The chants of “Free Earl” now have a focal point: the island paradise of Samoa.
Fans of the west coast collective of talented misfits OFWGKTA (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All) can now rejoice after some serious investigative reporting from Complex magazine uncovered the whereabouts of the gifted teen rapper, who has been missing since the group has risen to prominence and slowly becoming a nearly unavoidable fixture in hip hop. Earl Sweatshirt has apparently been shipped by his mother to the all-boys military school Coral Reef Academy in Samoa.
Earl Sweatshirt, whose given name is Thebe Kgositsile, was reportedly 15 years of age when he recorded the bulk of his material for his debut LP Earl as part of the Odd Future flurry of releases that dropped last year. Now said to be 17, he was celebrated by prominent rappers such as Danny Brown, Sean Price of Heltah Skeltah fame and many others and his sudden disappearance from OFWGKTA shows was noticeably glaring. Soon after, the group’s chants of “Free Earl” became a staple of their performances and further piquing interest in the lyrical wunderkind’s output or lack thereof.
In Complex’s reporting, the magazine’s staff was able to use clues from verses in the group’s later material and random Facebook musings by a student who attended the Coral Reef Academy with Earl. Complex dug even deeper and uncovered a photo posted by U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, David Huebner, which appears to shows a baby-faced Earl Sweatshirt in the background of a group photo. The caption read that Mr. Huebner was at the academy to witness a fire-knife dance competition put on by the school.
The magazine couldn’t legally obtain contact with Earl, who is still a minor, but the pictorial evidence and hints from his OF brethren all seem to correlate enough to a point to comfortably state that Earl Sweatshirt is indeed a student at the school.
Fans of OF aren’t the only ones missing Earl, as group leader Tyler The Creator tweeted recently, “When Thebe Comes Back, The World Is Ours. Seriously.”