Steve Albini Really Doesn’t Like Odd Future (and Possibly Black People In General)

“They piled in, niggering everything in sight” – Steve Albini


Steve Albini is one of the undergrounds most influential musicians and producer as well as a notorious loud mouth. He recently found himself sharing an airport shuttle with one of the most prolific groups in Hip-Hop at the moment, OFWGKTA.

Just incase some of our readers may not be too familiar with OFWGKTA, they are a young hip-hop collective consisting of Tyler, The Creator, Hodgy Beats, Leftbrain, Domogenisis, Mike G, Syd The Kid, Earl Sweatshirt, and several other rappers. They are known for their in-your-face attitude as well as being fairly wild. The youngest member of the group is around seventeen and the oldest is around twenty three. Remember this when reading Mr. Albini’s complaints.

It seems that Albini’s shuttle ride with Odd Future rubbed him the wrong way. He recently took to a web forum on Electric Audio to let the world know what he thought of Odd Future. Continue reading to check out Steve Albini’s thoughts on OFWGKTA.

Here is what Mr. Albini had to say.

“My band shared an airport shuttle with [Odd Future] in Barcelona. They piled onto the shuttle late, after finally getting corralled by their minder, who was nursing a head wound with an ice bag wrapped in a towel. They piled in, niggering everything in sight, motherfucking the driver, boasting into the air unbidden about getting their dicks sucked and calling everyone in the area a faggot. Then one of them lit a joint (or a pipe, I didn’t look) and told the driver to shut the fuck up nigger and smoked it anyway. A female passenger tried to engage one of them in conversation, but he just stared at her with a dead-to-me stare while his seatmate flipped double birds in her face.The whole trip they complained about not being at a McDonalds and repeatedly shouted for the motherfucker to pull over so they could get some fucking McDonalds nigger. Interspersed with the McDonalds requests were shouted boasts about how often they masturbated and fucked bitches nigger and got paid like a motherfucker fifty grand like a motherfucker. They continued complaining that the trip was taking too long and insisted they be fed immediately all the way to the airport, where their minder presumably fed them.

I am quite happy none of them engaged me directly, because at least one of us would have regretted it.

I am well aware, thanks, that good people can make ugly art and that ugly people can make good art. Ultimately the function of art is to express something and move an idea from one person to another, and the tools of that can include revulsion and discomfort. Having been in a few bands myself, thanks, I know that the uninitiated can mistake these devices as windows into the soul of the creator. Ultimately they are, of course, but not necessarily in the crude autobiographical way they are often interpreted.

I know all that, so I am never quick to judge a person based on a superficial reading of creative output. Peter Sotos is a lovely fellow whom I trust implicitly, despite his writing evoking a truly primal disgust in me, to use another rapey example. Michael Gerald from Killdozer said it best in an interview, when the journalist remarked that he seemed like a nice fellow, which was unexpected given that the characters in his songs are often repellent. “Oh, that’s not us,” he said, “that’s the crazy people we sing about.” In that light, I am one hundred percent behind Odd Future’s right to rap about what they wanna rap about, and if she don’t like it fuck her.

And also fuck me. It’s none of my business what they wanna. I’m not part of the audience for hip hop, and as a non-dilettante I don’t generally respond to it when I hear it, so I can’t make any critical assessment of Odd Future’s music on its own terms, but they go out of their way to make it clear that this is not a case of regular people making music about assholes, but assholes making music about being assholes. I have no time for that. I don’t respond kindly to it when Ted Nugent does it either.

If the whole thing is a put-on, a bit of Vincent Gallo life-as-theater for the benefit of whoever happens to be sitting next to them, that’s no excuse. It’s being an asshole about being an asshole.”

Jesus fucking christ, At best this comes off as a rant from an out of touch middle-aged white dude and at its worst it comes off as a rant from a racist. Maybe it wouldn’t have come off sooooo bad if Albini had taken the time to word his complaints differently. Now I don’t know if Mr. Albini is a racist, is actually angry, or is just trying to stay relevant but there are definitely some phrases/undertones that could be construed as racist.

“They piled in, niggering everything in sight”, What the fuck, Albini?  Seriously, how can you not distinguish between the actual N-word and nigga? How out of touch do you have to be to not realize that the black youth (as well as pretty much all youth) use the word “nigga” in a nonracial way? Another thing that has a slight racial undertone to me is that Albini comes from a metal and punk background where numerous bands have acted this way (even acts he has worked with) but never seemed to have  problem with those bands.

I will leave you guys with my favorite piece of irony from this whole thing, “It’s being an asshole about being an asshole”. Who is a bigger asshole, some kids just having fun or the dude who gets on the internet to complain about them?

— Josh Huddleston

Follow me on Twitter – @keepitwolfson

6 comments on “Steve Albini Really Doesn’t Like Odd Future (and Possibly Black People In General)

  1. What’s I think is funny is that you would have been there you may have thought the same as Albini, Writing “some kids just having fun” for what is described here is totally out of place. And the racism insult an easy way to excuse the worst way to behave.

  2. I don’t think albini was being racist in this… Look at the context of the words “They piled in, niggering everything in sight, motherfucking the driver, boasting into the air unbidden about getting their dicks sucked and calling everyone in the area a faggot”

    He’s saying that they were using the n word and dropping the f bomb like no ones business… I mean, I don’t really care cuz Albini is washed up anyways. But yea. seems like a non-issue to me. They’re whack, he’s whack, we’re all whack.

  3. I don’t think this comes off as some twisted racist rant by some white middle aged guy. He seems quite in touch with what he perceived as assholes acting like assholes, which is what it seems happened here. Kids having fun? Please. How about kids acting misogynistic? Dropping the N-Word is done all too frequently by the very people he is complaining about here and he is doing nothing more than using it satirically. After all, the guy is quite opinionated and did front a band called Rapeman. So he has very little fear about what people think of him.

  4. Yeah, how racist of him to expect people to have basic human decency.

    This is why nobody takes “progressives” seriously.

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