While Tyler, the Creator emerged as the poster boy for L.A. alt-hip-hop force Odd Future, it was Earl Sweatshirt—a drawly, gangly crony three years Tyler’s junior—who seemed like the purest embodiment of the collective’s insouciant genius. Just as Odd Future’s stock was spiking, though, the teenager born Thebe Neruda Kgositsile seemed to vanish; almost instantly, he attained folk-hero status. It turns out that our protagonist was cloistered away in, yes, Samoa—at an academy for wayward youth. He’s since reemerged to snap up what he had coming, including a swanky Columbia deal. Doris, the first proper Earl LP, came out last August, and it was a gem: a molasses-paced musing on the struggle between ambition and introspection. Expect to hear plenty from that record as Kgositsile hits town as part of his so-called Wearld Tour.
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