EARL: Revisited Part 1

earl-sweatshirt

With the approach of Earl’s new album “Doris” on the horizon I thought it would be a perfect time to take a look back at his, now infamous, debut project; EARL.

Released back in March of 2010, EARL was the third full length solo release from Odd Future. The first being The Dena Tape from Hodgy Beats followed by Tyler, the Creator’s debut album, Bastard. Recording an album at the age of 16 is an accomplishment in itself, but recording an album of such quality that is full of lyrical ability that most rappers never achieve in their whole career, is a pretty big achievement for a 16 year old skater kid from LA. Many people’s introduction to Earl didn’t come from this project though, they were introduced via this video.

The brash and violent wordplay, reminiscent of Eminem’s early work, and images of teeth and nails falling out due to the ingestion of a cocktail of drugs, was what set Earl apart from other young LA rappers and when you were finished watching the video for the first time you were left fiending for more. The only place to get more at the time was through his only project, EARL. Lets take a look at the album.

Earl Cover

With 10 tracks and a running time of 26 minutes it is a relatively short debut release, but it’s short and sweet. Earl was able to pack in more wordplay in those 26 minutes than most rappers at the time put into an hour. Production on the album was mostly handled by Tyler, the Creator with the exception of two tracks. Epar which was produced by Left Brain and Stapleton which was produced by BeatBoy. Features were kept to a minimum with only three other rappers appearing alongside Earl. Tyler on the tracks Couch, Pigions & the intro Thisniggaugly, Vince Staples on the track Epar and Hodgy Beats on the track Moonlight.

In part one I’m going to take a look at the first 5 tracks on EARL. Let’s start at the beginning, that’s always a good place to start.

Thisniggaugly is the intro track on the album, and sees Tyler introducing Earl to Taco.

“This is the newest Wolf Gang member and he, what’s his name, Earl”

This is the only track which Earl does not feature on, albeit a mumble of his name. The track ends with Tyler telling Earl to say something, which leads us into the second track, Earl.

Earl serves as an introduction track and shows us what we can expect from the young Earl Sweatshirt,

“Yo, I’m a hot and bothered astronaut crashing while
Jacking off to buffering vids of Asher Roth eating apple sauce
Sent to Earth to poke Catholics in the ass with saws
And knock blunt ashes into their caskets and laugh it off
Twisted sicker than mad cattle, in fact I’m off
Six different liquors with a Prince wig plastered on
Stop screamin’, bitch: you shouldn’t be that alarmed
When Big Lips is in the attic armed with an addict’s arm”

The track comes in just under 3 minutes and has no hook, straight bars. The beat has an almost boom bap feel to it but with enough bass to nicely shake a good set of subwoofers. If this didn’t convince you of the ability of Earl Sweatshirt nothing would. After the track finishes we jump straight into,

Couch. This is the first EarlWolf track on the album and is a back and forth between Earl & Tyler, albeit that Tyler has more bars than Earl on the track. It starts off with Earl rhyming,

“Uh, was always smartmouthed and quick-witted
But somethin’ was always missin’ like six digits
Lucky seven probably poppa
Little nigga so they picked on him, hassled him
Things changed when I hassled back, so
David hit the pavement with this grapple rap
Snapple fact: you rather wack”

We can see a change in the first few bars of Couch compared to the track Earl, with Earl touching on some real life topics and not just going straight at it with bars. Tyler arrives on in the second verse and puts his own twist on Earl’s first line,

“Uh, was always fucked up as shit with it
But I didn’t cross the line until the bridge hit it, troll
I got you niggas nervous like virgins flirtin’ with Uncle Mervin
Fuckin’ y’all with no lubricant, go grab the detergent
I preach to demons at your church, now I’m the newest sermon
Wearin’ nothin’ but they fuckin’ blast with the matchin’ turban
I drive through white suburbans in the black Suburban swervin’
Hittin’ curbs and blastin’ Erick Sermon drunk off English Bourbon
I’m stealin’ purses rapin’ nurses I’m a crooked surgeon”

What Earl does in his first verse Tyler does almost the polar opposite in his. But Earl, not being one to be outdone, switches it up in his second and final verse on the track. This is also the shortest verse on Couch.

“I’m back on my sixty six six shit
Flowin’ like the blood out the competition’s slit wrists
She lick it up, Dracula, then spit it back, back at ya
She mad as fuck, stuck in the back of a black Acura
Fed her acid now the duct tape quacks back at her
Hello Heather yellow feathers now you ain’t laughin’, huh”

Tyler jumps straight back in with more of the same type of imagery that he started off with in his first verse and Earl with his second,

“Bitch you’re barely breathin’ leavin’ on the back of the boat
While I fill you up with semen from the Wolf Gang team and
Flowin’ like the creampie inside of your daughter
Oughta eat the bitch with salt and wash it down with a gallon of water
I grab the saw and sawed of her arm and auctioned it
And dip her teeth in gold molds and flossed the shit
Fuckin’ awesome spittin’ box of trees, got you niggas
Shakin’ like it’s Parkinsons from the clitoris of Kelly Clarkson’s dick

This is the type of violent imagery and wordplay that had become synonymous with early Odd Future releases. Tyler goes on to end his verse by saying,

Killed him on his own track, the faggot shouldn’t have started it

Earl picks up on this on the first line of the next track on the album, Kill.

Kill. In essence, this track is one long flex from Earl. The track comes in at 2.20 and is the first track which has a hook, which is simply Earl stating that he’s going to “Kill em all”. Earl touches on many different topics on this track, but staying true to the rap style he has already shown on the previous tracks.

Strict top of the crop shit
Crushin’ muthafuckas like moths in a mosh pit
Dollar cents since shit, sense I ain’t lost it
It’s in a fuckin’ jar with guitar picks and bar spit
Bar spat, past tense, warriors of radness
Fuck lame, get it through your brain like dad’s dick
Go ahead, stab a friend, tell him that I’m back, bitch

Earl flexes his lyrical ability in this first verse, while also throwing in some jabs at Tyler, after Tyler’s last verse on Couch.

Earl leave bastards with milkiest asses
Take a firm standin’, nine on the tracklist
Earl half the reason the reviews fantastic
Niggas gettin’ comfy on the couch, I ain’t havin’ it

After this first verse we go straight into the hook, which is simply;

Just watch, I’mma kill ’em all
Just watch, I’mma kill ’em all
Just watch, I’mma kill ’em all
Just watch, off ’em!

It speaks for itself.

The second verse is more of the same, Earl once again showing why he’s a better lyricist than your favourite rapper.

Off ’em, no off days, no debates, bitch
Box logo, switchblade and cocaine
In my back pocket, take Jade on vacation
The hotel switch from Heartbreak to Bates quick
Rippin’ out braids with bare hands amazes
The crowd, go crazy, hands raised, I’m laced with
Swag by the eighth in case you wanna taste it

After the hook finishes again we go into the last verse of the track,

Now pan the cameras back to me and Pamela’s
Amateur threesome with Hannah Montana’s manager
And Miley feedin’ me sandwiches for my stamina
And Santa’s in the back laughin’ cause my back’s crampin’ up
Mrs. Claus trippin’ balls, think she had enough
And by enough I mean we dope as fuck, she had a gram of us

Kill does what it says on the tin, and is Earl showing and telling everyone why he’s as good as people say he is. Belive the hype.

Wakeupfaggot. This is the shortest track, skit, on the album and features Syd taking the role of Earls mother waking him up for school. Theres not much to say about it really, it kind of speaks for itself and is purely used as an introduction the next track, Luper. But we’ll talk about that in part 2.

 

Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave you thoughts on EARL below in the comments! Whats your favourite track? What was your first impression when you listened to the album? Keep an eye out for Part 2, which will be out soon.

  • VerballyShanking

    Earl is definitely a lyrical genius at his prime, we will meet soon & record a cluster fuck of a song.

  • MEGAMAN
  • H

    Earl is a genius, I heard Tyker first so I wasn’t treating him fairly, but this boy is fire

  • basedassnigga609

    my cock is fat

  • damatrix

    in the earls last verse in couch he says “im back on my sixty six sick shit” using word play on the tounge twister “sixty six sick chicks”