I’m sitting here pretty much waiting with baited breath for Earl Sweatshirt’s debut album Doris. I suppose someone would consider me a little bit biased towards this guy because I had (and probably still have a teenage fascination) with him and Odd Future all together. They came out extremely controversial with a grizzly “we give no fucks” attitude, followed intensely by aggressive and often discomforting lyrics. I mean, there have been artists who have had significantly violent references and degrading lyrics towards females; think early Eminem as a likely example. However, what was shocking about these guys was the fact that they weren’t even eighteen yet and had this barbaric sense of humour, blended with contradiction; especially regarding their lyrics slamming homosexuals despite two prominent Odd Future members, Syd the Kid and Frank Ocean, being openly gay/bisexual. Let’s just say- they all had people divided. A lot of young people followed them because they almost confirmed that being a rebel or perhaps, being different for once was cool, and, well, everyone else felt they were literally mind warping the youth.
I feel like their full on look may have slightly overshadowed their lyrical ability. Some people who have followed Odd Future since their early-ish days would probably agree that Earl may arguably have the most intriguing flow and lyrical craft out of the whole collective. Along with his flow- it’s hard to deny that this guy really had everyone on their toes when he suddenly disappeared, not only from the crew, but almost from existence. Later, he was found all the way in Samoa; where he’d been for almost two years at a school for trouble teenage boys. Obviously we’re all thinking “when is he coming back? Will he stop making music? Will he still be OF?” Many false alarms of supposedly new songs, and “new information” about him would come about and I, for one, sort of dwindled away from waiting around for Earl to come back.
Finally a sign came about. A verified Twitter account, a video, and Chum which would be solid evidence that Earl was back to it. It was so fascinating that upon the release of Chum and the video, I personally felt so sad, yet I continued to play it over and over again to grasp each lyric. The last line of the song “Been back a week and I already feel like calling it quits” somewhat resonated with how many people tend to feel when the pressure’s on, or perhaps when they feel overwhelmed by something. In varying degrees, we all have felt like that before. However, what’s more interesting about Earl is he’s somewhat of an enigma. People want to know exactly why he left, people want to know about his life, and people want to hear it in the poetic word-play he’s notorious for. This brings me closer to why his first studio album, Doris, is something to look forward to. While coming from a collective who make a sound so exclusive and easily linkable to themselves, it’ll be great to see what stories Earl has to tell. Even just hearing more of the slow “just woke up and this is how you’ll have it or leave it” can draw one closer to visualising what he has to say. There’s something about it. Earl still gives off a dark and solemn vibe, however, this guy is an impecable storyteller. Doris comes out on the on August 20th.