In the midst of this weird transition in Odd Future, Tyler having stepped away from social media and Frank being away from the public eye since forever, Earl Sweatshirt is able to drop his newest album, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. The album is almost entirely produced by randomblackdude, also known as Earl himself, except for the track “Off Top”, which is produced by fellow Odd Future member Left Brain.
This album also sees Earl take a step away from his monotone rapping voice and sees him switching it up a bit with some great flows along with his beats. “Huey” begins the album and sets the mood with a riveting organ loop over the boom bap beat. Also in this song, Earl touches again on the passing of his grandmother, who passed during the making of Doris. He also drops a line that is sure to be a great use of his opening verse, “Critics pretend to get it and bitches just don’t fuck with him.”
The next song, “Mantra”, sees him touch on his recent breakup in the second verse. His girl tried to expose him and be phony online, and he admits to having broken the trust he had with her. The line “My absence of fucks was a problem that we ain’t ever really get to solve” shows how cold he got to be during the relationship.
“Grief” is another great song that hits hard and sounds like another classic Earl track. He talks about how he’s been panicking a lot and he’s been “scrambling for Xanax out the canister to pop”. He goes more in depth about how his grandmother’s death has affected him, having to reach for a drink in order to cope with the thoughts going on in his head.
“DNA” comes close to the end of the album, but it has one of the best verses on it, and it doesn’t come from Earl. It comes from skateboarder and close friend Na’ kel, who was in the studio when he got the call that one of his homies had just passed away in the hospital. All during his verse, you can hear the pain in his voice. It reminds me of Scarface’s verse on Jay-Z’s “This Can’t Be Life”, because he also received a call that one of his friend’s kid had passed, and you could hear the hurt in his voice during the verse as well. Na’ kel reminisces about what his friend had taught him and how he wishes he could make him proud from down on earth.
Earl delivers a solid album, it seems more depressing than any project that he’s put out yet, but it really hits home. Plus, it’s only 30 minutes long, so in the words of Sweatshirt’s tweet, “When you get done listening to it, listen to it again, that’s why it’s 30 minutes numbnuts”. If you have Spotify, you can stream the album below. It is also now available on iTunes.
Favorite tracks: “Huey”, “Mantra”, “Grief”, “Grown Ups”, “Inside”, “DNA”, “Wool”.