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Over the course of the last few years, Odd Future’s success has proven to be more than just an illusion. The camp has been behind some of the most compelling albums hip-hop has had to offer in the past couple of years and BlackenedWhite is a prime example. A segment of Odd Future, MellowHype is a duo project spearheaded Hodgy Beats and Left Brains and as compadres, Left Brain is Hodgy’s producer and Hodgy Beats is Left Brains artist. We recently caught up with Hodgy on the brink of their album release and he shared with us some of his insight beyond the music. BlackenedWhite is available now on iTunes.
Just to clarify and put all the speculation to rest about Chicago, Los Angeles and New Jersey, what city are you really from and how did you get involved with Odd Future out in Los Angeles?
Chicago is so fucking wrong, I don’t know who started that. I’m from Trenton, New Jersey. When I was young, around 8 years old, my mom married some n*gga and she moved her family (which is me and my little sister) out to California. Then later on in high school, through mutual friends, I met Left Brain, who was my first producer. He was already in Odd Future and was the second member, and I was the third, and that’s how it all happened really.
So tell us about the new re-release of BlackenedWhite and what we can expect on it?
I took off “Gram,” I took off “Hell,” I took off “Loco,” I took off “Strip Club” and I also took off “Chorduroy.” With those songs, I just wanted to keep them on the first BlackenedWhite album. Just keep it a classic you know what I’m saying? The re-release is more official and just a completely different album. And it’s a re-release, so I just don’t think the same exact songs should be a on a re-release. I added “64,” “IGotaGun,” “Gunz” and I have another one called “Game.” Tyler produced “Game” and it was just a random song but I really liked it because we went in on it! You get all four of those songs if you purchase the album on iTunes or Amazon, but there will only be eleven songs if you purchase the actual CD.
Odd Future records have been hitting the mark amongst fans all around the world, can you tell us what the creation process is when piecing together a record?
Sometimes the inspiration is just the beat, you know what I’m saying? The beats that Left Brain makes man, I just listen to them – without any lyrics. I believe any regular person, if they like-like music, they’ll just listen to his beats and it’ll speak for itself. Like my voice over them is basically just a co-sign, like “yeah these shits is hot.” But it can really be anything, I can hear like a fucking lawnmower and the lawnmower would hit a rock. It’s just anything.
Do you have any special talents besides music?
I like to play basketball and used to play in high school but wasn’t really focused. I was more focused on music, and maybe if I was more focused on basketball I would’ve gotten taller. I used to run track and I don’t know…cooking is fun. I like to cook steak and grill shit. An oven is cool, but it gets hot though. A stove is for the women, so I keep it grilling. Meats, you know what I’m saying?
If you were to pick two things in this world to represent you as an artist, what would the items be and why?
A gun, not because I kill people, but that’s like my role in Odd Future. Lyrically, I’m getting stronger, and I use my music as a weapon. So a gun and a cup of orange juice. Why? Because I have a cup of orange juice in my hand.
I’m going to say a couple of random words and just feel free to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.
That shit is gay.
Stop fucking wearing my shit.
Censorship is gay.
“Oh look at me I’m Chris Brown, I got like 25 fucking body guards with me and shit but I’m the hardest n*gga on earth.” N*gga you’re a pop singer. But the n*gga do got money though, so I’m not hating.
If you were to choose to work with someone in music outside the Odd Future camp, who would it be?
Tupac n*gga! I swear to God! Cause man, Tupac was the realest n*gga, I don’t give a fuck like, that was a real n*gga. You can hear and you can feel what he was feeling when he was reciting what he wrote. For one person to be able to do what he has done, I find that shit amazing. Just to have a voice, and be hated, and not give a fuck about any of that. He died for what he believed in.
Speaking of Pac, what were some of your favorite Tupac records?
(laughs) I listen to “Blasphemy” a lot, that shit is so fucking sick. Shit is just sick. I listen to a lot of his classics too, I like his angry music. And it’s crazy and I’ll be honest with you, I just started listening to Tupac this year. I’m fucking deadass!
If you weren’t in the music game what do you think you’d be doing right now?
Honestly, I’d still be doing music, but I’d probably be selling drugs, stealing shit. Like I’m not even lying. I was in junior college for a semester and a half, and I couldn’t do it. Left Brain dropped out of the Art Institute and was like “fuck it” and then I was just like “well, I’m not about to go to school that cost that much and then I gotta pay shit back.” Apparently, Left Brain knew we were going to be some rich n*ggas one day! So we just decided drop out and here we are. And honestly, I was scared to drop out of college because I was living off financial aid and many college students do that too. I had no fucking support from anyone basically. But we really found our way out with this music shit, now we just gotta stay in it.
Any final words?
Yeah, if you see MellowHype show us some love n*gga. SWAG!
BlackenedWhite is available on Tuesday, July 12, 2011, a pre-ordering option is available now through iTunes.
Interview: Davis Huynh
Photography: Brook Bobbins