The Business of Odd Future

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By Will Butler

There’s a dichotomy when it comes to the appeal of OFWGKTA. On one hand you have a complicated network of names, faces, and symbols; converging aesthetics and musical tastes; spastic and divergent creative pursuits; and above all an unparalleled musical output. On the other hand there’s a definite, singular leader, whose bravado often times seems like the most important thing. Tyler, The Creator’s personal life is fascinating (as we’ve seen both on-stage in NYC, in an insightful recent profile by Jeff Weiss, and all over the internet). His music might even be way more complex than we’ve already given him credit for. But there’s more to the equation than that.

Odd Future is a business, and every successful business has at least some kind of business model. Whether they came to it naturally or have plotted it out since day one, this group of L.A. misfits has found a way to fit in and keep a remarkable foothold, in a consumerist/capitalist sense. This is not to take away from their unforced achievements: a Grammy, Billboard chart success, and recognition from nearly every major media outlet, all on their own steam. But for all its scrappy success, in order to survive, Odd Future has had do some transitioning in the interest of longevity; to turn Odd Future into a functioning business.

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  • CHIEFF

    Really good article