Earl Sweatshirt’s story isn’t news. He was banished to a private school by his mother during the Odd Future boom, while their defacto leader Tyler, the Creator stood front and center without the chops or the focus to properly convince us of their staying power. Earl’s legend grew on the strength of his features and lone tape; showcasing a young man with intense verbal chemistry and a twisted world view.
His proper follow-up to 2013’s Doris is a legitimate contender for album of the year. I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a dense, heady journey into a dark, boarded up house where Earl restlessly squirms on a stained couch; endless blunt smoke twisting into thick, muggy air while a tape recorder captures every moment. This record is Earl’s minute to show and prove.
Sweatshirt’s wordplay is focused and sharp. “Mantra” is a testament to doing less with a complex, jittery beat. It’s refreshing to hear him slow it down and map it out, rather than packing every second with intense bars. He’s letting his mind unfold and fill the spaces. “Faucet” has been on steady rotation for the past two weeks. Keep this one set aside for an hour of booming headphone play. Enjoy.