Words About Music
Most people who are aware of Odd Future would likely agree that 2010 was the best year in the controversial group’s career. Before Frank Ocean left 2011 and 2012 begging for mercy, the group’s main rappers started to gain notoriety with Tyler, the Creator’s debut “Bastard,” Earl Sweatshirt’s debut “EARL,” and MellowHype’s second mixtape “BlackenedWhite.” While Tyler and Earl went on to achieve amazing fame, they sort of left the other rappers in the dust, especially MellowHype, which is a duo consisting of rapper Hodgy Beats and producer Left Brain. MellowHype’s first two mixtapes/albums “YelloWhite” and “BlackenedWhite” are pretty excellent, subversive hip hop records that really show Left Brain as one of the decade’s better producers and Hodgy as a fresh new voice in the world of hip hop. Unfortunately, MellowHype released a pretty forgettable album last year, “Numbers,” and the future for that Odd Future offshoot is uncertain. They do seem to have regained interest in creating music after the releases of Tyler, the Creator’s “Wolf” and Earl Sweatshirt’s “Doris” this year since they’ve returned, except under a new name and with a new addition the lineup.
MellowHigh is a more mellowed out version of MellowHype, consisting of Hodgy Beats and Domo Genesis of Odd Future handling the verses and Left Brain sticking to production. Their self-titled debut album isn’t the most hyped Odd Future-based album of the year, but it is definitely a refreshing album that is giving me hope for the lesser-known members of the collective.
“MellowHigh” combines the hardcore hip hop that Odd Future is mostly known for with the hazy, relaxed vibe that is often attributed to Domo Genesis, creating a record that bounces between sounds like a seizure. But a good seizure! You’ve got your “turnt up” tracks like “Roofless” and your “chill out” tracks like “Yu” and plenty more. It’s a versatile record with some very good songs that are at times brilliant and at times cheesy, which can also be said about Odd Future in general.
While this album is better than the most recent MellowHype album, it’s not likely to go down in history as one of the best albums to be released from a member of the OF collective. It’s produced fairly well, sure, but the album as a whole is just not as memorable as other albums. Not many people are likely to forget “Too black for the white kids, and too white for the blacks” or “I’m a fuckin’ walking paradox” or “KILL PEOPLE BURN SHIT FUCK SCHOOL” or “Knock knock, delivery, I’m the rhetorician.” As good as “MellowHigh” is at times, it’s not an album I’ll be thinking about next month when considering what the best albums of this year were. Throw in a few unnecessary guest verses and slightly obnoxious choruses and you have an album that’s good, but not THAT good.
SCORE – 6.4
FAVORITE TRACKS – Yu, Extinguisher, Nobody, Troublesome, Get’n Drunk, Roofless, Cold World