The Kids Are Alright
Syd the Kid, the lone female member of LA rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All welcomes me to her new digs that she shares with band mate and best friend Matt Martians, who now comprise the Odd Future sub-group, The Internet. Their apartment is sparsely furnished with a lone microphone oddly placed in the middle of the living room with several laptops scattered across the floor. Odd Future rapper/producer Mike G lays horizontal tinkering with a beat while several of his buddies talk life and death under a haze of weed smoke. Everyone present is vintage Cali—laid back, welcoming, and unfazed by my presence and unfamiliar face.
Syd takes me into the adjoining kitchen and is a face of humility and extreme thanks in response to my every compliment about her new spot and Odd Future’s meteoric rise to the forefront of the rap game. The whole house seems to be in full on lounge mode with everybody donning some combination of a wife beater, shorts, and sweat pants.
I post up against the refrigerator and Syd expresses how happy she is to be living “on her own” and having the freedom to create the life and music that she wants for herself and the entire Odd Future family. I ask about new music and Matt slithers in with his laptop and offers me some. Everything I am hearing is nice-lots of electro-bump with Syd in the vocal booth. I did not know that she was a singer. “I sing because I can’t find anyone to sing the way I want,” she tells me with a matter of fact adroitness. Meanwhile, Matt is gushing at my enthusiasm for the music and assures me that there is “more to come” from The Internet.
Life + Times: Last year was pretty wild right?
Syd the Kyd: Yeah for sure. 2011 was the most important year for everyone in Odd Future, but for Matt and me we were able to complete our own album and obtain our own record label. So much has happened so quickly, but it has happened the right way because we have been able to build things on top of a strong foundation. So 2011 was amazing.
L+ T: What do you mean by the right way?
Syd: Well a lot of times when people see folks like us rise so quickly usually there is not a strong foundation behind them. When I say foundation I mean content. I mean Odd Future had ten albums before we got anywhere. So based on our content we have come into the game with some longevity already. I mean, right now we have 12 or 13 albums collectively for people to listen to.
L+T: What would you say was the highlight of last year?
Syd: Well for us as a group (The Internet) I would say the making of our music video “Cocaine,” but I don’t know. What would you say Matt?
Matt: I would have to say our album release party. I mean for me it was a culmination of everything because everybody was there who has supported me over the years. I mean there were people there who lent me money when I was broke and allowed me to sleep on their couches when I had nothing. I mean there were people there who held me down when I was moving from Atlanta to LA. I mean let’s be honest there was no guarantee that this Odd Future thing was going to take off like it has. I mean this thing could have gone the other way. It was so great to share with everybody what we have done because I was always telling people that I was working on music but everybody is working on music you know what I am saying. People were always like ‘yeah you’re working on music.’ But we did it and it feels great.
Syd: We put a lot of time and effort into making Purple Naked Ladies.
L+T: So Matt tell me about how it was for you in terms of making the transition from Atlanta to LA?
Matt: Well it has not really been that crazy because I have known Tyler, The Creator and them since 2007 and I have been back and forth between Atlanta and LA since then. Luckily I had friends out here so that made the transition cool. Too be honest though, if I didn’t have friends and a network out here already I probably would have gone crazy.
L+T: So you moved out in February 2011. When did you all formally start working on the album?
Syd: We started in mid-March early April 2011 but in between that time we were just vibing out for a while and introducing new music to each other and enjoying each other’s company. Eventually we just started making music together. Our manager suggested it and then we said hey why not.
L+T: What type of music were you all exchanging and what has been inspiring your own work?
Syd: Well when Matt first moved here I was not up on a lot of Amy Winehouse. Matt put me up on a lot of classic Amy Winehouse, Jamariquai, Quadron and the Boom Clap Bachelors, and the Jaspects. He also played me a lot of Outkast’s stuff that I had not really taken the time to seriously listen to.