Shock-rap collective Odd Future doesn't really exist anymore in any form but name -- its most successful member, Frank Ocean, hasn't collaborated with anyone in the group for a while, nor have Earl Sweatshirt or leader Tyler, the Creator. But, confirming the inevitable for fans hoping for another group mixtape, Tyler seemed to indicate on Twitter last night that OF was "no more."
The seven letters would seem to be "OFWGKTA," short for "Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All." And it's a good thing that they're no more -- it's the motto of teenagers, not mature artists. (No offense intended to all Odd Future fans who are still raging teens.) Of course, Tyler claims he was just looking through old photos, and that his previous tweet didn't really mean anything definitive.
although its no more, those 7 letters are forever.-- Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) May 28, 2015
ALL I WAS DOING WAS LOOKING AT OLD PHOTOS WITH FRIENDS AND THINKING ABOUT HOW TIME FLIES, CRAZY HOW ONE TWEET CAN STIR SO MUCH-- Tyler, The Creator (@fucktyler) May 28, 2015
But, either way, it doesn't seem to matter for the individual careers of Odd Future's members, or at least not the ones that we're likely to care about for some time. Earl seems to be doing just fine, with one of the best rap albums of the year so far (and a great collaboration with Odd Future affiliate Vince Staples). Tyler's film projects (and music videos) are up and running, and he appears to be doing exactly the kind of work he wants to be doing. Frank Ocean has a highly-anticipated album dropping this summer. And these projects are all independent of their association with the group, whose collective buzz seems to have plateaued. If anything, an official Odd Future break-up would most hurt other members of the collective who are talented and have accumulated niche audiences (especially Hodgy Beats, Domo Genesis, and Syd tha Kid), but who have struggled to break out of the mold established by those first few OFWGKTA releases.
Their respective sounds have also diverged along with their careers, moving away from Odd Future's signature aggressive, punk-rap style. Tyler's music doesn't sound much like "Yonkers" anymore, drifting increasingly toward corny love songs that sound offensive only for the sake of keeping up appearances. Earl's tightly wound, jagged production continues in the spirit of Odd Future rage, but with less immaturity. And Frank Ocean's emotionally complex crooning has always been a little out of place. These are, for the most part, the people who will continue the Odd Future legacy and succeed as solo stars. If the others are meant to grow, they will. Fans might be sad, but don't cry because it's over, smile because this happened: