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Tyler The Creator (Odd Future) review @ The Hi-Fi, Brisbane 5/6/2011

Words by Scenewave Oz - Published on June 6, 2011

From Boy & Bear on Saturday night at the Hi-Fi in Brisbane’s inner city suburb of West End, to Tyler The Creator and his controversial Odd Future collective on Sunday night, the juxtaposition couldn’t have been more extreme. The stirring vocal harmonies of Boy & Bear had been replaced by the energy, aggression and swagger of raps newest kids on the block: OFWGKTA.

The dexterous DJ Sampology intro-ed the evening with a mash-up mixture of R’n’B beats, old school tracks and a healthy dose of impromptu scratching, only interspersed by the crowds incessant chant of “Wolf Gang, Wolf Gang, Wolf Gang!”

Syd the Kid was first to appear, showing respect to Sampology with a token handshake, before ensuring his her equipment was set up and ready for the beat to drop. Her appearance sparked further cheers from the crowd as the repetitive ‘Wolf Gang’ chant grew louder.

After being slightly amused by Syd’s awkward dance moves, Tyler the Creator’s voice echoed over the speakers, inciting further chants. Tyler put paid to the increasing crowd noise with a simple “shut up!”

Hodgy Beat’s voice followed soon after and just when the crowd couldn’t contain their growing anticipation, Syd hit the play button on “Sandwiches” after Tyler led the crowd into the first chorus: “who the fuck invited Mr. I don’t give a fuck? Who cries about his daddy in a bar because his music sucks!”

Their enthusiasm was incredible, the crowd feeding off Tyler’s exuberance as he raced back and forth across stage, his face covered by a green balaclava.

Just as arguably Odd Future’s most famous track reached a lull, Tyler slipped off his shoes, flicked them back to Syd, before literally launching a solid 10 feet into the crowd to kick off the chant the crowd had been waiting for. “Wolf Gang, Wolf Gang, Golf Wang…”

Emerging from the sea of fans, Tyler replaced the balaclava with his trademark Supreme cap.

Tyler was in is element.

After the skills laid down by Sampology, Syd’s appearance looked token at best. She even manged to miscue the start of “Goblin” after Tyler dimmed the lights to red and looked set to really work the crowd in anticipation. The beat dropped early to Tyler’s disgust, letting Syd know about it with a series of expletives.

Hodgy showcased his talent with some slick verses delivered with confidence and authority. Along with Tyler and Mike G, the trio stood out amongst the collective. Tyler’s charisma is undeniable, contorting his face in unimaginable ways to enhance the expressive nature of his dark lyrical content, centred around theme’s of rape, murder and homophobia.

His detractors fail to realise this is all an act. It’s art. It’s a show, a character, a persona Tyler adopts to venture forth into these dark places to express his alter-ego’s confronting nihilistic values and depraved theme’s we’re not all comfortable sharing.

Taking a short break between tracks, Tyler pointed out the fact that the majority of the crowd was white, giving a shout-out to the black guys in the audience with a sarcastic, “there’s one! There’s another one! Hang on I think I see three!”

Tyler’s sense of humour permeated the show, cutting through the vulgar content of his lyrics to reveal a kid barely out of his teens who’s living large on this ride to the top and his strive for “greatness”. While he likes to makes it clear to everyone he doesn’t give a fuck, that’s precisely the attitude he does give a fuck about. It might sound like an oxymoron, but Tyler knows what he’s doing every step of the way.

It’s a veil which Tyler can hide behind on stage, while being open, honest and intelligent in interviews. The persona he’s crafted, the character he’s created gives him the creative freedom he craves, allowing him to go places lyrically others dare not tread.

Were you at the show? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!

Fan footage from the show


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