Category: Odd Future

Before the 'Huntsman': Snow White's life in pop songs

Images: Kristen Steweart, left, as Snow White in "Snow White and the Huntsman" (Associated Press / Universal Pictures) and local hip-hop collective Odd Future (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times).
Kristen Stewart's Snow White re-imagines the character as an unbreakable warrior in "Snow White and the Huntsman." Yet as resilient as Stewart's White may be, chances are she won't ever inspire a song written by a Beatle. 

The Brothers Grimm tale remains a durable one, evidenced not just by "Snow White and the Huntsman" but this year's "Mirror Mirror." Snow White has endured cultural shifts. She's been animated, she's been the center of a romantic comedy and she's been romanticized by indie rockers and Snoop Dogg alike. 

Snow White's musical history may not be as rich as her lineage in literature or film, but it exists. 

"Snow White and the Huntsman" has a signature song of its own, and it's safe to say Florence + the Machine's "Breath of Life" is no "Whistle While You Work," its beat a soldier's march and its backing vocals a monk-like chant. "Breath of Life" puts belter Florence Welch in Stewart's fighting role, with the singer channelling an optimistic heroine looking for reasons to carry on. 

There are no seven dwarfs in Florence + the Machine's song, and it definitely is not set in a world named after a male appendage. Wait ... what? As the examples below will show, musicians have had some rather colorful interpretations of the fairy tale. 

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Odd Future-themed graffiti leads to arrest

Odd Future lyrics were painted on a Milwaukee-area high school
Tyler, the Creator's pointedly antisocial advice about high school in his track "Radical" isn't intended to be taken literally. But when spray-painted on the side of an actual high school, it's enough to get someone arrested

Kettle Moraine High School outside Milwaukee was on edge Friday after someone spray-painted the profane Odd Future lyric and the admonishment "die yuppie scum" on the side of a building. Many students, nervous after a recent Ohio school shooting, went home for the day, though the campus remained open, according to a local Fox affiliate. An arrest was made Sunday, but the suspect hasn't yet been identified.

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Tyler, The Creator reportedly to pay for Roxy damage

Tyler, The Creator allegedly will pay for damaging the soundboard at the Roxy
After a December show at the Roxy Theatre, Odd Future's Tyler, The Creator allegedly smashed the soundboard in anger, got arrested on a vandalism charge and barely averted a melee on Sunset Boulevard when fans poured out of the club to protest. A fan captured it all on a widely circulated video.

The cost of his big night? About $8,000, according to TMZ. The website quotes anonymous law enforcement sources as saying that the rapper and producer will pay about that amount for repairs. Sources also told TMZ that Tyler, The Creator is also scheduled to meet with a hearing officer for the district attorney, who will recommend that the rapper also pay for the investigation costs incurred by the West Hollywood station of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. In exchange, TMZ reports, the district attorney won't file formal charges in the ruckus.

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Frank Ocean spats with Don Henley over 'Hotel California' sample

Frank Ocean said the Eagles' singer Don Henley threatened to sue him for using a sample of Hotel California
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave the reach of copyright law.

So says the Odd Future R&B savant Frank Ocean, who today took to his Tumblr page to say that his song "American Wedding," which sampled the bar-karaoke staple "Hotel California," had apparently ruffled the feathers of Eagles singer-songwriter Don Henley.

Ocean's debut album is due this year, and it is much anticipated after his collaborations with Jay-Z and Kanye West on their "Watch the Throne" album.

"American Wedding" originally appeared on Ocean's debut mixtape, 'nostalgia,ULTRA', which last year was re-released by Def Jam, and Ocean has frequently performed it live. But on his blog today, Ocean said:

"Don henley is apparently intimidated by my rendition of Hotel California..He threatened to sue if I perform it again. I think that's...awesome."

Right now, YouTube clips of the track have the audio muted, with the standard notice that "This video contains an audio track that has not been authorized by all copyright holders. The audio has been disabled."

We've reached out to representatives of Henley for comment and confirmation, and will update this post with any new information. But for now, it looks as if the steely knives are out between two era-defining L.A. voices.


The Zen soul of Frank Ocean

Live review: Frank Ocean at the El Rey

Odd Future's Frank Ocean re-releasing 'nostalgia, ULTRA' through Def Jam

-- August Brown

Photo: Frank Ocean's debut Los Angeles show at the El Rey Theatre on Nov. 15, 2011, in Los Angeles. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times.

Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt is apparently home and releasing music

Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt is apparently home and releasing music

Earl Sweatshirt, the absent mystery at the center of the Odd Future hip-hop collective, has apparently returned from the Samoan youth camp where he had widely rumored to be living.

Twenty-two hours ago, a mysterious tweet from an @earlxsweat simply read "home." Then came a YouTube link to a brief video snippet of Earl, speaking in what appeared to be a bedroom with a Webcam, playing a snippet of a single and promising the release of a full new song if he earned 50,000 followers on Twitter that day. For Odd Future fans, speculation about the return of Earl has taken on almost messianic importance; his whereabouts were even the subject of a lengthy New Yorker profile last year. Earl promptly met his Twitter goal and pointed fans to a new Tumblr page and a separate website,, that appears to be an authentic home page for Earl Sweatshirt.

Right now, its only content is a stream of a new single, "Home," that feature's Earl's nimble, restrained delivery atop a beat by Stone's Throw mainstay James Pants. Sweatshirt has long been regarded as the best pure rapper in Odd Future and has a compelling family history -- as the New Yorker piece pointed out, his father is the renowned South African poet and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. The return of Earl (whose real name is Thebe Kgositsile) and the arrival of this new single are maybe one of the biggest stories in underground rap. It's also very, very good and hopefully, the first of many to come.

We've reached out to Odd Future reps to confirm whether Earl he is in fact in Los Angeles or posting music from elsewhere. At press time, his reps were unable to confirm his whereabouts. But in the meantime, you may want to update your "Free Earl" swag.


Howling wolves: Odd Future

Poetry Magazine takes on Odd Future

The story of Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt gets another wrinkle

-- August Brown

Photo: A still from Earl Sweatshirt's video for "Earl." Credit:

Odd Future's 'OF Tape Vol. 2' due March 20, with tour, pop-up shops

Odd Future readies new album, 'OF Tape Vol. 2' for March 20 release
Odd Future’s new album, “OF Tape Vol. 2,” will be released March 20, accompanied by a string of live performances and preview screenings of “Loiter Squad,” the hip-hop collective’s live action television series premiering five days after the album drops.

The album includes new music from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGTA) frontman Tyler, the Creator, as well as Hodgy Beats, Frank Ocean, Leftbrain, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Syd the Kid and the Internet. 

The OFWGTA tour itinerary: 10 performances in 10 cities across the nation, with dates and locations still to be announced. In conjunction with each show, a pop-up retail store with Odd Future music and merchandise will surface.

In addition to “OF Tape Vol. 2,” Tyler, the Creator is scheduled to release “Wolf,” the follow-up to last year’s “Goblin” album, in the spring. It'll be followed by MellowHype’s “Numbers” sometime this summer.

“Loiter Squad,” as previously announced, is a 15-minute live-action series in the vein of MTV’s “Jackass,” with music, skits, pranks and man-on-the-street segments, coming to the Adult Swim cable channel starting March 25. Screenings of the new show will preceed each of the Odd Future live performances.


Live review: Odd Future at Hard Summer

Coachella 2011: Odd Future has some work ahead of it

The story of Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt gets another knot

-- Randy Lewis

Photo of Tyler, the Creator, right, and other members of Odd Future during the group's performance at last year's Hard Summer Music Festival in Los Angeles. Credit: Christina House / For The Times.

Tyler, the Creator arrested after Roxy show melee

Odd Future's Tyler, the Creator left the Roxy Theatre with an early and unwelcome holiday gift — a repair bill for a smashed mixing console.

Video from the L.A. avant-rap collective's show at the Sunset Strip venue last night apparently shows Tyler, whose real name is Tyler Okonma, yelling at a sound tech, climbing the mixing desk to stand on it and bash it with what appears to be a microphone after his group's set (warning: contains profanity).

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Grammy preview: L.A. bands in the running

Local acts Foster the People, the Belle Brigade, Tyler the Creator, Far East Movement and Fitz & the Tantrums vie for Grammy glory.

Mark Foster

While it’s never a bad year for music in a city the size of Los Angeles, 2011 was a particularly notable one, at least when it came to fresh voices garnering attention at a national level. In fact, between just Foster the People and Odd Future’s Tyler the Creator, Los Angeles boasted one of the year’s biggest success stories as well as one of its most controversial.

Dig deeper, and the city had a little of everything that generally appeals to Grammy voters, including a pair of critically beloved pop traditionalists, a dash of vintage soul and an act that spawned multiple Top 10 singles. Nominations will be announced Wednesday.

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Mike G of Odd Future drops free 'Award Tour' EP


Don't expect A Tribe Called Quest references, do expect frequent references to Satan, "Damien" and hell on Mike G's new "Award Tour" EP. After all, the cousin of Warren G reps Odd Future, the skate rap crew known for its nihlism, atheism and most other isms (but not this one).

Production is handled by Left Brain, Frisco TSC and Hodgy Beats, and as with most Odd Future affairs, this is a group effort, though Tyler, Earl, Domo, et. al don't make any appearances on the 26-minute EP. Instead, the mini-record feature impressive turns from extended OF family Vince Staples, and a memorable 16 bars from Speak! (who co-wrote Kreayshawn's "Gucci Gucci").

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Live: Frank Ocean at the El Rey

“What would the world be without a love song?” wondered Frank Ocean rhetorically at the El Rey on Tuesday night during his Los Angeles concert debut. The 24-year-old R&B singer knew perfectly well the answer: He wouldn't have been standing up there, red and white bandanna neatly folded into a band and wrapped around his head, black suit, white shirt, the ladies cooing and the men shifting uncomfortably beside them, without love songs.

Standing alone with a video screen behind him projecting random scenes of cowboys, drifting clouds and atomic explosions, while a backing track pumped out bass-heavy musical beds upon which Ocean laid his smart, beguiling tales of longing and lust, of American love, of Coachella love (“I went to see Jigga, she went to see Z-Trip, perfect”), the young man with an uneven but undeniable baritone made the standard sexy maneuvers over the course of the night. He took his jacket off during “Swim Good” when it started getting too hot, and the ladies screamed. He kneeled and sang to the front row, and they cooed. He did a little groove thing with his butt, which his admirers enjoyed as well.

Ocean relocated to Los Angeles from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, signed to Def Jam records, for whom he recorded the excellent “Nostalgia, Ultra.” In 2009, while the album languished unreleased somewhere on a Sony hard drive, the singer hooked up with the L.A. musical collective Odd Future, then broke ranks with Def Jam and released the album as a free download in early 2011.

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