Hodgy makes good use of his chance to shine
Being in a group alongside a personality as big and obnoxious as Tyler, The Creator, it’s somewhat inevitable you’ll end up playing second fiddle. But to find yourself in the shadow of the crew’s enfant terrible, Earl Sweatshirt – who’s made more appearances as a missing person on the side of milk cartons than he has making music these last 18 months – must be doubly galling. That’s the deal with Hodgy Beats. But what Hodgy lacks in blog currency, he makes up for in consistency, being something of a lyrical anchor in Odd Future’s chaotic group outings.
On this eight-track EP, available as a free download from Odd Future’s website, Hodgy’s making good use of his chance to shine. Breaking away from the raw, punchline-littered bars he’s been associated with as a member of OFWGKTA and MellowHype, on ‘Untitled’ he’s experimenting with a sound that’s gloriously laid back, steeped in woozy vintage soul. As with Syd Tha Kyd’s The Internet project, here Hodgy is looking outside the collective for collaborators, and the results are impressive.
On ‘Bullshittin’’, he rides a beat by Three 6 Mafia’s crunk king Juicy J, spitting with dexterity, even as he hits the beat on double time, while ‘Cookie Coma’ unfurls in a sleepy boom-bap fashion, Hodgy pondering his own mortality (“[i]I’m too legit for life/I should get a grip and die/Fuckin’ take a trip and fly, and never come down[/i]”) and revealing “[i]I’d probably be deceased if it wasn’t for my grandparents…[/i]” The most fruitful hook-up, though, comes in the form of two collaborations with Flying Lotus, ‘Lately’ and ‘Lamented’. Echoing the work of the late Detroit producer J Dilla, their blunted funk and dotty kicks complement Hodgy’s weed fixation nicely.
With another Odd Future release, ‘OF Tape Vol 2’ due to land next week and new single ‘Rella’ drumming up the hype all over again, ‘Untitled’ probably won’t set the world alight. But it’s an accomplished project, resonating with crackly stoner soul and genuinely thoughtful lyrics – and a reminder that far from the teenage Tumblr caricature, Odd Future are still making some of the most exciting, accomplished music of
[i]Jo Fuertes Knight[/i]