As a collective, Odd Future has evolved into something much more than just your average rap crew. They’re producers, TV showrunners and actors, clothing designers, photographers, hell, even carnival organizers. Now, OF leader Tyler, The Creator ventures into the world of animation with help from Fox’s Animation Domination High-Def unit with a short called “Five Things You Don’t Know About Me.”
3. Here’s an 11-second preview of the full animated short, which will premiere here on BuzzFeed this Friday.
When he’s bored and not doing a million and a half of the other things he’s involved in, Tyler often finds himself hanging out in the Fox ADHD offices with its head, Nick Weidenfeld, shooting the shit and spewing out ideas that beg to be recorded. Weidenfeld, formerly a development exec at Adult Swim and an executive producer of OF’s show Loiter Squad, says one day, one of Tyler’s riffs became an idea for an animated short.
“He made some joke about how he likes to put all his chains on when he brushes his teeth, and we were just talking about shorts and I was like, ‘Oh, let’s go in the booth and just tell me five other things you wouldn’t know about… or let’s just talk about all the other things you wouldn’t know about yourself,’” Weidenfeld remembers.
What resulted was a hilarious, very Tyler, and very vivid list of things. “He just sort of talks like that all the time and no one ever really records it,” Weidenfeld says. “It also feels like it’s animatable because he’s also giving you very visual things.”
Tumblr-famous artist Henry the Worst, who currently creates daily animated news GIFs for ADHD, brought Tyler’s voice and ideas to life. His aesthetic lent itself very well to illustrating the inside of the rapper’s mind, and though the two have never met, they also share a similar artistic sensibility.
“I kind of understand where he comes from a bit, which sounds weird,” Henry says of Tyler. “I watched Loiter Squad, and I know he’s loud and brash and all that stuff in public, but I really find him intelligent. If you see his videos, and you listen to his albums, he knows what he’s doing.” Like Tyler, who, for all of his loud personality, is often a self-described introvert, Henry also uses his art as his outlet to go crazy.
“I’m pretty much an introvert and I’m more of an extrovert in my work,” he says. “And outside, after I’m done with it, I’m really to myself.”
And as for animating Tyler, Henry — for whom this is his first real animation — says it wasn’t too much of a challenge. “You already know he’s a wild character in general, so it sort of made it a bit easier to be super expressive and go crazy with the actions and the story,” he says. “The script itself was already funny, so it made everything a little bit easier.”
While on the phone with Weidenfeld for our interview, Tyler texted his first reaction upon seeing the full short: “Whoa, that’s so nasty,” which is pretty much the highest compliment coming from Tyler.