A Brief History of Earl Sweatshirt
We don’t want to indulge in his back story too much, though Earl’s beginnings are noteworthy in properly understanding where he’s at as an artist now. As so many of you likely know, he quickly transitioned from a mid-2000s MySpace rapper known as Sly to a veritable superstar.Everyone demanded to know more about the 16-year-old behind EARL, a brief outing of a clearly gifted artist who obviously had some growing up to do. But in the Internet age, maturing as both a person and an artist can be stunted through fame and the all-seeing eye of the press.
So when Earl disappeared amid rapidly growing buzz surrounding him and Odd Future, everyone and their mom wanted to know where he went. It didn’t hurt, of course, that his cohorts shouted “Free Earl!” every chance they got. Thanks to some investigating by Complex, Earl was found. He was studying in Samoa at the Coral Reef Academy, where he and other at-risk teens participated in therapeutic activities. He also kept writing.
Earl eventually returned to music in February 2012 with the aptly titled comeback song “Home“. He later reunited with his OFWGKTA peers on posse cut “Oldie” off The OF Tape Vol. 2, spit a killer verse on Frank Ocean’s “Super Rich Kids“, and in between all that signed his own record deal. He also appeared on the first track from Flying Lotus’ rapper alter-ego Captain Murphy, “Between Friends“.
But the most notable move by Earl in 2012 came when he released his first proper single, the Christian Rich-produced “Chum“. That’s when it became 100 percent understood that we were witnessing the true growth of a determined and an extremely talented artist.