As of early 2012, while The OF Tape, Vol. 2 was seeing release, the wild hip-hop collective called Odd Future had significantly "got real" twice in their career, once with Frank Ocean's rather traditional mixtape Nostalgia and once with the Internet's debut album Purple Naked Ladies. The first one was a home run by mixtape standards, although Ocean's compelling voice was "in demand" and an "easy sell", while the more subtle Internet album stiffed like Tyler, the Creator watching a porno. For a minute, the eccentric-as-they-wanna-be OF didn't seem an omnipresent force, so please forgive that this, their official debut album is also a mixtape, and a Vol. 2 mixtape at that. That allows head Wolf Tyler the freedom to executive produce in a way in which he's comfortable, with that thrill-filled, "don't give an F-bomb" attitude that loads a truly exquisite Ocean miniature called "White" into the cannon. This delicate creature is fired-off between a hectic, Wu-Tang styled number where the core crew spits naughty Shaolin ("P") and a Left Brain track that's the kind of horror show you hold up when you want to peg the group as akin to ICP ("Hcapd"). That's scattershot, which is where Odd Future still thrive, and as highlights like the minimal "Bitches," the Goblin-spawn "NY(Ned Flander)," and the hyno-riffic creeper "Forest Green" tick off, the complaints that some tracks are old and the whole thing seems thrown together lose weight. What they're juggling here is the impossible combination of the R&B Ocean, the Portishead-ish Internet, and the mutant-like everyone else, including the goopy and gruff Domo Genesis, who comes off as the MVP of Vol. 2, and also the evil spawn of a Garbage Pail Kids' skateboard and Bizarre from D12. The evidence that Odd Future are headed toward a more sensible, proper statement comes at the end of the chaos, as the punk-rock-hop "We Got Bitches" captures the bird-flipping allure of OF in a solid 3:19, right before the epic closer "Oldie" reunites them with their mighty, long-lost member Earl Sweatshirt. Hype warranted, the mystery continues, and while no kid should write "666" on their forehead before getting their driver's license, Odd Future remain a vital force in the hip-hop underground.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries