Generally the case with nepotism, Tyler, The Creator’s success has enabled the rest of Odd Future to shine within their own right. Sharing nearly equivalent fervor without similar spotlight, offshoot group MellowHype has combined turned up “trap” Rap with sharp lyricism to carve a unique sound that is both exclusive and in line with their leader’s rebellious regime. The culmination of much ingenuity and hard work, Numbers is MellowHype’s formal retail debut thanks to the camp’s well publicized Sony RED distribution deal.
Comprised of unpredictable rapper Hodgy Beats and OFWGKTA’s secondary producer Left Brain (cooking up sample free keyboard beats in the same vein as Tyler), MellowHype lives up to its contradictory name, as this faction can’t be easily labeled and neatly placed into a box. Still in their early twenties, the two have fleshed out a cohesive chemistry that is present during hyperactive and crunk moments such as “Grill” and “Untitled L,” also sneaking in prettier melodies on “65/Breakfast”and the Frank Ocean featured ode to the Golf Wang’s achievements with “Astro.” Where the less noticed Mike G and the heavily clamored for Earl Sweatshirt appear on “666” and “P2” respectively, the fewer team contributions allow Hodgy to flourish and show his personal growth since the squad’s grand arrival in 2010. Unexpected surprises come by way of introspection on “Snare,” “Brain” which attacks society in defense of America’s youth and “Under 2,” explaining the sudden transition from adolescence into fatherhood, all demonstrating greater responsibility as the camp is typically assumed to be childish.
Numbers can be applauded as the mature nature and notably impressive songwriting displays progression from MellowHype’s older riotous material, despite flaws including Left Brain’s fun filled lack of command on the mic and slightly repetitive tunes resulting in an overall uneven package. Hodgy Beats has willed himself into an inspirational figure for listeners who have kept a watchful eye over his development, likely meaning the duo will go on to continual strides having just begun to make a statement.