Odd Future Wolf Gang 'kill' show at 9:30 club with wicked rap lyricism
After crossing the halfway mark on their notorious Golf Wang Tour, the unruly members of cult hip-hop group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are more than just hitting their stride — they’re blowing away the competition.
The group performed to a sold-out crowd of mostly teenagers and young adults Oct. 24 at 9:30 club.
The Odd Future juggernaut began its vicious roll in 2007, when the group was formed in L.A. by then 16-year-old Tyler, the Creator.
The group is currently comprised of a whopping 11 members, almost all age 20 -years-old and younger.
Tyler, Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Left Brain, Syd the Kid (sometimes styled Syd tha Kyd), Matt Martians, Taco and Jasper Dolphin were all at the show.
Noticeably absent was Earl Sweatshirt, who last year was swiftly sent away to a boarding school in Samoa after the release of his highly acclaimed and highly volatile album, “Earl.”
Also missing was R&B crooner, Frank Ocean, who has not performed at any of the shows on this tour.
Over the course of the past year, the gang has accrued critical acclaim and garnered a slew of followers, many among them rap superstars.
Last March, Kanye West tweeted that Tyler’s video for “Yonkers” was the video of 2011.
For those who haven’t seen it, it features the 19-year-old rapper eating a cockroach, vomiting and then committing suicide — maybe that’ll give some insight as to what exactly qualifies as Odd Future material.
Opening the show was OFWGKTA DJ, Syd the Kid. From the moment she stepped onstage, the crowd went into panic mode, transforming from a crew of nervously excited youth to a bloodthirsty mob.
And when the other members got onstage, a new level of pandemonium was reached.
The group opened with “64,” by Hodgy Beats and Left Brain, who’s more hype man and producer than rapper. The track is a part of their OFWGKTA offshoot, MellowHype.
The choice of opening song set the theme for the rest of the night: Tyler isn’t the only great rapper in Odd Future, so why would the show be all about him? But, when he kicked off the song “Transylvania,” from his sophomore album “Goblin,” fans made it clear whom they really came for.
The frontman wore his now often-imitated uniform of a white Supremes T-shirt, small camp cap, knee-length white socks and sneakers. The 20-year-old rapper has a voice that’s more of a well-aged deep croak, which often breaks into fits of demonically rollicking laughter. The scarily low voice suits his violent rap style, especially when he spits verses like “I’m Dracula, bitch / don’t got a problem smacking a bitch / kidnapping, attacking, with axes and shit.”
And, as expected, he was as crass as ever, manipulating the crowd as he pleased.
At one point, Tyler’s pants were sagging a bit too low, so he asked fans to send up their belts. He immediately received four of them, prompting Mike G to ask the audience to send up their newborn babies while they’re at it.
Considering how twisted the guys in Odd Future are, the baby thing was probably only half a joke.
The group launched fearlessly into each song, performing “Rolling Papers,” “Forest Green” and “Tron Cat” to raucous effect.
When they jumped into MellowHype jam, “igotagun,” Left Brain leapt high off the stage, tearing like a missile into the crowd of outstretched arms.
Crowd surfing was soon a regular occurrence, with fans and OFWGKTA members alike riding over the audience throughout the show.
Tyler fearlessly chatted with the crowd throughout the show. He eschewed fans that called him Tyler and demanded all night that they call him Toilet instead. When a fan held out a book for Tyler to sign, he grabbed it and looked at her incredulously.
“Wouldn’t you want a picture or some cool shit?” he said. He mimed a drawing with his hands over it, and as he handed it back said, “Here, I tried to draw a dick on it.”
It was that kind of love/hate thing that kept fans titillated.
No matter how abusive OFWGKTA members were, they clamored for more, mercilessly screaming chants of “Wolf Gang,” “Free Earl” (a common saying for fans at any Odd Future show) and actually calling Tyler “Toilet,” as per his request.
When a female audience member asked Tyler to ask the guys behind her to stop grinding into her, he said that he felt bad, but “you at a OF show — what the fuck did you expect?”
The show was split pretty evenly between Tyler, Hodgy and Mike G, who captivated the crowd with his much-needed laidback style, spending half the show rapping in a tie dyed Grateful Dead shirt, and the other half in a basketball jersey, wielding a blue light saber.
They interspersed the show with a few verses that Earl rapped on, like the song “Orange Juice.” Chants of “Free Earl” were heard all night, from everyone in the crowd and on stage.
Tyler and Hodgy Beats performed crowd favorites, like the hyped up “Yonkers” and “Sandwitches,” undoubtedly the wildest moments of the night.
The crew ended the show with Tyler’s incredibly violent, “Radicals,” demanding the crowd to chant the song’s chorus of “Kill people / burn shit / fuck school” over and over again, providing a violently awesome ending to a violently awesome show.