The OF Tape Volume 2
(Odd Future Records)
You've got to hand it to the Los Angeles rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (also known as OFWGKTA). It is very hard to shock rap fans and critics desensitised by the likes of Two Live Crew and NWA, but the 11-person collective shook up the industry when their series of mix tapes bubbled up to the mainstream last year. The nihilism and grimy lyrics on display had them banned from appearing at festivals and outraged family groups; meanwhile hip-hop taste makers such as Kanye West hailed them as the future. While West may have – yet again – gone overboard with praise, the sheer technical talent displayed by the rappers trumps the seedy lyricism. The group's debut studio album, The OF Tape Volume 2, is a clear indication there is more to them than bleak outlooks. The success of the album lies in the fact the group approached the record like it was merely another mix tape. This is not altogether due to their lax attitude. Instead, the mix tape ragged and sporadic nature fits well with their stream of conscious flows. But the group are aware of the new-found expectation and they double their efforts. Mike G showcases a slicker flow on Forest Green. Hodgy continues to keep listeners on their toes, becoming aggressive on NY and laid back on Lean. Those standing the most to gain from the affair are the head honcho Tyler and Left Brain, who as well as their microphone skills, showcase their production talent. The collective create soulful beats, incorporating funk and lounge with superb drum tracks. Is OF Tape Volume 2 the future? Perhaps not, but it is definitely odd in a good way.