“I AIN’T BEEN OUTSIDE IN A MINUTE I’VE BEEN LIVING WHAT I WROTE…”
Earl Sweatshirt is angry. That’s understandable given what he’s gone through. His rise to stardom as part of the “indie-rap” skate rap collective Odd Future as his experience when he was sent for a term in a Samoan School for troubled youths immediately after his stellar mixtape “EARL”.
Earl managed to come out of all this with his prodigious skills intact to sign a major label deal with Columbia Records and drop his excellent debut “Doris” which had features from Mac Miller, Casey Veggies, Frank Ocean and frequent collaborator Vince Staples among others.
But Earl felt this wasn’t an accurate representation of him as a person or an artiste and now older and wiser( He’s now 21), he proceeded to release his “proper” debut which is a 30 minute exercise in artistic growth and discipline.
Despite its short length IDLSIDGO feels much longer. This is assisted by Earl’s skills as a wordsmith and his personal turmoil having just lost his grandmother as well as his alleged estrangement from his Odd Future cohorts. All that forced him to find solace within and this is well documented in the album. On album opener “Huey” he proclaims “I spent the day drinking and missing my grandmother” and this mood continues on to tracks such as “Mantra” where he laments on his new found fame as well as his failed relationship and infidelity.
On the haunting track “Faucet” he touches on his strained relationship with his mother as he put it in an interview with NPR where he confesses that he could go months without talking to her.
Album standout “Grief” as described by Earl is a final lament and epilogue and on it he flexes his lyrical supremacy in a standout fashion with notable quotables such as “Fishy niggas stick to eating off of hooks…Say you eating, but we see you getting cooked” . Furthermore, on the menacing cut “Grownups” , featuring A$AP Mob affiliate Da$h,he contemplates whether the God he once scorned could grant him favour despite his lack of faith.
Personal turmoil aside ,Earl has greatly improved skill wise and has also silenced his detractors who claimed that he lacked subject matter and was basically “all words and no substance”.
All in all this is an excellent follow-up from Kendrick Lamar’s favourite artist.
TCW RATING: 8.3/10
STANDOUT TRACKS : Just listen to the whole album. It’s 30 minutes long.But if it’s life or death check out Grief, Faucet and Mantra.