Odd Future’s Adult Swim Show, Loiter Squad, Continues the Process of Mainstreaming Chaos
The announcement that Odd Future's show, "Loiter Squad", will appear in 2012 on the Cartoon Network confirmed last week that however difficult Odd Future seems, even they can be packaged for mainstream consumption. And given that Adult Swim has a lot of indie hip hop cred and Odd Future's industry supporters like Johnny Knoxville have much jd cred, such a move seems capable of happening without the extensive cries of "sellout" one might have expected.
At least as far back as April, speculation began about an Adult Swim show featuring Odd Future due to a brief spot that said the show would be a "mixture of Jackass and Chappelle's Show." Supposedly called "Blackass", the explosion of news on the web caused Tyler, the Creator to tweet an angry rebuttal. Apprently he wasn't in the loop on that marketing maneuver!
In late May, speculation began again as a pilot for Adult Swim, an "Untitled project with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All", was mentioned in passing for an Adult Swim Upfront that featured Jay-Z. However, that confirmation was overshadowed by Jay-Z's involvement.
Late last week a press release circulated widely, quickly appearing on many sites as original reportage, that finally revealed some official details of Loiter Squad, which will debut in 2012:
"Adult Swim announced today it has picked up the live-action series Loiter Squad, a 15 minute live-action show that features sketches, man on the street segments, pranks and music from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. The cast, featuring the Los Angeles collective of rappers, artists, and skateboarders, channel their multi-faceted creative talents in this off-the-wall showcase."
The "Blackass" title suddenly made sense given that "Loiter Squad is being produced by Dickhouse Entertainment — the Hollywood production partnership of Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze who have been the creative power behind hits including Jackass…and Wildboyz."
Since Jackass is the kind of media on which Odd Future was raised and since a variety of Odd Future-produced videos feature a related sensibility, it sounds like a great fit. And who better to support Odd Future in molding and monetizing their jd antics into an acceptable product than Johnny Knoxville and associates?
We already seem ages away from early speculation as to how Odd Future could make it into the major leagues given their supposed subversiveness. Yet, as I noted when discussing interviews with their manager, Christian Clancy, they had already shown a willingness to adjust to the demands of mainstream media in their appearance on Jimmy Fallon. And as one must also recognize, given the history of rappers, graffiti artists, skateboarders and pranksters cashing in, the infrastructure now exists for mainstreaming artists that may once have been considered unacceptable.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.