Nirvana and Pixies producer lashes out at rappers after recent encounter on airport shuttle in Barcelona
Odd Future's ostensibly punk-rock antics have attracted a punk-rock critic, with Steve Albini calling them "assholes making music about being assholes". The celebrated producer, who shared an airport shuttle with the rappers, said he hasn't "wanted to strangle anybody that much in a real long time".
Albini is no stranger to ugly and violent music: besides working with Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard and Killdozer, he played with Big Black and Rapeman. As a member of Shellac, he wrote the song Prayer to God, asking the Almighty to "just fucking kill" a cheating partner and her new lover. But for all his flirting with the darker side of life, Albini said he had enough on a bus departing Barcelona's Primavera festival. "They didn't strike me as stupid," he explained. "They struck me as little self-satisfied asshole scrubs."
"[Odd Future] piled on to the shuttle late, after finally getting corralled by their minder," Albini wrote on his studio message board. "They piled in, niggering everything in sight, motherfucking the driver, boasting into the air unbidden about getting their dicks sucked and calling everyone in the area a faggot." During the 40-minute ride, the rappers and their entourage allegedly heckled the driver, harassed passengers, and demanded to be taken to McDonalds.
Although Albini said he is "not in the audience for hip-hop", he defended Odd Future's "right to rap about what they wanna rap about". "I am never quick to judge a person based on a superficial reading of creative output," he wrote. But in this case, he said, it didn't seem like an issue of art or self-expression. "It's being an asshole about being an asshole."
"Interspersed with the McDonalds requests were shouted boasts about how often they masturbated and fucked bitches nigger and got paid like a motherfucker fifty grand like a motherfucker," Albini continued. "If the whole thing is a put-on, a bit of Vincent Gallo life-as-theatre for the benefit of whoever happens to be sitting next to them, that's no excuse ... I am quite happy none of them engaged me directly, because at least one of us would have regretted it."
After Albini's comments were reported by New York magazine, Odd Future's publicist responded on Twitter. "Lol. I was there too," wrote Heathcliff Beru. "Wish i said hi to [Albini] ... I felt bad for everyone in the back of the ride that day."