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“Some Rap Songs” gets some praise

Rapper releases emotional follow up album

Joseph Romano, Staff Writer

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Some Rap Songs is the follow-up to 2015’s critically acclaimed I Don’t Like ****, I Don’t Go Outside. At the beginning of 2018, Earl promised to release more music on Twitter, which would soon bring an end to his almost four year hiatus from releasing music. If it feels as if Earl is underselling his latest album with the cover art and the title “Some Rap Songs”, it’s because he is. He is intentionally decreasing the magnitude of an album from one of most praised artists of the decade to some low brow mixtape. Earl Sweatshirt (real name Thebe Kgositsile) brings out a more experimental approach in Some Rap Songs. With a total of 15 songs and only 25 minutes for the entire album it’s a fairly short listen, but Earl doesn’t disappoint as he still maintains to bring his hard-hitting bars, diverse rhyme schemes, and the laid-back, of his songs that his fan base has grown to love.

The album starts off with the song “Shattered Dreams” in which Earl talks about alcoholism, depression, and his father’s recent passing from an introspective point of view over a beat that samples a song named “Shattered Dreams” by The Endeavors. The next song “Red Water”, is an interlude-like song in which Earl raps about his family life and the role of his late father.

Earl Sweatshirt’s father, South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile, is one of the main topics he raps about in the album. When Earl was 6 years old his father left him and his mother to move back to South Africa. This played a huge role in his previous music. But unfortunately he died to an illness on January 3, 2018 at the age of 79. This forced Earl to cancel all his shows and go off the grid for a little bit. In a Rolling Stones article, Earl Sweatshirt states “Me and my dad had a relationship that’s not uncommon for people to have with their fathers, which is a non-perfect one. Talking to him is symbolic and non-symbolic, but it’s literally closure for my childhood. Not getting to have that moment left me to figure out a lot with myself.”

The strong points of the album include “December 24”, where we see Earl spitting bar after bar for a straight minute and 46 seconds while constantly including his crazy rhyme schemes and flows over a dark, jazzy instrumental that compliments his lyrics perfectly. The same killer rhyme schemes and flows are shown on “Veins” where he reflects his struggles dealing with fame. On “Playing Possum”, we hear a duet composed from his mother, Cheryl Harris, thanking him and describing him as a “cultural worker and student of life” mixed in with his dad reciting an excerpt from his poem “Anguish Longer Than Sorrow.”

The last song “Riot!”, is an instrumental made by Earl Sweatshirt where he samples his late uncle, African jazz legend Hugh Masekela’s song “Riot”. At the end of the song we hear a somber guitar begin to fade away to silence. His father and uncle are gone, but Earl is still here carrying on their artistic legacy while simultaneously building his own.

Rating: 8.7/10

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Joseph Romano, Staff Writer

My name is Joseph Romano

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