by Jake McKenzie
photo by Steven Traylor
When Earl Sweatshirt’s self-released (on MySpace) debut mixtape, Earl, caught the attention of Tyler, the Creator, Earl landed a coveted spot on the Odd Future crew. Unfortunately, his hip hop career almost ended before it got started when his mom shipped him off to a boarding school in Samoa. Imagine trying to reinvent rap as a brave new voice in hip hop, but then you get grounded. Bummer! But his time at boarding school was spent writing rhymes and reading counterculture literature, allowing Sweatshirt to emerge on his eighteenth birthday ready to embody the hip hop star he was destined to be. Earl’s flow is introspective and mellow, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put on a show. What Earl’s monotone delivery may lack in energy will be more than made up for by his rabid fanbase, who are sure to show up to provide backing vocals to every song.