So this new Earl Sweatshirt album..

It’s been a big week for releases that everyone is losing their mind over. Kendrick dropped an album and the internet exploded. Apparently, it’s the best album ever made. I haven’t heard it but , honestly, I’m just not really into him. Dude is an exceptional rapper and has a very strong vision that I respect greatly but I simply never feel like listening to him. It’s not him, it’s me. Action bronson also dropped a new album. I haven’t peeped it yet either but with Bronson, you kinda know what you’re getting. He’s funny and strange and has a good ear for beats. I’mma definitely check it but there is less urgency there.
The last dude to drop something new is Odd Future’s pride and joy, Earl Sweatshirt.
It’s streaming here:
Now, i don’t typically write reviews on this site. As an artist, it’s just kinda shitty to do. Let the people who don’t make music have all the opinions, right? It’s just so easy to be biased , as an artist. That said, every now and then i get inspired. It’s not usually for good reasons though. it’s usually cause people are freaking out and I have it engrained in me to be like “Hey, chill’s not that good or bad…”. I’mm libra, yall! I did it with “Yeezus” and I did it with Earl’s Debut “Doris”. Doris was okay. it had some good songs but, overall, earl seemed bored and a little all over the place. It was kinda like an album made by someone who didn’t really want to make an album. With his second album “I don’t like shit, I don’t go outside” it feels like we’re getting the album we had hoped his debut might have been. All the complaints about his first album (he’s got no energy, the beats are meh, the songs don’t go anywhere, wasted talent, etc…) are pretty much fixed on this album. I’m not saying this is perfect album or even close to that but it’s definitely very good and huge improvement.
As a dude who always pays attention to beats, the initial thing that jumps out to me is the production. I could be misinformed but I heard that Earl himself produced the majority of this album. That’s pretty impressive. It’s got a very specific sound and it feels as though earl, by making his own tracks, is able to be himself musically. Sure, he can rap on menacing Tyler the Creator beats but he’s clearly way more at home over slow, somewhat off kilter jazzy beats. He likes rhodes and pianos. Simple melodies really but when you rap as well as Earl, that’s all you really need. He even delves into some instrumental stuff as some of the songs trail off into totally different , all musical parts. In general, he creates a pleasant backdrop for him to do as he pleases with. And that leads me to the next improvement. Earl has always been a great rapper. When he first came out, i was writing on this very blog about how he may be the best 16 year old rapper since LL cool J was rapping in Krush Groove. On “Doris”, that skill didn’t go away. He could still write and rap in a way that was often so good it slipped by you without resonating. I’ve definitely had moments listening to songs off “doris” that I hasn’t given much thought to when, all of sudden, it would hit me “Damn..he just murdered that verse” why did I overlook it? Probably cause he rapped with the enthusiasm of a kid reading aloud in class. On his new album, it seems he’s got a little energy. Sure, there are some songs where he’s still the quiet and reluctant rapping earl but having the tracks where he actually raises a voice a little bit really evens the whole thing out. It’s like if Eminem had only rapped like Triumph the insult comic dog on HALF of his songs, that album might have been more palatable. Nah, it would have still sucked but you know what I mean.

Another thing this album has going for it is great guests. Last years rapper of the year (in my opinion) Vince Staples returns to do what he does. Ratking’s Wiki pops up out of nowhere for a bi-coastal song that was a joy and surprise to hear. and then you got the two dudes I’ve never heard of…Dash and Na’kel. No clue who they are are or where they’re from. They could very well just be dudes Earl smokes weed with but, whoever they are, I like them. I can’t say either will be a star but what they contribute on the album definitely adds to it as a whole. That’s what posse cuts used to be like. Instead of gathering famous rappers to spit throwaway verses, dudes would just let their unknown boys get off a verse. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was bad but it was always interesting to hear.
Another thing I really like about this album is that it bends for no one. Earl basically made an enjoyable rap album of somewhat depressing songs about being anti social. There are no singles. So much so, the first song he dropped, “Grief” may be the least accessible song on the whole album.

I almost feel like he dropped that first just to be like “Fuck yall”. I know when I first heard it, i was like “hmm…i like the rapping but that beat isn’t really my shit…” but , when heard in context with the album, it makes a lot more sense.
The final thing I’d like to point out is how goddamn listenable this album is. Not just musically.It’s a great length (pause). It clocks in around 30 minutes. You can listen to it twice in an hour. That’s no filler right there.
So, yeah…Good job Earl!

17 thoughts on “So this new Earl Sweatshirt album..

  1. Actions album is good too. Vears off into musical type outros as well. Plus the alchemist

    I like earls. It’s a listen to in the dark type album. Good review sir

    Kendricks was balls to me. I’ve never liked his muppet voice thing. But whatevs

    • action bronsons album was mediocre at best. tons of filler with a few highlight tracks. nothing special or noteworthy. earlys was a big step for him musically. kendricks album was dense and overrated but still excellent. if it’s not your style so be it. underrated album was joey badass’ debut, totally got slept on but, like you said “whatevs”.

      either way earl killed it on this album

      • what do u think of travis scotts stuff? the energy is Amazing and its strange enough to be weirdo rap but obviously popular and current idk.. trappy? at the same time. i just really like his shit. that being said i absolutely hate almost all this new bullshit its to boring to poppy to grandiose idk. but yeah travis’s stuff just is like all over the place but is really idk something in its own class almost like kanye but not as overlyoffensivefornoreason and i dnt know dude im on xanax ill just stop now but yeah Travis just has so much energy at the live shows its like watching a rock musician. but man that auto tune PLEASE POP RAPPERS E N O U GH AUTO TUNE ALREADY

      • These “what do you think of______” questions are boring so i’ll just answer it here
        I’ve only heard that one big song. It’s whatever. Club banger. I get it. Can’t say it made me wanna look any further into his music.

  2. About Na’kel:

    “Cause there’s another one, the one with Nakel, the one with my brother on there, psh. That one is the heaviest one. It’s called “DNA.” We was in the studio and I was — initially it was just this Left Brain beat called “DNA” that I was going to get Nak on, on some turnt s—-. He was on — he’s not a rapper. He’s just my brother. That’s my best friend. He, like, skateboards. He was on Tyler’s album, on one of those songs. So that’s what I was going to get him on. It was going to be some like, “Hey!” You feel me? It was going to be some playing too much.

    And then we was in the studio. I was making — I started making this beat and then he took — another one of our boys came. He took some acid with him and 15 minutes later got the call that his first homie died in the hospital, after he got shot. And — last night, we were talking about how the anger that comes with being default African-American, like displaced. So a lot of times news like that come through and you just get the green light to just act an ass. You know? Like, no one’s fitting to get — no one can be that mad at you, but everyone going to be like, “I wish this n—— would stop.” You know? So he had an option at that — you know what I mean? It was like a real kind of fork-in-the-road. Like, how is this going to hit this n——? Cause he’s also on acid. So he has, like, acid clarity, like psychedelic, really sensitive, hyper-sensitive to everything. So he’s just — and it was at the end of the month. It was at the end of the debauchery month. This is what I’m saying, the moments. It had built — so this was what it had come to.”

  3. Kendrick took his new album in the same direction Mac MIller took “watching movies” in the sense that he surprised everyone (I think) with some original, experimental stuff. I didn’t like him before but I got a lot of respect for him on this new one.

  4. I don’t know about you, but I sounded very enthusiastic when reading stuff in class. Loved it. Is that abnormal?

    My reading aloud game was on fleek. (just joking with that last sentence! some slang can be so bad)

  5. Have you checked out: ‘Fuck, That’s Delicious?’. How do you feel about a rapper commentating about food? I love many if these episodes, but I work in the food industry. How does the other-side of the coin feel about these cross-overs? I know you’ve been asked foodie questions before, but I would like your insight. Feel free to rock this for Answers with Questions

  6. Block, you really gotta check out the new Kendrick Lamar. I’ve never been a “gangland/Compton” rap fan, but this sound is so different. I really like how quirky this Sweatshirt album is, though.

    • I love gangland compton shit…I just don’t really like Kendricks voice or the way he raps. It’s a personal preference thing. I don’t doubt the album is good, it’s just not for me.

    • I don’t really see it. KA’s brand of whisper raps is nothing like Earl’s and, on the album, Earl doesn’t do it as much anyway. Doom is the only obvious influence I hear.

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