Earl Sweatshirt explains the inspiration for his latest album "Some Rap Songs."
Earl Sweatshirt sat down with NPR to discuss, among other things, his languid state on Some Rap Songs. Unfortunately, a lot of rap fans couldn't put two and two together - did they really expect a boisterous display from Earl on an album where he tackles "inescapable grief." Without paying the misunderstood fans any lip service, Earl provided those answers and more, in a tell-all interview with NPR published yesterday morning.
Al Shapiro asked Earl to pinpoint the song on the album that best describes him in relation to his father's death, to which he offered "Playing Possum" as his answer, along with a generous explanation. "That song is way less about my dad dying than it is about what both of (my parents) were talking about, and the conversation I was trying to have them in with each other. Just like them back and forth. It's crazy," he described.
Earl's father, South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile, passed away just under a year ago, placing importance on the need for him to face his own mortality, to some extent. As for his dedication to his craft, Earl avoids stepping into his father's shadow altogether, nor does he consider himself a "poet" or anything other than a pure-and-applied rapper. The Odd Future fixture wants to bring "rap" back to its nascent form, within the specter of "Black Expression," but otherwise, he can't predict how his music will take shape, from this point onward.
"I mean, then you gotta look at really like what is rap. That sh*t is black expression, bro - and what was jazz?," he asked rhetorically. "The one that got copied, the one that got over-produced, over-criticized, over-made a victim of like nomenclature. It's black expression, bro."