MellowHype, BlackenedWhite

Christopher R. Weingarten

By Christopher R. Weingarten

on 07.12.11 in Reviews



The second commercial release from the Odd Future collective is everything that makes these hip-hop snot-rocketeers notorious: obsessed with distortion, offensive as Internet trolls (unfortunately, their casual homophobia is indeed on display), and manically gifted when it comes to jackhammer assonance (“Obligations taking placement in the basement of hatred where Satan’s waitin’”). But OFWGKTA members Left Brain and Hodgy Beats stand out from their crew with a deep, moody love of murk, leaning more towards candlelit Three 6 Mafia creep-outs and bleary Houston screw ooze; not to mention textures reminiscent of industrial, goth, witch house and pure noise. Naturally, a free digital version of BlackenedWhite was originally released on Halloween. This Fat Possum re-release is missing a few key tracks, but it’s deftly remastered so that the bass is crisper and the scuzz is skuzzier — so, even if you copped the original download, the expansive sound is worth a re-up.

Odd Future members stand out from their crew

When they rap about late nights burning weed and drinking Hennessey, the synths actually sound tipsy and woozy, a nauseous crawl like Wiz Khalifa having fever dreams. Conversely, when they’re “a level past piss-off,” it’s Waka Flocka Punk, gunshots and orchestra stabs blasting holes at a harrowing 113 beats per minute. Their most memorable material, however, is the double shot of “Deaddeputy” and “F666 The Police,” two headbanging, M.D.C.-style tantrums about the boys in blue — though it’s intentionally left unclear if MellowHype actually relate to the violent revenge fantasies of songs like the Geto Boys’ “Crooked Officer” or just think it would be funny to attempt a “Cop Killer”-style shitstorm.