The Odd Future crew was full of talented rappers, and Earl Sweatshirt took on the subgenre of horror core better than pretty much anyone who tried it before him. When Sweatshirt dropped his lead single off of his latest album Some Rap Songs, it was hard to see what he was going for. Now, with the album out it’s all clear; he has a new sound and it’s sick.
Keep in mind, the album still has notes of darkness on it, but it’s essentially an entirely fresh and new sound. The opener “Shattered Dreams” is a slow burn, it takes its time and doesn’t have a definite drop like traditional hip hop. This continues to a degree on “Red Water,” where elements of free jazz and chopped vocals craft a sound that’s off center but still works. Sweatshirt seems to be on a different level here, taking elements that have appeared in hip hop before but not to this degree, style or magnitude.
“Nowhere2go” has a sound that’s like what would happen if four different car stereos were blasting four different tracks at the same time, mixed together to create a sound that’s a trip and completely original. “Ontheway!” has R&B elements with a carefree vocal that doesn’t go hard but also isn’t soft by any means. “The Mint” steers as close to Earl’s past as you’ll get on the release, yet it’s still a new path that slaps like you’ve come to expect from the rapper.
There’s a ton of songs here, though the release is barely twenty five minutes in length. It’s like snippets of a moment in time where hip hop is the language and the soundtrack. Songs like “Azucar,” “Peanut” and “Veins” all come and go like conversations in the night. Most of the tracks don’t hit a two minute run time, yet you’re satisfied with all that Earl offers up. If this is the direction he’s going in, we’re definitely on board for the ride.
You can stream the album on all streaming platforms, you can purchase it in all E-shops, or you can purchase it on multiple formats and in multiple bundles directly from the Earl Sweatshop store. As of now, there are no tour dates for Earl Sweatshirt, though that should change in the new year.
Image Credits: Photo Courtesy of Columbia Records.