“I really feel like I simply awoke,” Hodgy Beats says. He’s standing in entrance of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, on a fair-weather afternoon the Monday after Thanksgiving, and though he got here right here straight from the airport, he’s not speaking about feeling groggy, however a few non secular awakening. It occurred when he was 29; he’s 33 now, and able to reintroduce the brand new Hodgy that he’s spent the final six-odd years discovering. First issues first: That moniker, the one he used as a quick-witted, lyrically dexterous founding member of Odd Future, is gone. Today he goes by Jerry, the nickname he anointed himself with in childhood, a spin-off of his authorities title, Gerard Lengthy. The brand new music he’s placing out— a three-song sampler that he launched in November, one other three songs final week, and the album they’re constructing as much as (extra on that later)— gained’t even dwell on the previous Hodgy DSP or YouTube pages, algorithms be damned. “I am grounded within the rebrand,” he tells me as we stroll round a serene pond on the museum grounds. “I do not care how lengthy it takes, I am transferring ahead in a special course.”
He’s completed a whole lot of work on himself—years of introspection, reflection and confronting traumas—and emerged on the opposite aspect of that as a special, model new one that’s lastly able to current himself to the world. However pivoting from a notion that’s continued since 2010 presents its personal challenges: How do you dramatize and convey a complete new outlook on life, and a brand new dedication to non-public development and alter? In different phrases, how ought to he—as he put it to me—“embody what the model of Jerry is?” Certainly one of his first strikes was to journey a bull.
The primary new video on Jerry’s YouTube web page is a brief referred to as “Going through Our Worst Fears.” In it, our hero will get a crash course in bull using earlier than mounting one himself. The primary attempt goes faster than you’ll be able to pause for a quintessential record-scratch, freeze-frame, You’re most likely questioning how I bought right here… second. In fact, it’s the “downfall” a part of the prototypical hero’s journey, earlier than the climax yields success. Is that the arc Jerry’s on now?
“I used to be able to expertise one thing that was past me and reckless,” he says with a smirk. (Proper earlier than he hopped on, an onlooker on the ranch advised him You’re making me need to journey bulls once more, however I fractured my again. “I used to be like, The way you fracture your again?” Jerry says. “He stated, Driving.” So, recklessness: verify.) “As soon as I hopped on the bull, I began eager about my life and shit,” Jerry says. “Issues have enabled me to mirror and I am pondering of how far I’ve come and if something have been to occur, I am accountable for it.” Accountability and reflection are possibly the 2 most prevalent themes Jerry returns to in dialog, together with the newfound degree of self-acceptance he’s achieved—and is striving to keep up. “We by no means know what is going on to occur,” he says, “however with consistency comes extra outcomes.” To wit, the match that Jerry chooses for his bullriding, fear-facing experiment: a Saint Michael tee that reads DISORDER/CONTROL.
An informal listener might discover their solution to Jerry’s music and, fairly moderately, do not know they have been listening to the identical man who’s been performing as Hodgy for the final 13 years. In Odd Future, he was at all times the straight shooter, a casually dazzling lyricist who might simply as simply match Tyler, The Creator’s raucous vitality or simply bar you to dying low-key. Actual heads know he technically launched the collective’s first mission with 2009’s The Dena Tape, which dropped about 5 months earlier than Tyler’s Bastard. As soon as the group blew up, he and producer Left Mind fashioned MellowHype, a sub-duo inside Odd Future that rapidly grew to become a barely extra area of interest however simply as rabidly-praised fan favourite. Hodgy was the “Hype” in that equation, unafraid to get in your face—on wax, or actually.