About Earl Sweatshirt
Earl Sweatshirt, formerly Sly Tendencies, is an American rapper and member of the Los Angeles hip hop collective OFWGKTA. He is the son of professional poet Keorapetse Kgositsile. Thebe attended New Roads High School in Santa Monica, California.
His music has been well reviewed online by various music websites and his group has recently been featured in mainstream magazines such as Spin, Billboard and The Fader as well as on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His debut studio album, Earl, was self-released March 31, 2010 as a free digital download on the OFWGKTA website. Most of the album was produced by Tyler, The Creator. Earl was named the 24th best album of 2010 by Complex. Earl’s rapping style is notable for its dark lyrical content, multi-syllable rhyme schemes, heavy wordplay and double entendres.
Despite his overwhelmingly positive reviews, various sources indicate that Earl is not currently making music with OFWGKTA. Posts from Tyler, The Creator’s Twitter and Formspring seem to indicate that Earl’s mother will not grant permission to release any of Earl’s music. This was later confirmed when Fat Possum, the label releasing MellowHype’s BlackenedWhite re-release, was unable to include the track “Chordaroy” which contained his vocals.
Earl later confirmed his location at Samoa’s Coral Reef Academy in an interview with The New Yorker. There is speculation that he may leave when he becomes legally independent at 18 years of age. In this interview, he stated that he was not held against his will or forced to go to Samoa by his mother, and requested that the “Free Earl” campaign be stopped because he felt that his mother was being wrongly villainized by Odd Future fans. Tyler, The Creator later denied this and stated that the interview was Earl’s mother speaking in his position. On Formspring, Tyler claims that Earl himself started the “Free Earl” campaign. A later interview carried out by Complex with another Coral Reef Academy attendee, Tyler Craven, who claimed to have become good friends with Earl, confirmed that the interview in the New Yorker did not consist of Earl’s words and led Complex to the photo of Earl. His interview with Complex answered many other questions about Earl, but has been disputed by the other members of Odd Future, as well as a former pupil from Coral Reef.
On December 1, 2011, former member of Earl’s group The Backpackerz, Loofy leaked three unreleased songs by Earl. In December 2011, Earl was announced as a candidate for XXL’s 2012 Freshmen List.
On February 8, 2011, rumors spread around the internet that Earl had returned to the US when a video of him surfaced on YouTube of him saying that if viewers wanted “the full thing” they would have to give him 50,000 followers on Twitter, referring to the song being played in the video. He also later confirmed on his new Twitter account that he had returned to his home in Los Angeles. Three hours passed and Earl reached 50,000 followers and did release a new song on his website, titled “Home”, in which he ends the song with “…and I’m back. Bye.
OFWGKTA are aware of Earl’s return but it is not known as of yet if the artist will continue to be a part of the collective.
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