Day for Night Artist Spotlight: Earl Sweatshirt

Written by on November 14, 2017

Faded – Earl Sweatshirt / Mac Miller

Don’t you hate it when someone just as old as you says something wiser than anything you’ve probably ever said? What about if what was said, was said in passing and the person who said it seems so nonchalant and careless about what they said, that they sound bored in their delivery, and just kept talking. Well, that’s Earl Sweatshirt for ya.

Starting his rap career at the ripe young age of 16, Earl quickly gained notoriety as the wise-lipped, slow-spitting member of Odd Future. After being introduced to Tyler the Creator on Myspace, Tyler reached out and put him on, recognizing the immense talent and unique expression Earl emitted.

Earl Sweatshirt – Human Error

Earl Sweatshirt – Hat Trick

Reaching a midpoint between MF DOOM and Eminem (if Eminem was born to South African political activist, grew up in LA, and took enough Benzos to slow down his delivery to 1/8th the speed of the Eminem we know today) Earl has a distinct voice: a raspy, charismatically-unenthusiastic, syllable by syllable delivery, coupled with clusters of internal rhymes that seem to just fall out of his mouth in an order that just makes sense. Some would describe early Chance the Rapper as druggy-ear candy, and liken his music to a bag of jolly ranchers. If that’s so, then Earl is a bag of dusty fortune cookie papers that taste like sand and chapped lips that cause you to choke when you swallow them, yet you actually can’t help but enjoy them, with fortunes written on by Confucius himself. His debut studio album “Doris” made major waves for the former (at the time present) Odd Future member, and helped distinguish him as a dark new voice here to stay for as long as he wishes, and then recluse back into the shadows as a hip-hop-hermit until feeling called to dispel wisdom. Thriving in the background of LA hip-hop, Earl has collaborated with select few outside of his old OF colleagues, yet these connections are pivotal when analyzing just where he stands amongst his youthful peers in hip-hop.

Earl Sweatshirt – Movement 2017

I don’t personally listen to a lot of podcasts (next to none), yet I find myself unable to resist when Earl Sweatshirt’s “Stay Inside” podcast when it is the last Friday of each month. Earl and producer “Knxledge,” host a 2 hour monthly podcast called “Stay Inside” where they play some of their favorite obscure tracks of all genres, shout out friends, and speak very little; yet when they do, Earl and Knxledge just bounce off each other in such a hilarious way that I’ve had to pause the mix several times so I could contain myself and not laugh so hard I miss whatever else they say. In all aspects, “Stay Inside,” reflects just how unique both artists, especially Earl, really are by being an extremely different podcast. This ain’t your grandma’s podcast! “If you came here for good transitions… came to the wrong…” croaks Earl in one episode, right before blasting the music past the typical level of volume in podcast etiquette, with Knxledge laughing in the back. In a lot of ways, this podcast is reassuring, by shedding some light on Earls character outside of his ominous, chilling, dark, and heavy music, we are shown that he’s just a quiet dude who listens to a wide array of music, and loves to joke around and clown his friends and peers.Outside of the podcast, you can tell Earl has a good time buddying around with like-minded artists in LA, as you can often spot him in cameos of artists videos, like NxWorries’ “Link Up” music video, which also features Eric Andre (check it out here and see if you can find Earl). Earl also loves to speak his mind occasionally on current political and social matters, using his platform as a means to communicate to the youth and industry who listen to him attentively. It is possible his conviction to use his fame as a platform to speak out for what he believes in, comes from his father being a major political activist in South Africa. There are sometimes we even get to witness hilarious clapbacks and cat-fights between him and friends of his, or even random twitter users from his personal twitter account (follow him here, if you’re a fan you won’t be disappointed).

Being an artist who paints himself as a troubled introvert, it is no wonder that Earl isn’t known to be a major touring artist. Even though Earl has toured with OF, done some solo tours, and even performed as a headliner at his long-time friend’s festival “Camp Flog Gnaw,” Earl just seems to not have a need or strong desire to tour. Yet, when he does make an appearance, you can tell he thrives upon stage; wearing a dopey basset-hound like smile that we so rarely see, his perpetual eye bags of what can only be stress and personal demons materialized onto his face seem to lighten up, and even disappear (metaphorically of course) behind the glow of the passion, power, and love he emits whilst performing. His love and appreciation for his fans are omnipresent in every moment during his performances, and completely overcasts any slip-ups he encounters when performing tracks from his old catalog requested by the crowd. Earl even loves to tease new unreleased music in his sets, so if you are a Sweatstan (yes I just made that up), be sure to stick around for his full set.To find out more about Day for Night Fest where Earl will be performing alongside many other artists, click here.

To follow Earl on twitter click here. To check out Earl and Knxledge’s monthly podcast, click here.

And as always, if you enjoy any pictures or graphics in the article, be sure to click them and check out their sources. Maybe click a few of their ads. I know they’d appreciate it.


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