MellowHype – Numbers – The STiXXclusive Review

“She tatted across her tits, like me, “Mellowhype”
But the hype is so mellow, and tonight we go rebel” – Hodgy Beats ( Ave. from Untitled EP)

MellowHype is a duo that consists of Odd Future members Left Brain & Hodgy Beats. LB being the DJ, Hodgy being the rapper, but often times Left Brain raps as well (not advisable, but it happens). This is their 3rd album, but 2nd one for actual purchase. Odd Future is smart for just churning out mixtapes and albums as they know that their fans will buy their music, and they’ve already made an impact in hip hop because of their eclectic style. Hodgy Beats already released a mixtape this year, which is in my top 10 of mixtapes this year, and I was already anticipating Numbers because of the singles I’ve heard (La Bonita & 65). I had to listen to the album a couple of times to get a feel for it, so here’s how I felt.

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It’s funny, because the first time I heard Grill was at Made In America (2nd day) when OF (Odd Future) was performing. Hodgy & Left Brain both performed this, so it was pretty cool, but the beat sounded like it was all over the place, so I couldn’t really take it in properly until the studio quality version came out. Odd Future has their sound, and that’s what’s been working for them since their inception, and they haven’t strayed far from that since. This song wasn’t a great start to the album, but the beat wasn’t bad. I don’t understand why producers feel the need to want to rap when they’re not lyrically strong (I’m looking at you SpaceGhostPurrp), and Left Brain is an example of that. Just make beats…and ad-lib, whatever. Just don’t rap.

As I said earlier, I was anticipating this album partially because of 65, and I wasn’t disappointed to hear the studio version. Hodgy is slowly making a name for himself as a dope rapper, and more respectable. It’s only a matter of time when other rappers start working with him, because he does have a lyrical ability that’s definitely in the tops of Odd Future. His use of metaphors and his flow on this smooth beat blended well, and it was pretty much continuing where he left off from the Untitled EP. Great production on Left Brain’s end, but just as I think the song’s done, it goes into Breakfast, which was equally as good as 65, and it makes it an enjoyable listen for close to 7 minutes. Talking about the progression of Odd Future was the main focus, and it really is crazy how a lot of the success came in a little over a year, but they did have to work hard to get to where they are now, but it’s better because they’re original. Production was great all around.

The good thing about OF is that when they want to get a feature, they don’t have to go out of camp, and that works here when they have Frank Ocean in their own backyard. Astro goes into Odd Future’s ‘astronomical’ (you see what they did there) ascension into the music world. From nothing to something in literally a blink of an eye.
“Cause end of the day, start of the day they all said we wouldn’t get here anyway
You blink, and Wolf Gang’s in this bitch…”

I’m not even gonna lie, when I saw that the name of this song was NFWGJDSH, I was like “HUH?!” and don’t even ask me if I know what it means, because I didn’t bother looking into it.  Hodgy Beats, in a weird way, actually raps about content that one can relate to. On this song for example, he’s talking about the importance of family and the fact that material things that we waste money on can only be around for so long that it can’t possibly be a way to comfort you when you literally have nothing. It’s true – family is important, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the ones that you’re related to, but the people you consider to be in your family. It’s a good message to tell the kids these days, because it seems to be a more materialistic world we live in and people worship brand names like they’re going to help them in sticky situations. Such is life. I heard a little bit of A$AP Rocky’s flow in this too. Hmm.

LA BONITA! LA BONITA! LA BONITA! LA BONITA! I think you got the point. This was released with only Hodgy’s verse the first time I heard it, but then when I saw the video, I heard Left Brain’s verse, and it really wasn’t that bad. His flow complimented the beat and it was mad chill. Some Harlem shaking was definitely happening here, I can’t lie, but overall, I dig this song. To quote Jasper from ‘Oldie’ this one was “just for the bitches.” Living lavish and having a couple of girls on the side; what else could a man want? Wicked song, and yes, the ‘La Bonita’ chant is catchy, and you may get annoyed, but I haven’t got to that point, so I’m enjoying it.

Beat really is all about the beat. It’s pretty dope, and Hodgy does it justice with the flow, but lyrically wise he was all over the place, but the same theme was constant – people continuing to underestimate Odd Future as he claims that people are still sleeping on them, and honestly, I don’t know why.

Snare picked up the pace a bit, and Hodgy rapped about the everyday life challenges of a teenager or young adult. We go to school, we work, we want to do better with our lives, try, fail. The cycle, right? It happens, but I was feeling this song because it put a great lesson into perspective that a lot of people should run with, and it’s all in the hook of the song:

They say, nigga, Try a little harder
But it didn’t work ..
I tried, it didn’t work …
So I made shit work
They told me to try a little harder
But it didn’t work ..
So, I made shit work
Now my shit works
Now my shit works

You try, you fail. You don’t give up, you just find an alternative that will make it work for you, and when the ball starts rolling, you’ll get it, and that’s what happened. Shout out to little Chloe Clancy (Odd Future’s Manager’s daughter) on the hook. This is one of my favourite songs on the album. It’s all around dope and realistic that a lot of people can relate to.

Untitled L had the beat overpowering the vocals too much, but this is one of those mosh pit songs that will definitely turn the crowd up if performed at their concerts, and believe me…they will; I have the bruises to prove it. I was more focused on the beat and the hook more than the actual lyrics, but not much was being said, so it wasn’t a big deal. Left Brain is a dope producer. I’d love to see him work with other artists, but for now, he’s a good fit for OF. Leflair has to be a sequel to the previous song. More chants in the hook (crowd pleaser) and a similar feel for the beat as before, and nothing amazing, so I looked at this like it was an interlude. You could throw Monster in here and make it a trio, because they all sounded pretty similar. I’ll just call this the Hype3, since they were the more overbearing songs on the album to go off to.

I’m still not a big fan of Mike G; he bores me. I have his music, I’ve listened to his features, and maybe it’s just the monotone voice, but there’s nothing that strikes me as him being really dope. I gave it a shot. Why is this relevant, because he’s featured on 666, and if you know Odd Future, you know that there have always been references to the ‘Mark of the Beast’ and everyone assumed that they were Devil worshippers, when truly they just don’t care about religion, so they use it loosely (Raider Klan does this too, which is why I’ve compared the two groups before). Devil = demons, and basically to escape your demons you have to be doing something in order to do that. Success is that something that is helping Hodgy exorcise them. People watch your moves, so you have to always be on the ball and keep to yourself most of the times. We don’t know what goes on behind the music, but there’s always something. Wicked song.

I was waiting for an Earl Sweatshirt feature. Since his return, he’s been only on feature tracks on Odd Future projects (channel ORANGE, OF Tape Vol 2, & No Idols), but hasn’t had his own mixtape as of yet. Hopefully that comes soon. Everyone goes through something with someone, but most of the time, they’ll still stick together till the end. Humble beginnings determine how we’ll turn out later in life, so P2 is pretty much an example of Hodgy explaining how he got to where he is. I liked the beat and both Earl & Hodgy had good verses. Last time I heard both of them on a track, it was Moonlight from Earl’s album. Laid back flow, smooth beat. They kept that same vibe here.

First thing I thought about with GNC was the nutritional store that sells a bunch of fitness & medical supplies. The store smells like trash, but that’s not the point here. Odd Future can be looked at like rock stars because they have that fame and success to do what they want and their shows & music have that rock & roll appeal for the most part (and they have a rock group on the label – Trash Talk). I didn’t think much of this song, to be honest. Wasn’t anything that I haven’t heard before, so it just served as filler.

Brain is a PSA for the youth and a message for the people who criticize them. That would be the elders that feel like we don’t know any better and that we haven’t experienced anything in life to have “problems.” The government and the way that the world is today has the youth acting more rebellious and they have their own views on how the world works. They’re not just a bunch of a dumb kids. Good on Hodgy for addressing this. Also, being black is still an issue in 2012, can you believe that? Crazy, but Hodgy made note of that too, and I can definitely relate to that.

The bigger picture enlarges in the hood we are a carcass
In the suburbs we’re labeled targets
Can’t even walk my ass through Target without getting targeted
Ready to kill us all and get us carpeted

Under 2 is a smooth song, and a lot of it refers to Hodgy’s son. I had no idea that Hodgy had a son (Cornbread is the nickname for his son – Thank You Rap Genius God), but he’s basically putting it out there that he’s doing this to feed his son and to be a good father, which is why he’s doing what he has to do and doesn’t care about what people have to say about his music or even the whole group’s, at that matter. To keep on pushing to provide for his family is the message he wants to get across for those dealing with the same issues he’s going through. It’s a deep song.

Last but not least, we have Break, and as the album starts off quick, it ends on a slower pace. Slow in the sense of relaxed, not boring, because the whole album throughout was pretty dope, I can’t lie. Odd Future doesn’t often disappoint me, especially Hodgy Beats. To sum it all off, Odd Future has come a long way to get to where they are (keeping consistent with the theme of the album). He’s humble and grateful for where they are and that it’s all about getting better with each project, but for all of this to happen in like a year, despite the critics, it’s crazy how it’s all happened. Only place to go is up from here, and they’re going to continue to do so, no questions asked.

Why did I like this album? I liked it for the production, but to be honest, I liked the 2nd half more than the first, although the first bit did have good songs. The main thing around the album was that Hodgy was emphasizing the progression of Odd Future as a movement, a record label, and as their success continues to climb, they haven’t forgotten about the things that they care about that they’re working towards, while also dealing with other personal issues. People look at Odd Future and just think of mindless nothings when it comes to how they feel their music is, but aside form the rock star mentalities, they do say some real stuff when it comes to their music, and pretty much they’re sticking together to constantly prove to the industry that they’re not a gimmick. I credit them for being original and for being themselves. It’s a message they’ve been promoting since their beginning, and MellowHype is just carrying the load on making sure that the points get across. Definitely give it a listen. I’ll probably end up buying this too, just because, but definitely check it out. It’s worth the listen. This is my opinion, just my review, but for now

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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