Rapper, producer and former member of Odd Future Earl Sweatshirt has made his return to the spotlight with Some Rap Songs, his first project since 2015. Fans have been eagerly anticipating this album for quite a while now, which was delayed due to Earl’s father passing away at the beginning of this year. Earl has always been known for being straight to the point, and equally sarcastic, which is why I doubt anyone was surprised with the title of this album. In these 15 tracks, Earl creates an obscure landscape of experimental rap mixed with old-school beats to go along with his always witty lyrics.
You can still expect the classic Earl sweatshirt people have come to know and love on Some Rap Songs, so if you are looking for songs to add to your party playlist, don’t go looking for them on this album. In comparison with the rest of 2018, one loaded with short hip-hop albums, Earl provides one of the most unique 25-minute listening experiences one could hope to find. The mood of the album overall is somber with a very slight hint of optimism. Of all the gloomy tracks on here, the most haunting track by far is “Playing Possum,” an instrumental that features vocals from both his mom, Cheryl Harris, and his dad, Keorapetse Kgositsile. On “Peanut,” one of three songs written after his father’s death, Earl raps “Death it has the sour taste/Bless my pops we sent him off and not an hour late/Still in shock and now my heart out somewhere on the range.” As you could tell, the death of his dad had a massive impact on Earl, who was already one of the more dark rappers of this era. But on the opposite side of the spectrum, Earl showcases his highs with tracks like “Ontheway!” Also, on “Nowhere2go,” Earl shows he still has a positive outlook moving forward as he declares “I found a new way to cope…/Even when I hit a low/I still give thanks to the most high.” Although his music can get somewhat boring to listen to at times, I have to give to Earl; he might just be one of he best ones out there at articulating his emotions into his music.
Overall speaking, Some Rap Songs is more than just some rap songs. This album is one of the darkest of this year. Earl has clearly been through alot and is more mature since his last album, I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside, and his lyrics benefited from this growth. Although this album is way harder to digest compared to his prior work, Earl’s wit seems to get stronger and stronger with every project. When listening to his music its crazy to think that a hooligan member of the loiter squad is the same guy rapping so gravely years after. It feels like it has been decades since the Odd Future movement “FREE EARL” started, and now, it seems like Earl is starting to free himself fully with his music.
Hits – “December 24,” “Ontheway!,” and “NoWhere2Go”
Misses – “Eclipse”
Rate – 7.5