No longer just a hip-hop band’s spin-off, the Internet’s seductive neo-soul is perfectly in tune with the mainstream on their accomplished fourth album
Stars are born quite differently these days. Here’s one new way: imagine you’re in a molten-hot hip-hop collective, the sole woman among a clot of bratty young bucks known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. You’re Syd tha Kyd, AKA Sydney Bennett, the brooding DJ/producer at the back of the pack – not merely the lone female, but queer too, which makes the group’s homophobic outbursts all the more galling. Your uncle is a Jamaican reggae producer who co-wrote Mr Loverman for Shabba Ranks, so music runs deep.
Odd Future eat up a lot of oxygen in the late 00s and early 10s. The most attention-seeking alpha male, Tyler, the Creator, looks destined to do a Beyoncé. Then a truly extraordinary thing happens: Tyler’s ascent stalls. And three far greater talents spin off OFWGKTA: first, the magnificent soul man Frank Ocean, who turns out not to be straight either. Next, re-enter rapper Earl Sweatshirt, who makes good on the mythical status he acquires in exile at reform school in Samoa.
The Internet: Hive Mind review – smooth soul seekers cast their net wide