If you party with the Wolf Gang, sometimes you’ll get bit. Billboard learned that lesson the minute L.A. rap group Odd Future walked on stage to headline our Saturday night (Mar. 19) SXSW showcase at Buffalo Billiards.
After making a half-dozen thrilling and controversial SXSW appearances that kept everyone talking all week long, Odd Future barely made it through three songs before cursing out the crowd, the venue, and yes, even Billboard, before finally storming offstage.
Since Odd Future’s first SXSW show on March 16, chaos had become the norm (on one occasion, an audience member’s nose was broken when Tyler, the Creator leapt from a speaker stand into the crowd). However, neither the venue nor the level of rowdiness in the crowd were up to OFWGKTA’s standards when the group began its Saturday night set.
From the moment the group came onstage, things weren’t quite going as planned. Less than a minute into the opening track “Sandwitches,” Tyler stopped the show and began berating the audience for being too tame.
“I’m on the cover of Billboard and … I have to come out to this wack sh*t?,” he heckled the crowd. Later, he directed his ire towards staff manning the soundboard. “Mic number two f**king sucks. Fix that s**t,” he demanded.
After getting through a restarted “Sandwitches,” “Yonkers” and barely another song, Odd Future decided they had had enough. Tyler thanked the fans in the front for coming, berated the rest of the audience once more, slammed his mic to the floor and walked off stage, with the rest of the group following suit. After chanting “Wolf gang!” for several minutes to no avail, fans had no choice but to exit the venue as well.
Just minutes after the aborted performance, Tyler made his thoughts on the incident known via Twitter: “Billboard Is Cool. That Show Was Stupid. Thanks to the Fans and N***as that Was There In The Front. Wasn’t Billboards Fault. F**K THAT CLUB.”
Odd Future’s Billboard gig came just a couple of hours after the group made a surprise appearance at the FADER Fort by Fiat, where it had just headlined the night before. As the group tore through “Sandwitches,” Tyler was struck squarely on the right side of his face by a large soda bottle, forcing the show to briefly come to a stop as he and his bandmates searched for the culprit in the audience.
Despite its abrupt ending, Billboard’s Saturday night showcase featured a full lineup of emerging hip-hop acts. Mississippi rapper and Island Def Jam artist Big K.R.I.T. rocked tracks from his acclaimed “K.R.I.T. Wuz Here” debut album, including the Adele-sampling “Hometown Hero.” Curren$y and Big Sean also played memorable sets, and Detroit MC Black Milk performed with a live band of his own. And Tanya Morgan kicked off the night with tracks from its latest album, “Brooklynati,” and solo releases.
It was the last of a four-night stand for Billboard at SXSW, as acts like A Place to Bury Strangers, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Screaming Females, Oh Land and Young the Giant all played memorable shows.