Everything Your Parents Hate – The Rise of Earl Sweatshirt

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The Rise of Earl Sweatshirt

Thebe Neruda Kgositsile is a Chicago native, the son of a UCLA law professor and a South African poet. Nowadays, Thebe is far better known as Earl Sweatshirt. The rapper, producer and former key member of the Los Angeles based collective and movement Odd Future has gained recognition and praise ever since he released his debut mixtape, Earl, back in March 2010.
The subject matter of Earl can be easily described with one line from the title track. “I got nuts to bust and butts to fuck and ups to shut and sluts to fuckin’ uppercut” spat by what was then a 16 year old Sweatshirt in the most brutally honest way possible. The anti religious, rape and violence filled lyrics, which Earl was writing and recording at such a ripe age were written in the utmost poetic manner with a vocabulary unseen in the rap game being run by Weezy and Yeezy at the time. It was like everything your parents hated, and of course the youth fell in love.

After the mixtape began receiving critical acclaim, ranking positive with Pitchfork Media and being recognized as the twenty fourth best album of 2010, Earl’s mother sent him to a boarding school in Samoa due to disciplinary issues. At Coral Reef Academy, he would slowly earn back the right to ultimately come home.

His departure from Samoa eventually turned into his official entrance as a Hip-Hop mainstay, in which he appeared on multiple Odd Future collaboration songs, earned a feature on Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, later to release his very first single “Chum” off of his freshman LP, Doris.

Earl Sweatshirt
Doris was jam packed with talent. Production credits from former label mates Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean, as well as the RZA, BadBadNotGood, and The Neptunes. Features included Vince Staples, Casey Veggies, and Mac Miller, everyone’s second favorite Jewish rapper. The project received great critical reception from XXL, the Los Angeles Times, Billboard, etc., along with multiple accolades as it ranked on nearly every major Top 50 Album of the Year list as well as every major Top 10 Hip Hop Album list.

Two years following his successful major label debut, Earl Sweatshirt returned more mature than ever. His sophomore LP entitled I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt was announced six days prior to its release accompanied by its sole single “Grief”. Personally, this is the project which made me love Earl. The dark and personal stories cannot be evaded and that may be an understatement. Entirely self produced by Sweatshirt’s alter ego, randomblackdude, with a minimal number of features made for a much less star studded look, yet provided for a much more concise listen.

Though it may not seem like it, Earl Sweatshirt’s place in Hip-Hop has been evident for six years already, dating back to 2010. Since the days of his constant Odd Future collabos and the debut mixtape up until today, where he is already working on his third studio album and working with producers ranging from The Alchemist and Captain Murphy, Sweatshirt continues to be the self-heralded problem he’s been considered since he stepped in.

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