By: Reilly McGale
I wake up in our world today with the same somber feeling as any, but I am experiencing a great deal of ambition for one reason… A group of Southern California skateboarders who’s repackaged brand of demonstrative hip hop stylings Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, have just received a one album deal with the widely respected independent UK record label XL Recordings. This is a wonderful accomplishment for anyone with musical aspirations, to step up to the plate after only a year and some change and get sign a contract with the same group that represents both the legendary Radiohead and The White Stripes. The other shocking detail is that the ages of these newly breaking artists ranges from 16 (Earl Sweatshirt) to the oldest member being 19 (Tyler the Creator). This instance is nothing new to the hip hop community, who’ve seen artists like Bow Wow and Lil’ Wayne sprout up and eventually make it to notoriety on their “friends and family’s” record labels.
This recent contract was proposed during a bitter bidding war between record labels one of which was Interscope Records who was willing to pay almost double what they were offered from the company they actually signed with, but were unwilling to accept this offer because it didn’t allow the artists’ creative control. The notion that a completely fresh, new artists could leverage a deal like that is extremely rare and hasn’t, and can be attributed to the latest post to their youtube account on February 10th.
This music video by lead producer of the group Tyler, the Creator, while refusing to apologize for its ignorance, has caused the masses as well as many “important” people to greatly take notice to the music that seems to be what they use as an outlet to express their manic depressive poetry. This video, directed and performed by Tyler, received over 3 hundred thousand views within the first week and has now reached over a million. Another important statistic is that it was the most posted video on Facebook in the middle of the second week after it was out. Which gives us a surprising phenomenon with the gaining popularity of these social networking sites, it brings up the question, “What is the collective representation of you online? What little bits of information are you providing potentially for the entire world to log on and learn?”
With this “Yonkers” by Tyler, The Creator, the volume of people that are reposting it and linking it to their social networking couldn’t possibly want you to think they are into eating cockroaches and wish to hang themselves like in the music video. So why is it that people are wanting other people to receive this information from them? It appears that through their online profile information they are creating some sort of story, a narrative of their life. People are expecting for them to act in real life in the way that the media they post should reflect some aspect of them in their physical “live” personality.
This recent performance by two members of “Odd Future” displays the group’s attitude towards their recent success and shows their enthusiasm for the opportunities and faith people have put in them. If the people that “spread the word” about this upcoming artist are the sole reason that it’s gaining notoriety how can we all cash-in on the internet windfall? The free advertisement artists are receiving on these sites is ultimately allowing them to continue through the funding they receive from who they represent.
If the internet is offering a chance to be famous, my brother Garrett is worth representing on your online persona, in this skateboarding short made by my brother and his friends at Funk Factory Films.