Hip-hop's most talked about new collective has reportedly found a home, and it may well be one they built themselves. According to reports, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All are set to ink a distribution deal with RED/Sony Music Entertainment that will allow them to establish their own record label.
In a statement about the pending deal to Rap Radar, the group's manager, Chris Clancy, stressed the group's independence: "It's based on getting the distribution deal we've always envisioned that allows the group to 'sign themselves' to their own company and keep their masters. They will have 100 percent creative control of all aspects of their music, art and release schedule, with no third-party participation in outside business."
A spokesman for Red Music, a distribution and artist development company owned by Sony, declined to comment on the deal as an agreement had not yet been signed. Clancy's statement said the goal of the negotiations was to establish creative control: "Freedom and ownership was the whole point. Red and Sony know that its in everyone's best interest to maintain the group's authenticity and control. They built it, they deserve it. There's no cheesy hooks or fluorescent liquor product placements in the works. It's about to be fun...and different," he said.
Odd Future, the sprawling, youthful collective of skateboarders and misfits from Los Angeles, have experienced a meteoric rise in popularity since they started generating buzz on the Internet last fall. The crew garnered the attention of influential online publications due to their violent and disturbing music videos and equally graphic lyrics, many of which were openly confrontational toward celebrities and other rappers.
In February, the group crashed the national stage with a viral television debut on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, in which leader Tyler the Creator donned a ski mask marked with an upside-down cross and leaped onto Fallon's back. Since then, the group has earned a reputation for raucus live shows, several of which took place during the SXSW music conference in March.
On Twitter, Tyler has been coy about the deal, offering hints, but remaining typically defiant. "Odd Future... Records? Maybe." he tweeted last night. Speaking on what such a record label might be like, he went on. "Funny thing is, we won't sign people like a record label. Same people, same shit, all in house."
Whatever deal has been reached, it was apparently enough to make the 19-year-old rapper proud: "Odd Future was just another one of my random ideas when I was 15. Now look."
(Photo: Frank Micelotta/PictureGroup)