Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs

by Kyle Kersey Rating:8 Release Date:2018-11-30
Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs
Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs

Some Rap Songs is exactly what it purports to be: just some rap songs. It reminds me a bit of Kendrick Lamar’s outtake extravaganza Untitled.Unmastered, except while that contained songs like “Untitled 07 | Levitate” (while is both titled and, while not technically mastered, features very hi-fi production), Some Rap Songs is unapologetically raw.

His influences are so clear: the Dillas and Madlibs of early 2000s DIY hip-hop. This is Earl with his sleeves rolled up and a Jack White approach to technology. In other words, this is Earl at his most lo-fi. These aren’t songs as much as they’re vignettes: 1 or 2 minute ditties stripped back to their absolute minimum.

The record is about as far from his polished debut LP Doris as humanly possible, while also the logical conclusion to his sophomore effort I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. The technically precise lyricism of his younger years has given way to a more mumbled approach. It’s less sharp than subdued.

A lot has happened in the three years since he released I Don’t Like Shit, both culturally and personally. The recent death of Earl’s father, famed South African poet and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile had a profound impact on him. He canceled tour dates and spent almost two months in South Africa for his late father, despite having an estranged relationship with him. Earl has made his battles with depression public through his music before, but this is deeper than that. Some Rap Songs is the first time that he’s turned his attention completely inward.  

At one point, he declares “bend, don’t break, we not the bank”. It’s a running theme, having to face one's demons and persevere. On its surface, Some Rap Songs may appear a tad lazy and formless. But upon further inspection, it’s a deeply personal reinforcement of Earl’s musical evolution.

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