Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Earl Sweatshirt - eARL
So things didn't turn out the way it should have for American hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. Suspicions everyone harbored about the group turned out to be fairly correct, most of the members can't rap, all the violence and rape references aren't some post modern parody of hip-hop but immature rambling, and worst of all, Goblin was Disappointment Of The Year (DOTY)
But hey, we still have Earl.
Even after the hype has blown away, the controversy has been forgotten, this is still a great album.
Tyler's and Left Brains production is actually good, (Jesus, the fuck was with the synths on Goblin..) with Luper's piano and horns creating a mellow, almost trip-hop sound over Earl's strangely sincere rap about a break-up. Then ePAR kicks in, with the darkest lyrics (mainly about rape, drug use, and murder) and the catchiest beat, as filthy analog slither over a 808 drum pattern. The obvious use of cheap DAW software makes a welcome change from the usual high quality Pro Logic beats in most modern hip-hops, and at times feels like raps answer to the lo-fi aesthetic.
However, this album would be average at best if it wasn't for one thing. Earl himself. Earl is an amazing rapper. And when I say amazing, i mean potential to be fucking legendary amazing. No-one in OF comes close to his ability. On the title track his wordplay is second to none, as he immaculately spits out abstract rhymes.
Yo, I'm a hot and bothered astronaut crashing while
Jacking off to buffering vids of Asher Roth eating apple sauce
Sent to Earth to poke Catholics in the ass with saws
And knock blunt ashes into their caskets and laugh it off.
On Pigeons he gives his best performance, as him and Tyler destroy a over one of the albums bounciest beats, and Luper shows a mature side to him, as he spills his heart out, and talks about the pain of getting up and going to school, and seeing a girl who 'when she broke my heart she broke my torso'.
This is the album that makes you forget all the kids shouting 'SWAG, KILL PEOPLE BURN SHIT FUCK SCHOOL'. Fuck it even helps you forget Goblin. Truly one of the best hip-hop debuts of the last few years. Also it's only about 30 minutes long. You literally have no excuse.
Earl is an amazing rapper. No-one in OF comes close to his ability. On the title track his wordplay is second to none, as he immaculately spits out abstract rhymes
ALL THE BAD BITCHES BOO WHEN YOU RAP