From Left: Frank Ocean, Matt Martians, Syd, Mike G, Left Brain, Hodgy Beats & Tyler, The Creator
By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd. Odd Future, hip-hop troublemakers and stars of our December issue, are expanding their musical nebula into realms far beyond foul-mouthed tantrums and nostalgic R&B smoothies. Enter the Internet, the crew’s new kaleidoscopic pop outfit consisting of Matt Martians (of beatmakers Jet Age Of Tomorrow) and trusty DJ and engineer Syd The Kyd, two best friends and roommates who just released a hallucinogenic video for first single “Cocaine“. The space-aspiring pair will digitally release their debut album, Purple Naked Ladies, on December 20. For the occasion, SPIN sat with the duo in the basement of the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon, and discussed the Syd’s role as hip-hop’s first out-and-proud superstar and how you’re never too famous to live off Eggo waffles.
When did you start making music?
Matt Martians: Sophomore year of college. I just turned 23 a few weeks ago. I started making music when I was 18. When I grew up, my brother [Mitch Martin] was OutKast’s A&R, so I got all the new different music that nobody else had. College just wasn’t for me… might as well buy some keyboards. That summer I saved up like $2,000 and bought all the equipment I needed. I got a Roland Fantom, Korg M3, ProTools, and a new MacBook… and I didn’t know what I was doing when I got it. So I was working on my old PC and that was slow as dirt. When I first started, I used to think I sucked. Tyler was one of the first people to dig what I did. I remember the first thing he said to me was on my MySpace. He hit me up and he was just like, “Cool.” One thing about Tyler, locally he’s always been kind of famous. Now, he’s nationally famous, but locally he’s always been kind of, “Oh, Tyler’s cool. Oh, Odd Future.” People always loved it. I found him on a Neptunes forum that we both used to visit, so we kind of both had this mutual respect.
So when did you first start doing Jet Age of Tomorrow?
Matt Martians: Jet Age of Tomorrow is basically beats I used to send Tyler and Hodgy and them, that they thought were just too weird. I thought they were incredible, and they thought they were incredible, but were just like, “I can’t rap over this, it’s too fast, it’s too ethereal.”
When you first started making music, did you know what your style would be?
Matt Martians: I’m very influenced by the Neptunes, very influenced by Sa-Ra, Timbaland, so I knew it would be somewhere in that realm. People compare it to Neptunes all the time in articles. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t influenced by the Neptunes. They’re a huge influence on all of Odd Future.
Also, um, who the hell isn’t influenced by the Neptunes.
Matt Martians: They were so different, they were doing what OF is doing, but eight years ago. Which is being different. That’s why a lot of people like Tyler, because they can relate to him. Tyler wasn’t the man for the longest. It used to be like, “Oh I don’t know this guy, he looks kinda weird.” But I think it’s a testament to just a leader in general. A leader is somebody who you know they stay gung ho about what they believe in. And a lot of people will join your cause if they see you’re passionate.