By Rob Markman
Since Earl Sweatshirt returned from military school he’s been back on the road with his Odd Future crew, but he hasn’t released too many new singles. The latest one however, comes in the form on “Chum,” which takes us through some of Earl’s most personal thoughts.
After a low-key Twitter countdown, Earl let the track go with a link to his Soap On My Lawn Tumblr site. The piano-laden track doesn’t have a catchy chorus, or a bridge, instead it’s Earl spewing free-associative life-thoughts of his absentee father, his deep bond with de facto OF leader Tyler, the Creator and the inquisitive media’s effect on his private life.
“Get up off the pavement, brush the dirt up off my psyche,” he spits before going into the heart of the pained discussion.
As the son of South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, the OFWGKTA word wizard probably shares a lot in common with his dad, even if their relationship isn’t all rosy. “It’s probably been 12 years since my father left, and left me fatherless/ And I used to just say I hate him in dishonest jest/ When honestly I miss this n—a like when I was six/ And every time I got the chance to say it, I would swallow it,” he raps in complete transparency.
The drama at home caused Earl to lash out, or so he says in his lyrics, but had a positive effect as well when he met the Wolf Gang mastermind. “Searching for a big brother Tyler was that/ And plus he liked how I rapped,” he spits building his tightly-weaved rhyme narrative.
Somewhere down the road, the gifted rap assassin was shipped off to the Coral Reef Academy, sparking a massive fan-fueled “Free Earl” campaign.
Initially there was speculation on Earl’s whereabouts, until Complex.com blew the lid off of the whole thing with some clever investigative reporting. Fans ate it up, but apparently Earl himself didn’t appreciate the hunt.
“I know you’re happy now, craving that these Complex f— n—as will track me down/ Just to be the guys that did it, like I like attention,” he spills before expounding on how the expose affected his home life. “Supposed to be grateful right, like thanks so much you made my life/ Harder and the ties between my mama die straining tight.”
“Chum” ends with no resolve, but instead leaves more lingering questions about what makes Earl tick. Questions that he will hopefully answer on future releases.