I had gone to the liquor store after a hard hungover blaze and purchased myself a bottle of Wild Turkey – KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY, 50,5% of raw volume. It wasn’t as violent or blinding as homemade rakija moonshine, but it certainly did the trick. This was August 12th – the day that Prince Friso of the Netherlands died after being intoxicated in a coma for a year and a half – and now I was already six hours into August 13th and the hounds are still howling for Earl Sweatshirt’s new album . . . and his blood. Earl had earlier performed on Jimmy Fallon’s scam of a show on Friday, August 9th and for these freaks that still wasn’t enough. They couldn’t dig or understand the Muhammad Ali lone approach through the corridors and onto the stage. Bringing back the coolness of Ali on TV was all right, but did he beat his opponent to a bloody pulp after getting in the ring? did the bastard make it out of there alive?
It shouldn’t be too hard for any good rapper to succeed when being backed by The Roots, but the performance lacks momentum in its start and it takes a while for the ears to adjust to the rhythmic levels of good vibrations and solid jabs. Was he still doing the Ali approach? tiring out the opponent and the audience with little to no flash only to deliver halfway through the fight? Yes. This is what it looked like.
Of course, I’d be an insane and kinky bastard to suggest he did this consciously. There aren’t many men around that can get high without anything. Even for the greatest of trips you will have to wait a little before it starts. Earl wasn’t injecting heroin, he was taking MDMA pills and listening to Slim Shady. That’s why there is a build-up. That’s why you won’t feel it sting immediately.
There are echoes of a maddened and passionate murderer that filter through his head but what good is that if your opponent is Joe Frazier? Hell yes! This was Earl’s solo debut on network television and it is good for an introduction. But what will happen in the second fight and the eventual third? Will he succumb to the human hamburger and fail or will he remind everyone of Ali?