When you think back to the third-wave Odd Future hype cycle—the one where everybody started to catch on to what this Odd Future thing was, post-Fallon performance—I realized that there wasn’t really that much of a payoff involved in asking* that Odd Future’s place in discussions about misogyny and homophobia and supposedly “reckless” art be considered with any degree of nuance. Those requests were shouted down pretty quickly, as The Internet’s want to do to nuance.
[Typical Reactions: 1. “Why must Foster Kamer exist?" 2. “Either be a sensitive artist or a gleeful dick, but, please…don’t be both.” To be fair, (A) I reconsidered and dialed back my initial position on Odd Future, but not before (B) reaching a certain degree of frustration, I just resorted to trolling some of those people—who, as usually is the case, are the type who are easily instigated—only one of which makes me just as bad. So it goes.]
Besides all of the wonderful things that will come out of Frank Ocean’s “outing” himself—or whathaveyou—the idea that labeling Odd Future as a homophobic collective just became more complex and frustrating to people who are fans of oversimplifying complex issues as a matter of making an argument (but really: jumping onto whatever outrage bandwagon is getting “liked” on Tumblr more than others on any particular week) is also a particularly delightful one. The world needs more nuance. It needs to frustrate our most simple thinkers (who have the loudest, angriest voices, as is often the case). And those people should be upset more often, and more often they should be upset by evolving realities like this one: That, in the entirety of rap—or hip hop as a culture—Odd Future has had the most success commensurate with the fact that their DJ is a gay woman, and their most arguably famous member is a bisexual man, while also being one of the most maligned groups for their ostensibly homophobic and misogynistic music. That’s a reality worth savoring.
*Which goes without saying: It wasn’t an impossible task, as some thanklessly proved to a few people, some time before the rest of the ones who should’ve read that had ever heard of Odd Future, anyway.