Today marks the commencement of a weekly drop on EVRYDY called “7 Tracks You Should Know By…” Similar to the #SilasSundays Series, this self-explanatory playlist will highlight certain verses from established artists that may have been overlooked or forgotten over the years. The subject of the inaugural post is one Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, aka Earl Sweatshirt.
Earl burst onto the scene with the ferocity of teenage angst personified in 2010. Formerly known as Sly Tendencies, Sweatshirt gained a formidable cult following while gaining notoriety with the infamous Odd Future clique (which also spawned the careers of Tyler, The Creator, Frank Ocean, Syd/The Internet to name a few). After a string of singles for the OF collective and one stellar eponymous mixtape, Earl vanished from the music scene with the same celerity he entered with.
Fast-forward past his extended trip to Samoa, Earl has released two considerably dark, yet impressively captivating albums, Doris and I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside. The maturity and growth are clearly displayed on his most recent albums when juxtaposed to his earlier records with Odd Future, but the bars have remained consistently sharp and cutting…literally and figuratively.
Check out the 7 verses where Earl Sweatshirt exhibits the highest level of lyrical flexing, laden with metaphors and similes that may fly over your head upon first listen. Keep in mind: a majority of these tracks were written before Earl turned 20 years old It still baffles me to this day – even though the subject matter was humorously juvenile – how incredibly poised and advanced he was as a teenager, in comparison to his “elders.”
For example: “Dat Ass” by Sly Tendencies (his pre-Earl pseudonym)
Juicebox, tank top, tube socks
Dude stop, forehead shiny like a new Glock
Two shots fired at the Excursion we were swervin’ in
All purpose verses with a passion for servin’ kids
Empty out your purses on an immature crime spree
Eyin’ up the nurses with some gloves that read I squeeze
Who the f**k said to speak, Mr. Me-Is-Siamese?
Even Christ said “Christ, he flows quite nicely”
Hypebeast’s highly likely to bite me
And try to high five me, but I just give them high threes
Cause y’all don’t get two, touch me, I’m the s**t
Sue me, if you got an issue, grab a tissue
Mediocrity is odd to me
Ass as far as ya eyes can see. Who the best? They holla me
Nombre, Ho-lay sh*t, I don’t spit crack, I spit cocaine crisp
I ain’t fu***n’ with it if it’s no payment
Cause everyone knows paid dues don’t pay rent
I’m dope like the coke that I’m laced with
Dreams what I’m chasin’, flow hot it’s chafin’
This is why I’m hot? No, that is why I’m blazin’
Dilla jacked Nick, I am shinin’ like the diamond that I’m draped in
But I don’t wear jewelry, it’s HUF over Louis V
Excuse the endurance miss, this critic thing is new to me