Odd Future's music has always been divisive, but their anarchic spirit is a huge part of what makes them lovable despite it all. Tyler, the Creator's appearance with fellow OFWGKTA rappers Earl Sweatshirt and Domo Genesis last night on Late Night With David Letterman was one of those star-making moments for the crew, where their enthusiasm and charisma outweighs any grown-up qualms.
They performed "Rusty," a bleakly clever verbal barrage from Tyler's newly released Wolf, and the song where Tyler cringe-inducingly invokes Frank Ocean as proof it's super cool for him to throw around words that make people in traditionally marginalized groups feel even more marginalized. And do you suppose Letterman caught the lyrical references to the likes of Tity Boi or DJ Khaled?
But more important than what Tyler, Earl, and Domo said was how they said it, and the reaction they inspired: Earl Sweatshirt dancing goofily, Letterman cracking up saying the name "Earl Sweatshirt," the guys storming off stage at the end of the song and then returning for a selfie-with-Letterman photo op.
Letterman, cracking his own oblique joke, asked Tyler if he'd ever been to Bend, Oregon. "I don't know what that is," the young MC confessed. But in his own screwball, stubbornly intelligent way, he sure as hell knows what he's doing.