Lost amidst the hype surrounding Tyler The Creator’s raucous Fallon performance was the announcement earlier in the week of his signing of a deal with XL Recordings. Tyler, it seems, knows exactly what he’s doing.
When Odd Future first hit the scene late last year on the strength and shock value of the “Earl” video, the ensuing A&R-filled shows followed. Thus, it begged the question of what label they would sign to. Who amongst the Interscopes, Def Jams, or even Stones Throws of the world would allow the crew the freedom to continue with the kind of antics that could bring the PMRC back from the dead?
The answer, we know now, is XL. Not only the best, it was really the only choice. Over the past twenty years, the British label has nurtured progressive styles, from popularizing early house with both The Prodigy and Basement Jaxx to legitimizing grime outside of the London streets and pirate radio with Dizzee Rascal. More recently, with XL backing, M.I.A. broke through with her pastiche electronica, Gil Scot-Heron launched a comeback, and Jamie xx remixed him.
Tyler and co. have only signed a one-album agreement, but it wouldn’t be surprising if a longer partnership follows. Like ‘em or not, at least we’d have the assurance that Odd Future would never veer from their horrorcore roots to make limp rap-rock with Skylar Grey.