Tune in and turn up

SPIN Magazine profiles one of their “next big things” for 2011, LA hip-hop group Odd Future. The feature outlines the rise of Tyler Haley and the Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) gang, including a series of photographs shot by Kenneth Cappello in Los Angeles.

See more images and read an excerpt from the magazine after the click.

Tyler Haley is ecstatic. It’s soundcheck at the Echo in Los Angeles and Odd Future are preparing for a homecoming of sorts. The volatile, controversial ten-member posse — rap’s most outrageously subversive newcomers — just played two sellout shows in New York and London. But before that, they’d only performed once, so this is all still very new.

Live, engineer Syd (formerly “tha Kyd”) handles the beats, and as she cues up “Fuck the Police” by MellowHype (an Odd Future sub-group featuring grit-loving producer Left Brain and charismatic rapper Hodgy Beats), it’s obvious no one in the room has ever heard the song sound so good and so loud. The drums’ trebly machine-gun clatter pries eyes open wide. The heavy, honking tuba effect drops jaws to the dingy concrete. And the bass hits Odd Future leader Tyler like a spark to a fuse.

He rockets off the stage, hits the floor, and starts high-stepping, all six feet two inches of him — part mosher, part drum major. He circles the small venue at a gallop, soon spying his friend Vince Staples. Tyler hooks an arm around the dude’s neck and enters a full spin. It’s all so pure and beautifully chaotic that no one, least of all Tyler, considers the support beam that Vince had been leaning on a millisecond before: 180 degrees…270 degrees…355 degrees — crack! Even over the Echo’s crushing sonics, the sound of skull meeting wood is terribly audible. Vince’s hat flies off like he’s a cartoon character. Then, the very real young man clutches his braincase and falls.

It was an accident. Not the first, certainly not the last. These things just happen when you’re jumping without a parachute and crashing blindly through whatever’s in your way. It’s almost surprising, though, that the post didn’t just snap or bend out of deference. If Odd Future have one thing that everyone can agree upon, it’s uncanny velocity.

Read more at SPIN, and see the full story on Odd Future in the new March issue.

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