Category: Earl Sweatshirt

Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt is apparently home and releasing music

Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt is apparently home and releasing music

Earl Sweatshirt, the absent mystery at the center of the Odd Future hip-hop collective, has apparently returned from the Samoan youth camp where he had widely rumored to be living.

Twenty-two hours ago, a mysterious tweet from an @earlxsweat simply read "home." Then came a YouTube link to a brief video snippet of Earl, speaking in what appeared to be a bedroom with a Webcam, playing a snippet of a single and promising the release of a full new song if he earned 50,000 followers on Twitter that day. For Odd Future fans, speculation about the return of Earl has taken on almost messianic importance; his whereabouts were even the subject of a lengthy New Yorker profile last year. Earl promptly met his Twitter goal and pointed fans to a new Tumblr page and a separate website, terttlefer.com, that appears to be an authentic home page for Earl Sweatshirt.

Right now, its only content is a stream of a new single, "Home," that feature's Earl's nimble, restrained delivery atop a beat by Stone's Throw mainstay James Pants. Sweatshirt has long been regarded as the best pure rapper in Odd Future and has a compelling family history -- as the New Yorker piece pointed out, his father is the renowned South African poet and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. The return of Earl (whose real name is Thebe Kgositsile) and the arrival of this new single are maybe one of the biggest stories in underground rap. It's also very, very good and hopefully, the first of many to come.

We've reached out to Odd Future reps to confirm whether Earl he is in fact in Los Angeles or posting music from elsewhere. At press time, his reps were unable to confirm his whereabouts. But in the meantime, you may want to update your "Free Earl" swag.

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Photo: A still from Earl Sweatshirt's video for "Earl." Credit: OddFuture.com

The story of Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt gets another knot

Earl2 
Initially, there was the myth of Earl Sweatshirt: The foul-mouthed 16-year-old rap prodigy/Odd Future linchpin was sent from Los Angeles to parts unknown when his mother allegedly heard the profane lyrics on his debut, "Earl."

After his fellow Wolves became rap's biggest sensation, his enduring absence became the biggest hip-hop mystery since Jay-Z was rumored to be in the illuminati. The disappearance was partially solved in April when some Complex Magazine sleuthing revealed him to be at the Coral Reef Academy in Samoa, a military-type boarding school known for its intensely strict rules and regimens.

Though members of his crew initially denied the story's veracity, it was confirmed the following month when Kalefa Sanneh's New Yorker story broke the case of the missing Sweatshirt wide open. Quoting an email exchange between the reporter and the 17-year-old born Thebe Kgositsile, the article reframed the nature of his stint in Samoa. Repudiating himself from the "Free Earl" chants that had became mantra among the group's fiercely devoted fanbase, he allegedly expressed worries that with the slogan came indirect attacks on his mom, and his fears that "I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom."

The article also asserted that he was in Samoa willingly, a claim that has been thrown into question with Complex's latest bombshell, which features an interview with Tyler Craven, a former Coral Reef peer of Kgositsile's. Refuting the claims that Sweatshirt was there willingly and about how "Earl probably did write what was published, but that it was heavily influenced by therapists at the academy who need to see positive behavior if he wants to graduate," the article leaves things even more ambiguous.

What we know (maybe): the legal age in Samoa is 21, meaning that Sweatshirt could be there for the next three years or not, depending on whether the program deems him ready to graduate. That according to Craven, "everyone there hated everything about their lives and the program." And that Sweashirt allegedly spoke to him about making dis songs about his mother and the program when he gets out. That is to say, if you believe any of it.

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 Photo: A still from Earl Sweatshirt's video for "Earl." Credit: OddFuture.com

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