It was all good just a week five years ago...
Last night, Tyler, The Creator took to Twitter to essentially confirm what everyone's been assuming - that Odd Future is no more.
Those seven letters, OFWGKTA, once symbolized the next big thing in hip-hop. A youthful collective hell-bent on fucking shit up and not caring in the least bit what anyone thought. How could they? They were a sizeable group, yet tight-knit. They were united against the world.
Then, the years went by and careers progressed. As time passed, its members grew further apart and increasingly focused on building personal brands and lanes. Their only album under the Odd Future moniker was released back in 2012, and the most recent albums from two of the group's central figures, Tyler's Cherry Bomb and Earl's I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside, did not include any assistance from fellow OF brethren, save for minor production help by Left Brain on the latter.
Not to mention, its leader had exited the group officially as of last summer:
So, where does this leave us? Well, even if they're no longer together the crew is, for the most part, individually still making music (WHERE ARE YOU FRANK OCEAN!?!?). Even if we don't have another OF Tape on the way we should continue to hear new material from Tyler, Earl, Domo, Hodgy and the rest. Once heralded as the "voice of the youth," it seems that Odd Future has done exactly what said youth does; gets older and more mature, no longer does it see those once-inseperable friends as often as it was done. In the meantime, let's just all watch this and think back to brighter days.
NATHAN S. UPDATE: This morning Tyler once again took to Twitter to clarify that his tweet was prompted more by nostalgia than any official break-up announcement, but then went on to write, "But that elephant [in the room] is big as fuck lets be honest," indicating he's well aware that questions around Odd Future's status are the minds of many, and on his mind too. While it's certainly not the clear cut answer fans want, the best way to look at Odd Future is as a group of people who sometimes do things together and sometimes do things by themselves. Really, that's what they've always been. Although the lines can be blurry, they're far more of a "collective" than a "group." In that sense, it'd be difficult for them to ever really, truly, officially break up. The days of every original member getting on the same album together may be over, but if even some members continue to do shows with each other, continue to support each other, continue to assemble and disassemble around musical projects (like Syd and Matt Martians forming The Internet), Odd Future will live on.
[By Brendan Varan. He still listens to Radical like it's 2010. Follow him on Twitter.]