Giving truth to Memphis youth
By Jalen Williams
Southwind High School
Finally, what a lot of Sweatshirt fans have been waiting for: Doris released on Aug. 20. Earl Sweatshirt is an upcoming West Coast rapper from California who has been shooting towards stardom since his return from solitude over a year ago. Earl seasons up this album heavily with his fellow Odd Future members, and he adds a zest of other popular rappers on the side.
The album starts off mellow with the introduction song ‘Pre’ featuring Sk La’ Flare. Heavy on the bass and beat, ‘Pre’ is meant for any hip-hop head who loves to crank their music up loud. ‘Pre’ leads into my personal favorite and more intimate song ‘Burgundy.’ The song talks about Earl’s mind state after coming back from his two-year absence and personal moments like his dying grandmother. After ‘Burgundy’ is ‘20 Wave Cap,’ the most old-school track on the album. Sweatshirt’s friends and very EXTRA curricular activities along with Domo Genesis seem to get them in trouble, a lot.
Next on the list is instant hit ‘Sunday.’ ‘Sunday’ focuses more on melodies and the aspect of love and the destruction of drugs. The catchy song would not be the same without the newly found rapping skills of Frank Ocean. After is ‘Hive’ featuring Vince Staples and Casey Veggies, a deep collection of witty word play and talk of violence. All in good fun, I hope.
‘Chum’ is the first single to come from the album, being released in late 2012. Leading with a beautifully played piano in the background and the lyricism of Earl, it’s not hard to figure out why this track is so beloved. The soft keys of ‘Chum’ soon fade into hard, harsh lyrics by Tyler, The Creator. ‘Sasquatch’ is the typical mash of rhymes we come to expect from the Odd Future members. ‘Centurion’ featuring Vince Staples takes a peak into Sweatshirt’s soul, which seems maniacal and a bit sinister. What was going through his mind at the time of writing this song could not be accurately guessed. ‘523’ is more of a fill in track, a basic yet magical beat not just anyone can come up with. ‘Uncle Al’ is also like ‘523.’ Short, complex, unique but with words.
The word symmetry and flow of Mac Miller in the track ‘Guild’ speaks for itself. With Earl’s monotone outlook on life and Mac’s fresh, idealistic view on things, the song creates a nice contrast of their music styles. ‘Molasses’ featuring Rza starts off with a traditional west coast vibe. Listening to this track will make you feel like you’re in California relaxing out on the beach. Yet Earl said enough with the sappy feelings and welcomed the song ‘Whoa’ alongside Tyler, the Creator once again. ‘Whoa’ is the one track meant to have fun while making and preforming it. ‘Hoarse’ continues with his recognizable monotone voice, this time adding mystery to the story behind the music. He speaks of the hardships he and others face in life, like phobias and disorders such as ADHD. It makes the mood of the song very delicate and serious.
Last but not least is ‘Knight.’ Pulling out Domo Genesis one final time, Earl raps up Doris with a strong ending centering on a message to the fatherless children, hope, and an escape from one’s troubles. I don’t know about you, but I think this album was absolute bliss. It is worth the buy.