Odd Future's Hodgy Beats Controls His Mind in the Mayhem
Hodgy Beats (Gerard Damien Long) is a rapper, producer, and member of the blistering LA-based hiphop cooperative Odd Future. The multi-member collective is also known as Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The group's mayhem ingenuity incites with a spare-none approach. They're a swarming, preternatural hive of blade-brained rap and antics. The no-limit approach leaves no subject safe. In a Goblin album trailer, a mother and her baby are attacked by a gang of ski-mask-clad little people. For the song "Rella" off The OF Tape, Vol. 2 (March 2012), women are struck in the face and grin afterward, mud is slung, a suicide watch is called for, a small mountain of cocaine is inhaled, flabs of skin gyrate in slow motion, and people are zapped into cats via groin-whacked lasers.
At the Odd Future helm, Tyler, the Creator (VMA winner) is a polarization specialist, not just pushing the sensitive buttons of taboo, but completely shattering them. Agree with it or not, the imagery and lyrics are provoking, sometimes shocking, and often debate-inducing. If you're shocked or sickened, then you felt something, and that is the aim. Look for OFWGKTA's Loiter Squad television show on Adult Swim to cause more reactions. Hodgy Beats spoke from Los Angeles. He was about to meet his mother for lunch.
What's it like when Odd Future wake up in the morning after a show?
What it do, nigga? Let's get drunk tonight. On some railroad wacky shit. There's always so much crazy shit that's going on. I have to look at photos to remember it all. That's why we take photos. At our shows, people break shit; they break their fingers and arms. We'll hear about it. Most of the time, we don't witness it. We're onstage, you know, doing the show, doing our thing.
Twenty-four-hour-a-day mayhem—does it ever get to you?
Onstage we're nuts, fucking with everything. Backstage, and most of the time, we're not that crazy. When it's time to be all hyper and entertaining, we do that. But we're not really as obnoxious and ignorant as people make us out to be.
You can turn it on and off. It's a skill to be able to get as crazy and stupid as you guys.
Exactly. The thing people don't realize is that there's a time and a place for everything. So, yeah, we are crazy. We are out of our fucking minds. You're damn right. I'm a fucking lunatic. I'm an unstable motherfucker. But there's a place in my mind where I can turn on that instability and let it work for me. That's how I look at it. I used to not be able to control my emotions. Now I feel like I can.
Is it like an actor in front of a camera?
No. Fuck cameras. I don't even like being around cameras. I don't like being interviewed with a fucking camera in my face. If there's an interview on camera, I stay quiet. Cameras are not healthy [laughs]. I'm fine over the phone.
You have mental power.
The power over craziness. I performed "Fuck the Police" in Boston, got offstage, and cops were trying to rough me up. In the back of my mind, I wanted to punch one of them motherfuckers. I thought about doing it. But I didn't turn that switch on. They wanted me to take a swing at them, but I didn't. As soon as I walked offstage, one of them pushed me for no reason.
The police didn't like you doing "Fuck the Police." Imagine that.
No, they didn't. But it's a song. I just looked at the cop who pushed me. I didn't do anything.
What do you think of the craziness that is Mitt Romney? Are you an Obama supporter?
I'd rather not talk about politics. If I go off on that, I might make too many people mad [laughs].
Is Tyler, the Creator straight edge? Rumors have flown that he doesn't drink or do drugs.
Tyler likes to party.
So he's not straight edge.
I didn't say that. I said he likes to party. I'm not saying yes or no.
Tyler's version of partying could be doing trigonometry all night long.
Could be, yes.
How do you write songs and come up with beats? What's your process?
I don't really have a process. There's a studio in LA I go to, and that's where I write. It's like home there. There's an energy thing about the place. When I walk through the door, a channel of my brain opens, the channel where I write and make songs. When I'm on tour, I'm not making any music. I'll probably record my music at that studio for the rest of my life. I don't see me wanting to do it anywhere else.
What will you come back as in your next life?
A superhero. I'll have the power to be invisible. I always thought Harry Potter was cool. This guy has a wand, and as soon as he waves it, shit happens. I want to teleport.
Maybe you'll also have the power to communicate with undersea creatures, like Aquaman.
I'll also be able to zap bitches with my dick and turn them into cats.
But they won't be able to see you because you're invisible.
Exactly. Watch out, bitches.
What's next musically for you?
Left Brain and I are working on our album Numbers. We have like 30 tracks so far, but we're still working on it. Probably release it in the summer.
What if you come back as a dung beetle in your next life?
I don't think I'd like living in dirt and dung.