Tyler Okonma rechristened himself Tyler, the Creator as a teenager growing up in Ladera Heights. It was a good call. At 23 he’s the puckish mogul behind Odd Future, the collective of nearly a dozen rappers and producers whose influence extends far beyond the mic. Between stints in the studio, churning out edgy, do-it-yourself hip-hop—including a version of the 1892 song “Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two),” for which superstar painter Mark Ryden directed the video—Tyler opened a swag store on Fairfax Avenue, launched the Adult Swim sketch comedy show Loiter Squad, spearheaded the commercial-free online station Odd Future Radio, and started the fashion label Golf Wang. On November 8 his Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival music fest, headlined by Pharrell Williams, takes over the L.A. Coliseum for its third iteration. You can be sure he has more projects to come. “Rapping is so limiting,” he says. “I’m interested in everything.”
Known for lyrics that are raw and pensive. In 2013, the teen released Doris, one of OF’s highest–charting albums.
Before Channel Orange made him a star, Ocean collaborated with pal Tyler. His soulful hook anchors Tyler’s “She.”
Essential song:“Thinkin Bout You.”
Syd tha Kyd
Her South L.A. home studio is OF’s production epicenter. She shows a softer side in her band the Internet, a neo-soul collaboration with Matt Martians.
His hazy voice shines on a solo album, Ali, that pairs pop culture references with biting wit. He loves making “Chopped and Screwed” remixes of songs by his compatriots.
Essential song: “DAM.”
Hodgy Beats is one of the strongest lyricists in the crew, while Left Brain has a knack for mixing heavy bass and smooth rhythms.
The slightly aggro rapper is working on a new album that’s expected to drop by the end of the year. He also contributed to the swaggering hip-hop group MellowHigh.
Essential song: “Stray Bullet.”