Last Thursday's Odd Future Wolf Gang show must have been a surreal experience for hip-hop heads in attendance. Most hip-hop shows demand little more of you than some head nodding and some bouncing or waving of arms in the air. At some point, rappers will engage in a call-and-response routine, e.g., "When I say, 'Hey!' you say, 'Ho!' " Rinse and repeat.
At the OF show, head nodding and arm waving gave way to moshing, shoving and relentless jockeying for position to get to the front. Hey's and ho's became sincerely affectionate screams of "F--- Odd Future!" Fans helped each other climb up on top of the high beams above the crowd before any Odd Future members could even think to. Sweat mixed with oxygen to drench shirts and hoodies. Threats perpetually teetered on the edge of becoming fights. A girl kissed the feet of OF's leader, Tyler, The Creator. Oh, yeah: Odd Future happened to perform, too.
Odd Future has reached a special place where they have actually become bigger than themselves. It doesn't really matter what they do, because this phenomenon has grown bigger than them. "It," whatever "it" is, is too important to Odd Future fans for the fans to let go of. So whether OF performs Tyler's near-perfect "Yonkers" or the god-awful "B---- Suck D---," whether they're leading chants of "Kill people! Burn s---! F--- school!" or stumbling over double-time raps, whether they're MC'ing or just creating unfocused, unguided chaos, it doesn't matter. The Odd Future experience encompasses not just Tyler and the gang but also their dedicated, aggressive fans relishing literal blood, sweat and tears that spray out in the midst of rocking out. They are as much apart of Odd Future Wolf Gang as the young Odd Future kids themselves.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog SD Raps.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by following him on Twitter or e-mailing him directly.