Described as “a visual interpretation of Tyler’s mind,” the official video for “Tamale” is a brightly lit journey through a world filled with golfing, oversized books, floating (sometimes eyeless) heads, therapist couches, and random appearances from Pharrell. It’s essentially the music video equivalent to a Cartoon Network program, only with far more profanity and innuendo. You can view the video at the end of this post.
It was not that long ago that Tyler, The Creator and the rest of Odd Future were average, skateboard-loving teenagers hanging out in California. Tyler changed everything when he became a viral sensation for his “Yonkers” music video, which included a now infamous sequence where the young rapper devoured a live cockroach. Careers were launched, tours were staged, and suddenly Tyler found himself with the challenge of one-upping his breakout video. Two years and about a dozen videos later, he may have finally accomplished that task with “Tamale.” Comment below and let us know your thoughts. (more…)
Though he has been relatively quiet on the press front, Frank Ocean has been steadily making appearances around the world. Now, just a week after admitting he was “ten or eleven” tracks into another album, Ocean has debuted a new song. You can watch Ocean work his way through a track entitled “Pray,” live in London, at the end of this post.
While it would be nice to think the debut of “Pray” means a new studio release is on the way soon, Ocean has given no additional hints. Stay tuned to OS for further updates in the weeks ahead. (more…)
Anyone familiar with Odd Future mastermind Tyler, The Creator‘s forthcoming album Wolf has likely seen (or heard people discuss) a rumored tracklist that featured a guest appearance from Dave Matthews. Yes, the same Dave Matthews responsible for “Crash” and “Grave Digger.” As awesome as that would have been, the official tracklist was posted by Stereogum this morning and DM is nowhere to be found.
Now, now, before you go getting depressed that a folk hero isn’t on the latest OFWGKTA release, give the actual tracklist a chance. Dave may be sitting this release out, but Tyler has recruited a great lineup, including Erykah Badu, former Stereolab co-leader Laetitia Sadier, Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, Pharrell, Trash Talk frontman Lee Spielman, and nearly every (other) Odd Future member known for rapping. You can view the complete tracklist below, as well as the video for “Bimmer.”
Wolf arrives in stores Tuesday. April 2. (more…)
Phony New Kids mania has bitten the dust: Boston is finally getting its own big time festival with Boston Calling, which will be held at City Hall Plaza on May 25-26. Look for fun., The Shins, Matt & Kim, Of Monsters and Men, The National, Young the Giant, Dirty Projectors, Cults, Andrew Bird, and more, in addition to local faves Caspian and Bad Rabbits.
UK folk that won’t bring you down: Skinny Lister, the good-time English folk stompers who recently joined us for an exclusive OurStage session, have just announced a bunch of U.S. tour dates, including an astonishing seven sets at SXSW and a stop at Coachella. More from our friends at Under the Gun.
Returning to the scene: Tyler, the Creator, whose rap collective Odd Future grabbed our attention with a debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon back in 2011, went back to the show last night to perform “TreeHome” and “Domo 23” with The Roots. It was something. Golf wang?
Please sit down and brace yourself for the shock before reading this news item: Alt-rock stalwarts Stone Temple Pilots have…fired Scott Weiland. Excuse me, they “terminated” him, presumably in a round of difficult downsizing. Weiland will be eligible for unemployment and will be able to stay on the band health insurance if he pays through the Cobra plan. This comes just a day after the singer promised to sing STP hits during his upcoming solo tour, slated to start March 1st.
Odd Future‘s Tyler, the Creator has a future in character-based comedy, when this rap fad finally ends. He was pretty hilarious as 53-year-old golf fanatic Thurnis Haley in promos for his album Goblin. And now you can see him as a semi-pro wrestler in his new video for “Domo 23,” the first single from his upcoming album Wolf (April 23). Look for Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis amidst the chaos. And don’t worry, Tyler hasn’t forgotten about golf. You have to admit the dude is pretty brilliant, even if you think his genius is a bit evil. It might surprise you to learn that this clip is NSFW.
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The group is a celebrated convention of hip-hop music culture. N.W.A. Wu-Tang Clan. Public Enemy. De La Soul. Need we say more? Greater than then sum of their parts, these are groups with famous individual members whose collective efforts are generally more celebrated than their solo material.
Cut to the modern day. The tradition of the hip-hop group is still alive and well. Black Hippy, for example, is a supergroup of sorts though they don’t have a release to their collective name. Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q both enjoyed well-received releases this year, with Control System and Habits and Contradictions respectively. Yet neither release made the same splash as Kendrick Lamar, the most visible member of Black Hippy, and his major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city. But little else did. Even Jay Rock, the fourth and most slept on member of Black Hippy, has seen his profile rise considerably as of late, if only by proxy.
Black Hippy’s success is exceptional in a number of ways. No one release or member can be pointed to as the genesis for the success of the rest. Lamar is flying high right now, but Black Hippy was never entirely his show. It’s also rare for a group to have all of their members do as well as all four in Black Hippy have. In a hip-hop group dynamic, it’s not unusual for a member or two to become prominent. The rest will experience varying levels of popularity but the likelihood that each member fully breaks through is low.
But egos clash. Friendships fray. Artistic visions deviate. So, what happens to rappers who try to make it on their own?
The Internet is difficult to profit off of. Businesses can be built here, but even behemoths can have issues staying afloat for very long. Facebook, the service that is actively used by one in seven people on the planet, is struggling to find an answer to the mobile question. Spotify, a service that we’ve covered here time and again, operated at a $60 million loss in 2011. YouTube just recently became profitable, relatively speaking. And as many artists and labels will attest, it’s even harder to make a profit off of the Internet’s use of music.
Once upon a time, musically speaking, the hot commodity was indie rock. Some blog buzz could take a band from nothing to the mix CDs of an entire generation. If you got lucky you soundtracked an Apple commercial. At some point the online conversations stopped being completely dominated by fey twee types and instead embraced two distinct musical styles”brash, swagged-out hip-hop and the over-sexed maximalism of electronic. Tastes shift. Money presumably follows.
“Whoever you are, wherever you are… I’m starting to think we’re a lot alike,” he writes. He goes on to describe details of his first love, which he reveals, was a man.
“We spent that summer, and the summer after, together. Everyday almost. And on the days we were together, time would glide¦Most of the day I’d see him, and his smile. I’d hear his conversation and his silence…until it was time to sleep. Sleep I would often share with him¦By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life.”
“I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager¦the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not speak¦I don’t have any secrets I need kept anymore,” he wrote.
For fans wondering what his Odd Future crew members think about his recent revelations, particularly Tyler The Creator, who has been publically chastised for making homophobic remarks and gestures numerous times; he made it clear he was onboard with Ocean’s decision.
Tyler tweeted, “My big brother finally f—ing did that. Proud of that n—a cause I know that sh– is difficult or whatever. Anyway. I’m a toilet,” he quipped.
OFWGKTA R&B singer Frank Ocean has made headlines after opening up about his sexuality and revealing his attraction to both men and women. Rumors regarding the crooner’s sexuality began to fly after a media listening party for his yet to be released debut LP, Channel Orange. Blogger This Is Max was the first to note intriguging word choices in the R&B crooners lyrics, reporting that, “On the songs ˜Bad Religion’ ˜Pink Matter and ˜Forrest Gump’ you can hear him sing about being in love and there are quite obvious words used like ˜him’ and not ˜her’.” After two days of media spectulation, Ocean posted a excerpt from the liner notes of Channel Orange to address the issue. “4 summers ago I met somebody,” Ocean wrote. “I was 19 years old. He was too… By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant.”
The response to Ocean’s self-outing has been nearly universally positive from the hip-hop community at large, both fans and artists alike. In a statement posted on GlobalGrind, media mogul Russell Simmons called Ocean “courageous,” saying, “Frank, we thank you. We support you. We love you.”
Many rappers took to twitter to express support and for the R&B singer. Solange Knowles wrote “I salute you, brave soul. Independence Day. @frank_ocean” Mac Miller also chimed in as well, tweeting, “frank ocean is very important for the growth of humanity.” Fellow members of Odd Future also commented on the matter. Earl Sweatshirt posted that he was simply, “Proud of Frank.” And OF mastermind Tyler, The Creator had a predictably light hearted and absurd reaction to the news regarding Ocean, saying,”My Big Brother Finally Fucking Did That. Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet.” The outpouring of support is all the more notable considering the historic and ongoing associations between hip-hop and homophobia.
Listen to the first single from Channel Orange, “Pyramids,” below.