Ever since the first frames of the grainy body-horror video for the title track of his debut mixtape EARL , Earl Sweatshirt has felt both eerily ever-present and never present. An undercurrent of loss and pain trails all of his creative breakthroughs. Music is a space for Earl to vent about his troubles. This is apparent in his internet presence, which expresses both his great taste in music and his quick, incisive humor on a number of subjects. I learned this in a series of conversations with the artist in the weeks prior to the reveal of album No. SRS bridges generations of whip-smart cold-weather hip-hop. Lyrically, this is Earl Sweatshirt at his most optimistic. Work on the new music began not long after the last album. What had initially been planned as a few weeks in South Africa with family became a few months. Rappers are descendants of the African griots, Sweatshirt reasons.
Earl Sweatshirt Returns
His head is enveloped in a hood he never takes off, with two baby dreadlocks peeking out. For hours, he slowly paces to and fro in stonewashed Supreme jeans, casually discussing everything from the quirks of personal trauma to his favorite JAY-Z verse to the importance of privacy. Occasionally, he shuffles to a window, looks off into the distance, and takes a long pause. He chooses his words carefully. He never leaves the house. But that was four years ago. Nowadays, the rapper born Thebe Kgositsile—all of his friends call him Thebe, not Earl—insists that he feels most himself when he is out in the open, breathing fresh air, even soaking up some sun. He says he went to the beach almost every day last summer.
AT Coral Reef Academy , a therapeutic retreat for at-risk boys in Vaitele, outside of the Samoan capital of Apia, your progress is tracked on a map with a bus. Get in trouble, as Thebe Kgositsile did from time to time, and you end up spending your time in a separate house — the bus barn — more or less alone, waiting to be allowed to rejoin the group. Mostly he would get into trouble for sneaking onto the Internet, trying to check in on his other life, 5, miles away. He was a savvy, schooled rapper: gross, entrancing and thrilling. And also one of the only pop mysteries left.
Thebe Neruda Kgositsile born February 24, , also known by his stage name Earl Sweatshirt , is an American rapper, songwriter, musician, record producer, poet, actor and videographer. Kgositsile was originally known by the moniker Sly Tendencies when he began rapping in , but soon changed his name when Tyler, the Creator invited him to join his alternative hip hop collective Odd Future in late He gained recognition and critical praise for his debut mixtape , Earl , which released in March when he was just 16 years old. Shortly after its release, his mother sent him to a boarding school in Samoa for at-risk teens for a year and a half. He was unable to record music during his tenure there, but returned to Los Angeles in February , just before his eighteenth birthday. Kgositsile rejoined Odd Future and started producing new music, releasing his debut studio album Doris in August