First Odd Future assaulted polite society with their words. Now the Los Angeles-based band of nihilistic rapping skater-punks is bringing their brand of anti-political-correctness to a television near you.
The group took the indie-rap scene by storm in 2011 – garnering the adulation of taste-making website Pitchfork, earning Diddy’s endorsement, landing on the cover of Spin and serving as fodder for a New Yorker think-piece. And so far this year, they’ve welcomed back the long-lost Earl Sweatshirt (often cited as Odd Future’s most talented wordsmith), released a new mixtape, and on Sunday the collective will launch Loiter Squad – their live-action prank fest on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
Odd Future’s Tyler, the Creator, Lionel Boyce, Jasper Dolphin and Taco Bennett all feature prominently in *Loiter Squad’*s skits, but it is quite possibly the perfect venue for de facto OF leader Tyler’s outrageous sense of humor. The 21-year-old MC and producer likes to push peoples buttons – or smash them, rather – and Loiter Squad promises to do just that.
Produced by Dickhouse, the studio that gave us Jackass, Loiter Squad is a 15-minute mash-up of absurdist, boundary-pushing sketches, Punk’d-like pranks and good old-fashioned Steve-O-style slapstick – all stitched together with Odd Future’s unique brand of deranged, off-kilter beats and sociopathic raps.
Although *Loiter Squad’*s antics could easily be written off as juvenile tomfoolery, the show can also be viewed as a broadside on social constructs. And as far as Tyler is concerned, the world would be a much better place if people could just learn to laugh at themselves.
“That’s why it’s war now,” Tyler told Wired. “‘Cause people have sticks in their asses.”
To get at the heart of what the rap collective finds funny, Wired had Tyler break down the anatomy of a Loiter Squad prank. Here are the MC’s essential prank elements:
Pranks are like flows. The best ones are conceived of and executed on the fly. “I don’t think too much about what I do,” Tyler told Wired. Asked to workshop a theoretical gag, Tyler immediately fired off the idea of dressing up like a member of the Ku Klux Klan and asking for directions at NAACP office.
Tyler is a fan of the out-of-left-field punch lines in shows like Family Guy and American Dad. “It’s humor that I don’t think a lot of people get,” he said. His crew’s namesake offers a clue into Tyler’s affinity for far-out fooling: The odder, the better.
The Odd Future crew is aiming to make people uncomfortable. It’s healthy to shake people up. “Every human being on the face of the Earth should be fucked with,” Tyler said. “Because people need to fucking smile, stop taking life so serious.”
Unlike reality television, where the subjects are aware they are being filmed, Loiter Squad employs hidden cameras – capturing genuine reactions and real emotion from those being spoofed. As such, the audience isn’t laughing at some fictional character, they are laughing at themselves. “I think that’s why I’m here – to make people smile,” Tyler said.