Watching Hodgy Beats ride through the suburbs, shooting lasers from the crotch of his Starship Troopers spacesuit, hitting patty-cake-playing white girls and turning them into cats, makes it very, very difficult to believe that the Odd Future crew is not thinking beyond whatever controversy and "troll-gaze" labels people put on them. I think they're having fun; largely innocent fun. And making good art ("violator art," maybe, though my head starts to swim with the word salad of critical terminology.) But I do think it's art that says, or is at least trying to say something about the world we're living in. And even if that something is nothing more than "everyone should lighten up a little bit and listen to what we can do with words and beats, watch what we can do with popular-culture imagery"—we should. Tyler the Creator is a coke-sniffing centaur. Yes. I prefer to err in the direction of giving artists the benefit of the doubt. Ice-T once said, "Rap is funny. But if you don't know it's funny, it'll scare the shit out of you." I think that's still the point.
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012