Tyler, the Creator
Tyler, the Creator
Photo by Mark Peckmezian

Is This the End for Odd Future?

[Update, May 28, 2015, 9:38 a.m.: Tyler has now posted a second tweet denying that Odd Future is breaking up. See below for details.]

Last night, a somewhat cryptic tweet from Tyler, the Creator appeared to signify the end of Los Angeles rap collective Odd Future. After posting a series of somber, sentimental tweets reflecting on what the members were up to five years ago, Tyler tweeted, “although its no more, those 7 letters are forever.”

Granted, Tyler loves to troll fans and news outlets alike, so there’s always the possibility that this is just another in a career-long series of psych-outs. Optimistic, diehard fans believe this to be the case, noting that Tyler has alluded to the group breaking up in the past and that the wording of the tweet could mean that Tyler will just point out later that there’s seven letters in “forever.”

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But more likely, those seven letters are OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, the group's full name) and Tyler is just quietly putting speculation about the group to rest. The past year has seen many signs of the crew going their separate ways, with member Frank Ocean leaving his management, members objecting to Odd Future merchandise that Tyler released without their consent, and Hodgy Beats getting his Mellowhigh tattoo covered up. A few members have even said in interviews that the idea of them being a super tight circle of friends who hang out all the time is the biggest misconception there is about the group.

Even if this is the end, looking back at Odd Future’s five-year run as a full-fledged phenomenon is something really special, and has had a huge impact on music in this decade. Breaking in 2010, right around the same time as Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame, Odd Future's rise showed a shift in hip-hop from the overproduced Auto-Tune era to a much more visceral sound.

But like all major hip-hop revolutions, Odd Future was a youth movement. Given how much most people change from ages 19 to 24, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the group's members' goals might have changed and friendships might have drifted in different directions. With collaborations between members becoming less and less frequent (Tyler and Earl each had only one Odd Future member guesting on their most recent albums) it has been clear to those following the group that the crew weren’t as united as they once were.

There’s no word yet as to what this might mean for Odd Future Records. If this is all another giant Tyler prank — or if we can confirm that it's for real — we’ll let you know.

Update: At about 8:30 a.m. this morning (Thursday, May 28), Tyler posted a second tweet claiming that he was just "looking at old photos with friends and thinking about how time flies" and never meant to suggest OFWGKTA was breaking up. So maybe this whole thing was just us media folks freaking out over nothing. Not like that's never happened before.

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