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Review: Radical by Odd Future


This is the second official group release by the thrasher rap collective known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, a mixtape called “Radical” filled with a lot of brag tracks and some experimentation with mixing. This mixtape came out on May 7th, 2010 for free download worldwide. (Link to download this mixtape from DatPiff)

The introduction to the album is a circus / sideshow style listing of the Odd Future roster, while screams and random sounds go off in the background. Not much to say about the intro, it’s pretty ridiculous and like most of OFWGKTA‘s music it seems like it was done in one or two takes at the very most.


“Splatter”Tyler the Creator starts out the album with a pretty tight verse in terms of technique and composure, despite sounding really hateful and angry. The instrumental is “Skrung Owt” by Fam-Lay and lends itself really well to the spiteful attitude of the lyrics. Lots of overtly sexual lyrics as well, almost as if to break the ice and let people know what sort of album this is going to be. Offensive to the easily offended, and totally vulgar the entire time.

“Turnt Down” – Using the instrumental version of “All The Way Turnt Up” by Roscoe Dash, Hodgy Beats‘ voice is pitched way down for this track. His verses sound pretty stereotypical like he’s going for parody, but it actually ends up being extremely catchy even if it’s low-brow. I actually had a tough time telling who it was rapping because the voice is so affected by the pitch adjustment. Mixing on this track is pretty rough, probably due to the lowering of Hodgy’s vocals.

“Drop”Earl Sweatshirt starts the track by saying how no one has done justice to the instrumental “Drop” by Rich Boy, and proceeds to kill his verses with great coherency. My favorite aspects of this kid’s flow are present here. He’s able to maintain this bravado despite sounding, honestly, like a really young kid. This song goes to show that you don’t have to rap very fast at all to leave a good impression on the listener. This one sounds really modern, and surprisingly fresh for something released in 2010.

“Salute”Domo Genesis raps over the instrumental from “Mafia Music” by Rick Ross in the fourth track on the mixtape. He sounds a lot more seasoned than most of the other rappers in Odd Future, leaving very little to be desired when it comes to flow and wordplay. Mixing on this track is really great, lots of double-ups and vocal stabs added in. This one almost sounds professionally mastered when put up next to tracks on their later stuff. The song ends out with some clever last-minute plugs for another mixtape.


“Everything That’s Yours” – This song starts out with Mike G rapping over “The Panties” by Mos Def. The beat drops relatively late into his first verse, bringing the whole thing together with a nice level of thickness and saturation. This track is definitely mixed a little differently than the others, showcasing the tone of this guy’s voice more than anything. The lyrics are basically all about girls, clothes and weed, but this guy does have a great flow and consistency to boot.

“Blade”Earl Sweatshirt busts into this track full force, sounding really powerful. You figure this would be one of those songs they’d spend forever on and really make sure it sounds great on the mixtape, and for as long as it lasts it feels that way. But the problem is it cuts out completely after less than two minutes for a somewhat weak comedy sketch. That was honestly the first big let-down of the mixtape, what happened to the other two thirds of the song? The instrumental used was “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Me” by Terror Squad.

“Double Cheeseburger” – Using the instrumental version of “Fat Raps” by Chip tha Ripper, Tyler the Creator and Domo Genesis perform the first collaboration of the mixtape. Domo starts the song out with an awesome nod to the Sega Genesis, and suddenly the beat drops out before Tyler’s verse begins. Both of their verses are really well put together and clever, as well as being a fairly well mixed track this one isn’t too bad. Jasper starts a verse before it cuts off abruptly, and Tyler tells him to never rap again in the background.


“Round and Round”Hodgy Beats, Mike G and Jasper collaborate over the instrumental version of “Round and Round” by Jonell. This song has a really goofy theme of taking a girl out to a cheap fast food restaurant after getting stoned, so you can’t expect total seriousness out of the lyrics. But it almost sounds like that song “Ice Cream” by Wu Tang Clan, clever and silly but easy to believe… That is until Jasper steps in and fumbles over really simple, shitty lyrics, sort of ruining the track for me.

“Ugly Girls” – This one is… Weird as shit. So wait… Am I still listening to that mixtape? I thought I was listening to a rap mixtape…? Weird senses of humor over at Odd Future, using the instrumental “Shower Party” by James Pants, Tyler the Creator sings a short ballad to “all the ugly girls in the audience”. Funny in a “why is this on the final version of the album” sort of way. I guess?

“Orange Juice”Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler the Creator collaborate together on a traditional back and forth brag track. This one sounds classic, using a much more bass-heavy version of the instrumental “Lemonade” by Gucci Mane. This track is extremely catchy and mixed decently, definitely a great middle point for the release to keep the listener interested. You wouldn’t think rap could sound this good over a beat meant for Gucci Mane, but apparently these guys can pull it off. Tyler sounds really good without all of the effects that normally cramp up his voice, and Earl delivers some awesome, memorable lines.

“Cool”Mike G and Earl Sweatshirt share a collaboration over Ty Scott’s instrumental “Cool” in this track. This one starts out with Earl Sweatshirt sounding almost tipsy and very quietly delivering his verses with competence and diction. Mike G’s verses are good as well, and the mixing is much easier to comprehend everything that’s being said than on some tracks. The track is fairly short, not taking up a lot of space on the mixtape but it’s definitely a good one for what it’s worth.

“Oblivion” – This track samples “I promise I Lied” by James Pants, but honestly it doesn’t really fit here. It’s an alright beat, but there’s something about the delivery of Tyler’s lines or the mixing of his voice that sounds way too spacey and drowned out in reverberation. I’d enjoy this track a lot more over an entirely different beat, so I can actually decipher the lyrics without having to look them up online. At most points when Tyler the Creator raps with other members of Odd Future, they throw a large amount of reverb on his voice and it really bugs me sometimes. It makes his verses stick out like a sore thumb, there’s not a clean overlap of vocals when it switches from rapper to rapper because of all this reverb.

“Alright” – This song is a really somber sounding one for the attitude of the mixtape so far, if there’s even supposed to be a pattern. From what I’ve noticed, most of the tracks have been either brag-tracks or totally off-the-wall horrorcore-esque stuff. Hodgy Beats raps over the instrumental version of “Alright” by Memphis Bleek in this track, sounding very old school in tone and content. This sounds like classic hip hop, and if I could steer Odd Future in a certain direction it would be in the direction of tracks like this and “Orange Juice”.

“Leather Head” – This sounds like a bad remix made in FL Studio, with the entirely wrong beat for a supposedly Hip Hop mixtape. Some of it doesn’t even sound on tempo, with a lot of raw static and choppiness all over the place. The mixing is just not right, there’s barely a song here to review because it’s been strangled to death by the instrumental. Sampling can work right, and I can see why these guys decided to stray away from it in later releases because this time it didn’t work. Not my favorite track.

“Up”Tyler the Creator raps over the instrumental version of “Up” by Wiz Khalifa in this track, taking up the second longest spot on the mixtape with verses from Domo Genesis and Hodgy Beats as well. This song is very airy and kind of contradictory to a lot of their super angry stuff. Tyler the Creator goes on to say he doesn’t smoke weed, despite having said he ashes blunts in “Sandwitches”. This one drags on for quite a while, and it doesn’t really seem like their forte.

“Swag Me Out” – Whereas the rest of the mixtape seems like an attempt to be taken more seriously as individual rappers, this one features verses from Jasper, Left Brain, Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Mike G and even Taco. The mixing is alright, very over-corrected at times with different effects and levels on everyone’s voices which is a little bit distracting. Tyler’s got a whole ton of reverb that no one else has, and every time anyone says a word the beat is drowned out like Howard Stern speaking over annoying callers. Everyone has pretty decent verses actually and the song sounds right using the instrumental of “Not A Stain On Me” by Big Tuck, but they could have done a little bit more mixing. It ends off with the chorus looping back to an annoying extent, and then the mixtape is officially over.

Thoughts on “Radical”

Being their second release as a group, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All didn’t really bring a lot of surprises to the table this time around. If you’ve heard almost anything they’ve released at any point in their career, it wouldn’t sound too far off from belonging on this mixtape. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel like they’re trying very hard to be strange and out there, when they would be so well-received as a classic-style hip hop collective like Wu Tang Clan or Jurassic Five. They’ve said in interviews that they want to be their own thing, saying verbatim “We’re not fucking Wu Tang“… Well you don’t want to be I.C.P. do you?

If these guys take the time to study the culture they’ve been suddenly injected into, they’ll realize they don’t have to cater only to fans to be successful. Just because someone told you at some point down the line that “this beat is dope, don’t change a thing” doesn’t mean you’re being untrue to your craft by fixing things that sound off. Seriously I’m dumfounded at some of the mixing on this release, definitely some of their best and worst. I enjoyed the thought-provoking stuff and clever wordplay here and there, but as it stands this feels incomplete and rushed to me. Not their best by any means, but still not entirely awful.

Categorized as: Music Reviews | Written Reviews

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