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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 30, 2018 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 16, 2013 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music
With the 2010 drop of his debut mixtape, Earl, rapper Earl Sweatshirt became one of the main reasons the underground rap crew Odd Future went from obscurity to everywhere. Then, Earl's mom decided he was an "at risk" kid (not because of his ugly, ugly music, but because he was "getting in trouble"), so off to the Coral Reef Academy in Samoa he went, quickly falling into the category of "more of a legend than rapper" as Odd Future broke out the "Free Earl" T-shirts with no other explanation for his absence. As such, his official debut falls into the category of "highly anticipated," but the real story behind the murky and free-flowing -- almost globular -- Doris is that the morbid horror-show rapper heard previously has grown into an observational maverick-style artist, offering downtrodden and even dour rhymes that come off like MF Doom recounting his visit to the Grand Guignol. Swaying slowly with Tibetan monk vocals in the distance, the ghostly "Hive" with Vince Staples and Casey Veggies offers the vivid "Come around we gun 'em down/Bodies... piled... Auschwitz," while the Tyler, the Creator feature "Whoa" kicks off with the Odd Future leader declaring "This ain't no 2010 sh*t," which Earl proves by dropping crooked rhymes about pot ("Steaming tubes of poop and twisted doobies full of euphemisms") and Harry Potter ("Bruising gimmicks with the broom he usually use for Quidditch"). MF Doom fans will be familiar with the style, and while the rumored Doom collaboration does not wind up on the final Doris, another obvious influence, RZA, is here, appearing on the aptly titled "Molasses," a slow, rich mix of Wu-Tang and Wolf Gang flavors. Mac Miller's recent embrace of the underground pays dividends during the bent and broken "Guild," while Frank Ocean influences Earl to sing his own blues on the great "Sunday" ("Nightmares got more vivid when I stopped smoking pot/And lovin' you's a little different, I don't like you a lot"). Underneath all this mumbled madness are some truly wonderful sounds -- much of it made by Earl under his alias randomblackguy -- as "Chum" runs like an underground indie suite of excellent ideas while "Centurion" twists a Krautrock and Can sample into something thug and stately. All that said, Doris is unsettled, messy, and takes a bit to sort, but there are codes to crack and rich rewards to reap, so enter with an open mind and prepare to leave exhausted. ~ David Jeffries
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 23, 2015 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

Aptly titled with the off-putting I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside, Earl Sweatshirt's sophomore effort is a crushing confessional that refuses to get off the couch, even if it's beautiful outside. "I ain't been outside for a minute, I've been livin' what I wrote" the Odd Future MC snaps on "Guilt," but then again, why bother as adoring fans ("They the reason that the paper in your trousers thick”) can't help Earl with the recent death of a family member (his grandmother) and entering your twenties jaded about drugs (there's a love/hate relationship with Xanax and/or weed that pops up here and there) must be rough. Being a teen exiled to Samoa didn't help much either as the excellent "Faucet" shrugs off his "Free Earl" era with "Before I did that shit that earned me a term on that island," but the man never comes off as misguidedly privileged or resistant to advice, he just feels like a cog in the machine, grist for the mill. I Don't Like Shit is only a grueling album on first encounter, since Earl's old-school-styled, tight rhymes remain as scintillating as they were on his official debut Doris, but that album's overwhelming runtime has been slashed to an economical 30 minutes here. Besides that, the rapper handles most of the production himself, using the moniker randomblackdude while giving "Huey" a cartoonish lilt, and "Inside" a warped vision of the angelic R&B crew member Frank Ocean offers. The idea of being "stuck" is always enforced by a soundfield that's MP3-influenced and compressed, while the guest list (Dash, Wiki, Vince Staples, and Na'kel) is minimal with only one production ("Off Top") handed over to Left Brain. I Don't Like Shit is heavy and lacks much hope, and yet it communicates these feelings with such skill and artful understanding that it still fills the soul. ~ David Jeffries
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released July 3, 2015 | Classic Hits

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 8, 2018 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 20, 2018 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 19, 2015 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 12, 2013 | Tan Cressida - Columbia

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