I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the upstart Los Angeles-based rap crew, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.  Despite their spot-on beat selection that makes me want to nod my head, I just can’t rock with Odd Future for the same reason I can’t get into Eminem—the blatant woman-hating lyrics are just too much.

All of the bass in the world can’t make me overlook lyrics like, “We go skate, rape sluts, and eat donuts from Randy’s” or “George inside the storage if you wanna take a look/But keep your motherfuckin’ daughter’s mouth shushed boy/Lookin’ for them white sluts who good at suckin’ cat/Wolf dick black as nigga riders from the fat black bitches/Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All don’t give a fuck.”

Yeah…just not my cup of tea.

Despite being utterly repulsed by Odd Future, and its teenage front-man Tyler the Creator, mainstream music writers (mostly white men) love these dudes. I had a hard time grasping why anyone thought this group—with their extremely violent, over the top, yet amazingly simple rhymes—was hip-hop’s future. And yet they were hailed by everyone from XXL and the New York Times to the Village Voice and Rolling Stone, and I still didn’t get it.

My girl Renina also wondered the same thing in her piece, “On White Men and Their Fascination With Odd Future.” In it she took a look at the Village Voice piece about the crew and concluded that Odd Future’s fans feel empowered, they feel like “bad muthfuckas” just by listening to their depraved lyrics.

I mean, I get it. We all listen to music for different reasons. Sometime it’s to be inspired, but often times it’s to get amped up. That’s one reason anthems like “All We Do Is Win” or “Go Getter” become hits—people want to feel powerful. But when does it cross the line?

How does the need to feel powerful translate into the need to dominate, rape, or kill women? What part of the game is that?

Recently, Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan wrote about Odd Future’s appeal and how some women are fighting back against their hate-filled lyrics. She rightly concludes that their appeal—the “I don’t give a fuck” attitude they proudly wear—is nothing new. Rappers and rockers have been spewing misogynistic lyrics for years (uh, “Bitches Ain’t Shit” anyone?), so why is Odd Future being hailed as the second coming?

Ryan lays the blame at the feet of music journalists who have fed the Odd Future frenzy and listeners who continue to buy into the bullshit.

She writes:

Why do we keep falling for this old, tired trap? What sort of bizarre cultural amnesia infects us so that we forget every two years that someone literally just wrote a hit song about beating up a woman? Most people wouldn’t defend the music of a white power group or someone who sang about raping little boys, and even Eminem got in trouble for his homophobic lyrics.

What does it say about our society that women and the feminine are the last acceptable target group for overt hate in popular music?

Indeed, why do we keep falling for it?

For every woman questioning the lyrics of artists like Odd Future (or Lil’ Wayne) you have two more co-signing their “dopeness.” Can we really be critical of the message some artists put out if there are people—men AND women—who support them?

I admit, I’m also guilty. Every time “Ain’t No Fun” comes on, you will probably find me singing along. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve realized just how shady (for lack of a better word) and anti-woman that song is, but still, I can’t help BUT sing along with Nate as he reminisces about never loving hoes (because he ain’t talking about me, right?)

We can complain about misogyny in hip-hop all day, every day, but if we’re bumping these songs in our iPods or dancing to them when they come on in the club, who’s fault is it really—the artists or the fans?

Let’s talk about it!

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  • Angie

    “We go skate, rape sluts, and eat donuts from Randy’s” or “George inside the storage if you wanna take a look/But keep your motherfuckin’ daughter’s mouth shushed boy/Lookin’ for them white sluts who good at suckin’ cat/Wolf dick black as nigga riders from the fat black bitches/Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All don’t give a fuck.”

    Never even heard of them or this garbage. What does this even meann? Who has this much vile and poison in their heart? Sad and disgusting. But as the O’Jays said “For the love of money….”

  • Ann

    Everyone can’t do what someone else does. Many are imitated but never duplicated. There is a fine line between admiration and obsession to the point of trying to be someone else because who they are and what they do works for them. I came up when Pac & Biggie & Snoop were hot. I have to admit I liked the music & the rhymes were tight but it broke my heart when the men that I had so much love, admiration, and respect for, the type of men that I would want to be my husband, and the father of my children, the black men, started calling me out of my name for no apparent reason other than to imitate what I thought we all listened to purely for entertainment. They need to put on the albums just like they do on television for wrestling and stunts DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME OR IN REAL LIFE SITUATIONS. SIDE EFFECTS ARE BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS, BROKEN HOMES, AND BROKEN COMMUNITIES!

  • Wello

    misogyny is social problem involving everyone
    everybody contributes to the culture of misogyny in different ways but to change a misogynistic culture everyone has to change.
    rap does help perpetuate misogyny though but its a wider problem with society that manifest it self in different ways in different locations and sub- sections of society.

    many people either think misogyny and woman hating isn’t a problem or that its the truth and “b*tches need to act right” or whatever, which only helps to feed the fire to keep misogyny burning but people want change without changing. when people do speak up about the different ways misogyny manifest their claims are dismissed or made to seem less urgent. things like saying its not as bad as before or be thankful you have more than women of yesteryear so hush.

  • COCO

    I blame the public. They only put out what you want to hear. Not only that, you purchase the crap. I havent bought an album since Kanye’s last album. Granted he is kinda crazy but the rest get a big no. Now, I’ll buy an Outcast, Drake,Naz,and Common but the rest are doing way too much. They are rapping about lives they have never had.Most of these rappers have never see no streets. Not only that, the raps are all the same.How many times can you rap about women,cars,watches,smoking, and dope? I mean really at 40yrs old this is what your album centers around? We except it, so this is what we get.

  • I seriously don’t know where the breakdown happened and how these things became acceptable. I’ve personally blamed radio for years for slowly but surely pushing the envelope with what they will play. Remember radio edits? Not the ones with the bleeped out words but different lyrics to replace the profane ones? What happened to those? *Sigh* anyway at the end of the day, I think it’s the listeners fault. It’s the buyers fault. They put it out simply because they believe people will buy it and they are.