Few songs or videos make me as happy as "Oldie," the brilliant posse cut from the L.A. hip hop collective Odd Future. It might seem strange that one of the feel-good songs of the year would come from a group that first became known for surreal raps with lines referencing sexual violence, but even now, eight months after it premiered on the Odd Future YouTube channel, "Oldie" warms my heart. I feel awe for the kids' love and support of each other; pride that they done did it and built something entirely their own, becoming maybe the biggest DIY success story of the century thus far; and jealousy that, no matter what I happen to be doing at the moment, I’m not having nearly as much fun as they are here.
Clocking in at more than 10 minutes, and featuring verses from Tyler, Hodgy, Left Brain, Mike G, Domo, Frank, Jasper and Earl, “Oldie” is the group’s manifesto track, released a year after they burst into the mainstream spotlight, following a memorable Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performance. It's Earl's first time recording with the group since his year-plus stint at a Samoan therapeutic retreat – an "oldie" that throws back to the days when the crew was all together and they were just a bunch of kids messing around.
Here’s why the song and video continue to be utterly awesome:
Earl's getting used to prime time.
Tyler’s complete disregard for the pervy Terry Richardson.
Jasper Dolphin trying to rap.
Frank Ocean gives us both calm and foreshadowing.
Tyler’s epic closing verse.
They’re having a ridiculous amount of fun.
…it’s a reminder that music is supposed to be fun. It’s easy for rappers to get caught up in the game and to take themselves far too seriously, but these guys have proven that you can leave the egos at the door, work hard and create stuff with your friends, support each other, and have a blast doing it.
It's hard not to feel like Odd Future have figured out something the rest of us are still struggling with. Why not pursue your passions? Why not surround yourself with people who inspire you, who push you, who you can be yourself with? Why not have a blast doing the things you do, and not feel like you have to apologize for it?
Life’s short. Good for them.