Earl returns from exile

By Justin Mathew Dennis |Staff Writer|


After a long absence, Earl Sweatshirt is finally free.

The teenage rap artist declared on Twitter that he is back by releasing a new song, entitled “Home.”

“You’ll hear from me without a doubt when I’m ready,” wrote Earl Sweatshirt in an e-mail obtained by the New Yorker.

Clearly, he has not disappointed.

Earl Sweatshirt, whose birth name Thebe Kgositsile, was one of the most popular members of the Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.

Earl has been regarded as the most talented and buzz-worthy rapper in Odd Future. He has also become one of the more interesting stories in underground rap due to his inexplicable hiatus from the rap game.

According to the story, in early 2011 his mother allegedly sent him off to an all-boys military school in Samoa. Outraged, Earl fans were chanting, “Free Earl!” outside of his mother’s house in Los Angeles.

It turns out that Earl had no intention of being freed from Samoa; he was actually there honing his skills to launch his solo career upon his return to the U.S.

Leila Steinberg, an artistic mentor who famously guided Tupac Shakur, has been working with Earl. On musicfeeds.com.au, Steinberg issued a statement on Earl’s return:

“Remotely for the past year, Earl has been busy sharpening and collaborating in virtually the same way as other rappers, singers, poets, actors, athletes and dancers who have benefited from Leila’s over 25 year legacy of weekly writing workshops. [Earl] is on his way back to Los Angeles where he will finish high school before launching the next phase of his widely anticipated rap career.”

Earl Sweatshirt had a debut studio album, Earl, which was self-released in March of 2010 as a free digital download. His rapping style is notable for its dark lyrical content, multi-syllable rhyme schemes, heavy wordplay and double entendres.

The album was a major success, and Earl was named the 24th best album of 2010 by Complex magazine.

The response from the Odd Future clan has been surprisingly subdued. As Earl tweeted about being back home and back to school, a tweet from Tyler, the Creator followed expressing his excitement for Earl to be back, but angry that Earl was not rejoining Odd Future.

Tyler announced that the new material for the next release from the collective, Odd Future Tape Vol. 2, would arrive on Feb. 20 without Earl.

“Sweatshirt Will Not Be On The Tape,” Tyler tweeted, effectively ending speculation from numerous music blogs about a possible Earl cameo.

Earl challenged his fan base by offering his new release only if he could get 50,000 followers on Twitter. Within a few hours his goal was met and he sent out another message with a YouTube link to his song.

MTV Rapfix reports that in Earl’s new song, “Home,” he spews free-associative bars with no interrupting hook, going on for well over a minute-and-a-half.

At the end of the song the outcast MC makes things official when he ad-libs, “Annnd I’mmmmmm back. Bye.”


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