Odd Future have put out another mixtape. Despite its problems maintaining consistency, there’s some quality hip-hop on here, and the tape does a great job showing that Tyler and Earl are from from the only thing OF has to offer.
Beats are the foundation of a good tape, and the ones on here are inconsistent. “We Got Bitches” falls flat after its promising intro with some overused hi-hat. These guys do best when they’re making gnarly, evil sounds, and The OF Tape Volume 2 is sadly short on these types of beats. “Hcapd” is an exception, with some eerie synths and a heavy horn line, and “Sam (Is Dead)” uses similar elements with equally positive results. And Domo is correct when he says “this beat is fuckin’ perfect” at the beginning of the track “Doms.” Outside of these, though, most of the beats are average at best, and some dip into bad territory.
That said, the primary members’ flows have progressed miles since the last collaborative OF mixtape Radical. Hodgy and Domo in particular are absolutely on fire. They both killed it on their own records last year and they sound like seasoned vets now, with technical skills and wordplay rivaling and sometimes surpassing Earl Sweatshirt’s old material. Hodgy finds his niche as a lunatic spitting shotgun blasts of rage, while Domo continues to perfect the laid-back stoner sound showcased on last year’s Under the Influence. Together, they’re the highlights of the tape.
As for the rest of the crew, results are mixed. Frank Ocean’s voice is silky smooth, easily a highlight of the tape, although his sincere style contrasts poorly with the rest of the group’s brag/shock schtick, and the beats don’t always allow him to shine outside of the good-but-not-great track “White.” The Internet continue to be unimpressive and rather boring. Left Brain’s few appearances are enjoyable enough, but also fail to make much of an impression. Jasper and Taco serve their purpose as comic relief, but they’re capable of bringing down potentially god tracks (I’m looking at “We Got Bitches). Tyler’s up to his old tricks, which is fine, although it’s starting to get tired. He drops shock lines about things like Casey Anthony, even though that ground has already been covered in better fashion by Childish Gambino. While Tyler isn’t completely worn out, he’s going to need to figure out some new tricks if he wants the upcoming Wolf to avoid being a bore.
The mixtape is enjoyable enough for what it is. For those hoping for a big change from OF, don’t bother, because this is largely more of the same, albeit slightly toned-down. There are hits and there are missteps as is the case with any OF release. Odd Future have shown that they’re not out of gas, but they have left me wondering how much is left in the tank.