Just under a year after his critically praised project, Some Rap Songs, former Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt returns with an EP containing 15 bonus minutes of dense and moving lyrical passages and disorienting beats in the same style.
Most of the project’s lyrical content sees Sweatshirt grappling heavily with the death of his father in early 2018, as this is the first project he began writing for since the event. Through a number of spellbindingly technical verses full of internal rhyme schemes, he surveys his tangled emotions, desperately trying to put self-destructive tendencies behind him.
Over some slowly creeping bass tones, sparse percussion and contemplative piano (and one track featuring a truly surreal looped accordion melody), Sweatshirt simply states the facts in a straightforward stream of consciousness, his voice sounding tired but purposeful.
Often firmly off the beat like some kind of enlightened Blueface, Sweatshirt doesn’t wait for the listener to be ready, or even pay any particular regard to what they think a song should sound like. He’s already deep into his narrative twists and turns 10 seconds after hitting play on the first track – but that’s particularly why so many raise him up as one of the leading avant-garde rappers in the game.