UPDATE: "Albino" Responds. Odd Future Update: Tyler Takes On Steve "Albino," OFWGKTA Rep Responds
By Jon Graef in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 10, 2011 7:40PM
Odd Future's leader, Tyler Okonma, aka "Tyler the Creator" (photo via myspace)
Steve Albini's critical, thought-provoking words about equally thought-provoking rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA) is still getting attention. Here's an update, including a rebuttal from Odd Future press rep Healthcliff Barru and a tweet from Tyler, The Creator.
Albini's post about the collective's alleged rude behavior was compelling, both in terms of a narrative describing what reportedly happened and as a critique/defense of "ugly art." However, seeing as there can be multiple sides to every story, we reached out to Healthcliff Berru, who represents Odd Future, for comment.
At 3:36 AM CST Wednesday morning, Berru responded, saying he was a fan of Albini's, and didn't realize that he was on the Barcelona shuttle bus. Berru says he was nursing a head injury from stage diving at a show the night before, while also handling the roles of DJ, publicist and tour manager.
His take on the encounter? "Albini is exaggerating a bit. The kids were just messing around," Berru wrote in an email. "They were joking the entire time and Albini never picked up on it!"
Which, fair enough. But the issue isn't whether Albini picked up on the joking, but if the bus driver that OF allegedly swore at, or any other passengers who OF reportedly mistreated, picked up on it.
The whole point of Albini's post was that Odd Future was being horrible to everyone -- allegedly.
I wrote back to Berru with more questions -- and got more answers.
Here's a text of Berru's response:
... Tyler never harassed the driver ... i was sitting up there in the passenger seat next to him. they may have asked for Mcdonalds once but i told them we were late and we kept it moving. i also never heard anyone drop racial slurs in that manner. it was 5 or 6am. we were all tired and grumpy and i think Albini was also salty that they had to wait on us to get into the ride. ... flipping birds to a female passenger doesn't make any sense either! it's a cool story though bro!
No mentioning of the pot/pipe, but the plot here is thickening, isn't it? Meanwhile, OF leader Tyler Comma The Creator issued his own rebuttal to Albini's post on his prolific Twitter account, and well, yeah, here you go:
Unless "Albino" further writes about this encounter -- and its doubtful he will, considering he probably has better uses of his time -- this is likely the last of the "he said, he said" back-and-forth between these two provocateurs.
But just in case it isn't? Ya'll know where to reach us. We've also emailed the Electrical Audio info account at 2:00 pm to see if Albini wanted to further clarify or give a rebuttal on Berru's and Tyler's accounts. We'll update post-haste if and when a response is given.
*Interesting side note: Pitchfork, whose longform article about the Odd Future collective arguably launched them into popular consciousness, has yet to write a single word about any this, as of 2:07 PM CST Wednesday.
Update: Steve "Albino" Albini responded to my email, saying "I'm not exaggerating anything." As far as everything else about Healthcliff Berru wrote to us?
Well, he's just plain lying here. He was obviously through with the whole ordeal by the time he got on the shuttle, and I wouldn't blame him for shutting down/tuning out, but he would have had to have been in a different vehicle not to have "heard" that shit. What I wrote is what I remembered happening. Sorry. His twitter yesterday said as much, and I posted a quote from it on the electrical thread.
Also, it's not a big deal. I was annoyed by some kids acting like grade-A assholes once when I was tired, big whoop. I didn't say anything about it for quite some time, and did so on a forum discussion, not in an article or critical piece. It was a conversation about Odd Future, and I had an anecdote. On the electrical forum somebody mentioned that I probably would have been equally annoyed by the Sex Pistols in their youth, and that sounds about right.
For what it's worth, that dude's voice is really cool, and they seem to be enjoying the ride. I didn't enjoy being around them, but that's hardly newsworthy.
And there you have it.