This is what we were hoping for three years ago when Earl Sweatshirt’s eerie video for EARL was uploaded to YouTube and we were all introduced to the dark, mind-bending style of a bizarre but undeniably talented young rapper. That video had a raw, grimy aesthetic that was impossible to look away from and featured ridiculous bars from a weird little 16 year old that we could barely wrap our heads around. We couldn’t help but want more.
We had to wait, though. We had to wait after he disappeared off the face of the earth when his mother sent him to Samoa. Then we had to wait some more after he returned to the country and worked to find himself as a newly famous artist with the weight of high expectations. Now the wait is over.
Since his return, Earl has released a few songs and videos (watch “Whoa” and “Chum”) but this is the closest he’s come to the magic of that EARL video. This is what we hoped would happen when a matured Earl Sweatshirt stepped to the mic and used his newfound fame, resources, and money to build on that promise he displayed on “EARL”. Even with all the fame, money, and pressure, Earl is able to channel the raw and original style of his early work and turn it into something that’s more polished and fleshed out. Something that’s better. Ask anyone who’s followed the careers of once “promising young rappers” and they’ll tell you how rare that is.
Watch below as he hangs out in dark alleyways with weird masked characters and delivers wild wordplay and striking imagery from his signature drawling flow over a heavy instrumental — then stick around for an impressive verse from Vince Staples that’ll be worth at least a few rewinds. Look for Earl Sweatshirt’s solo debut Doris on August 20th.