Earl Sweatshirt’s music education and evolution, from 1. Growing up in Chicago, lying on his family’s Persian rug listening to jazz, African horns, and gospel music → 2. Being a dad now, watching his son learn rhythm → 3. Learning saxophone in elementary school → 4. Starting writing rap at 16 and also listening to music like Dr. Dre’s ‘Chronic 2001’ and Lil Wayne’s ‘Money on My Mind’ → 5. Visiting his dad in South Africa and starting to write music in earnest in his spare time → 6. Finding inspiration in J. Dilla’s book, Dilla Time.
Earl Sweatshirt is the virtuosic byproduct of Los Angeles’ fertile ground where hip hop sowed its seeds and historic cultural movements were born. The prodigiously-gifted writer, lyricist and producer grew from a zeitgeist of which contemporary collectives in hip hop today are predicated. And while most movements are fleeting as soon as they arrive, Earl pushed forward, documented his growth and self-discovery on record and cemented himself as one of the foremost culturally relevant MC’s in the game, one who never strayed away too far from his Los Angeles beat-scene roots. His debut album Doris arrived in 2013 and introduced the world to a more realized vision from him than his seminal mixtape Earl that was released three years prior when he was just 16-years-old. He followed Doris with the critically-lauded I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside in 2015, further exploring the depth of his technical dexterity with more swagger than prior releases. Three years later, he released Some Rap Songs in 2018, the tightly wrought album that found a more self-aware and mature Earl in his reflection of being in the public eye since a teenager, coupled with the reconciliation of the death of his father. Enter Feet of Clay, the conceptual 2019 project that continues the written narrative of Earl’s life in today’s societal landscape and world-view in real-time. Fast forward to 2022; Earl returned to the scene with critically acclaimed, SICK!
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