Release Date: Oct 9, 2012
Record label: Columbia
When the Odd Future crew burst into the mainstream with their first wave of label-backed releases, it felt as though Pandora's box had been opened, unleashing a torrent of chaotic, youthful energy upon the hip-hop world. While members Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt drew initial plaudits with their profane nihilism, duo MellowHype emerged as an altogether different kind of presence. Still cloaked in a shroud of blunted-out darkness, Hodgy Beats and Left Brain continue to deliver sonic uneasiness on Numbers.
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.
Though it slipped under the radar, MellowHype's "La Bonita"-- the first single off their sophomore album Numbers-- was an interesting new direction for the duo of Hodgy Beats and Left Brain. Odd Future got popular without really ever going pop, but "La Bonita" threatened to change that. It didn't, of course, but for all the hosannas that Odd Future have issued in the direction of Pharrell, this was the first song to sound like it could be dropped straight into a classic Neptunes mix.
It would be completely absurd to suggest that this is a comeback album for MellowHype, but in some ways, it feels like it is. In the brief period since they stormed the scene as key members of the Odd Future collective, their debut album was re-released, they switched labels, the duo's frontman did a solo project and with this album, Numbers, their music is heading in a different direction. Producer Left Brain still serves up weird, synth-based instrumentals that feature his signature made-from-scratch style, while rapper Hodgy Beats dependably lays his flexible flows overtop.