Future’s music is participating in the movement.
Photo courtesy of Alexis Maindrault | www.rockinpix.com