Odder than, well, Flavor Flav and Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen boo’ed up on cable television back in the day, is Europe’s blossoming love affair with grimey shock-rap, skater-boy-Cali crew Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.
Last weekend Odd Future’s Hodgy Beats tweeted, along with manager Christian Clancy, about the group’s European adventure. “[We’re] on a boat in France!” they tweeted from the south of the country.
And though Hodgy flubbed Norway, calling it Norwalk first, he got too much love from the kids at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark to get that wrong. “Yo this was the f***ing best!” Odd Future’s pretty boy gushed. “Denmark! It gets better and better! I’m coming back to this place!”
Apparently, the feelings are mutual.
I’m going to go ahead and blame it on all the revolution talk and protests that have swept Europe this spring/summer. Youth here are not too busy drinking tea, eating crepes, or saluting old Viking ships to rage against the machine when they feel as if their governments are failing them. As we’ve seen in recent months, Greece, Spain, Portugal, and France have experienced an orgy of passionate youth protests against government austerity measures ― the systematic cutting of public funding aimed at managing the economic crisis. In many cases, police responses to the demonstrations have been just as intense.
Perhaps “Kill people! Burn sh*t! F**k school!” is exactly what the European youth (40% of whom are without work in Spain!) want to hear right now. Fuel for the rebel spirit, Cali’s most offensive is Europe’s most inspiring.
I wouldn’t believe the extreme reaction, had I not seen it with my own two eyes at one of OFWGKTA’s first shows on the Old Continent at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound Pitchfork Stage.
Above: Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator started the show by yelling from off stage, “Y’all speak any m*therf***kin’ English?” A crowd of thousands roared through the lyrics as the beat kicked in on a song I could hardly hear. It was pandemonium. Tyler was so impressed, he’d no sooner run onstage when he launched himself clear off the stage and into Europe’s open arms.
Odd Future seemed as awed and surprised by the reception as anyone, repeatedly thanking the foreign audience for knowing the lyrics. Hodgy Beats got downright romantic: “I wish I could speak Spanish! I would rap in Spanish for y’all!” By the end of the set, half the audience had hauled themselves onstage, kicking in the equipment and chanting “WOLFGANG! WOLFGANG!”
Shirtless blonde dudes lift a smiley Tyler over their heads like he’s their Prom King. Odd Future leaves the stage, and a white van arrive at the backstage area to whisk the crew to their hotel. For a full half hour after Odd Future has left the building, there are hundreds of young, angsty drunks on the Pitchfork stage, yelling, cheering and tearing it to shreds.
I wonder if it’s just a fling or if this long distance love affair will last.
Above: Tyler, The Creator crowd surfing.
OFWGKTA X Primavera Festival.
Tyler, The Creator in July/August issue of UK fashion magazine i-D.