I ’d like to take a bit of time out of your normal The Daily Aztec experience to talk about a little rap collective called Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All and its ringleader’s newest release titled “Goblin.” The only way I have been able to describe the sound to people who have been living under a rock in concerns to hip-hop is it’s what “The Slim Shady LP”-era Eminem would write if he actually wanted to shock and offend people.
“Goblin” is terrifying and liberating. There is a reason why horror movies are so popular, why daytime television airs serial killer documentaries and why metal is quickly becoming one of the most popular sub-genres of rock around. In our PC oriented, buttoned-down culture, people go day in and day out pretending there aren’t things bothering them. “How are you doing?” “Good.” I cringe at the thought of asking Tyler’s alter-ego Wolf Haley that question — and that’s a good thing.
The entire album borrows the frame from Tyler’s last release where he vents to his in-way-over-his-head therapist, who acts as a conscience to Tyler’s guilt-riddled mind. This album is not really for anyone who doesn’t want to delve into that dark side of humanity. Those who will take what Tyler says at face value will likely be picketing and whining, but will have obviously missed the joke. Tyler is smart and articulate enough with his lyrics that it quickly becomes apparent he is well-aware quite a few people will be offended by his graphic descriptions of raping women, killing people and generally acting like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.”
When read with this lens one can’t help but gleefully laugh at the snarling chorus of “Radicals” that goes “Kill people, burn s—-, f—- school / I’m f——- radical.” The song can be read on two different levels of meaning. The first begins with the silly disclaimer that starts the song with a singing of “Random disclaimer” followed by Tyler saying “Don’t do anything that I say in this song, OK? It’s f——— fiction. If anything happens don’t f——- blame me white America. F—- Bill O’Reilly.”
Who is not going to get behind a message like that? But the second level occurs after you get sucked into the anarchic glee of the song as there are only so many times you can scream “I’m f——- radical!” before you start believing it.
The song epitomizes the record as a schizophrenic joyride that swings between the macabre “Tron Cat” and the love-struck innocent “Her.” It’s all just a stream of consciousness, a no-filter slog through the depths of a very conflicted human being. Tyler peels back layers of his personality for the listener, making it difficult not to empathize as we all get the short end of the human condition. The album isn’t without flaws; its excessive length is questionable and the chorus for “She” feels forced and somewhat amateurish.
But songs such as “Yonkers” and “Sandwitches” speak for themselves. These are little gems that are so catchy and just plain brilliant that it is impossible not to be completely hooked. Odd Future is unafraid to say things such as “God is the cancer,” as atheism is generally something that exists outside of the realm of mainstream hip-hop. But now that Wolf Gang is rubbing elbows with the cute industry golden boy Wiz Khalifa, it feels free to call out “F—- Rolling Papers!” As “Sandwitches” states “The Golf Wang hooligans is f——— up the school again and showing you and yours that breaking rules is f——— cool again.” If you aren’t calling out “WOLF GANG” by the end of the album, watch Odd Future’s performance on Jimmy Fallon and stop taking life so seriously; no one gets out alive anyway.
—Drew Scoggins is an English junior
—The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.