Earl’s Victory Lap
It’s been a good couple of weeks for the poet laureate of Odd Future. First, there was the Fallon appearance. Then came his first “serious” radio freestyle on Sway in the Morning. And then he hopped on “Between Villains,” a track that also features DOOM and Flying Lotus’s tripped-out alter ego Captain Murphy.
By the time Doris dropped on Tuesday, after leaking a week earlier by OF themselves, rap nerds across the Internet were lining up to secure a place near his nuts. It was reminiscent of ESPN anchors pulling on the pud of Yasiel Puig.
It’s not without merit. Earl can flat out rap, without all the sideshow theatrics of Tyler. And he’s created his own lane: sad, solid rhymes that are never sappy. That’s not to say emo—Earl isn’t quite Young Lean (sorry Jeremy). Still, his introspection is a constant as his razor-sharp wordplay.
On Fallon, Earl was eerily poised, as usual. He walked out from backstage, brooding in a black hoodie, and ripped through “Burgundy.” Riffing on his sick grandma, his mental instability and Clark Gable, the track feels like a mission statement, much like “Chum.”
Next up, he made the radio rounds. He stopped by Sway’s satellite show to drop a rare freestyle. “I made a promise that I would never rap seriously on the radio,” he said. “I’m ’bout to break it for you, Sway.” After turning down a handful of beats, he settled on the remix to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Dude is 19 but looks 12 and has the awkward charm of a young Larry David—he stretches and yawns like he can’t be bothered. Still, he murked this shit, right from the jump: “this is the blackest piece of trash they’ve seen in the RV park/holla at your guala if you ever feel your weed sparse.”
Finally, on “Between Villains,” he arguably outshines DOOM and Captain Murphy. Interestingly, DOOM appears as Viktor Vaughn, a hat he isn’t worn in awhile. Viktor was always the nicest of the Villain’s many alter egos, and this is continues the trend. Still, it’s Earl that steals the track, and he’s not even featured. “I’m in the cut, lookin’ for some puss to pick apart/dirty, like us riding in the whip that really isn’t ours.”
Earl is a beast with slouched shoulders.