December 24 by Earl Sweatshirt off his album “Some Rap Songs” is one of my favorite songs of Earl’s. Its title is a reference to when it was made, December 24, and it was the first song he made off of Some Rap Songs in 2015. In the song, Earl raps about a bad acid trip and its effect on his mentality over a sample on repeat. The song has a moderate tempo at 80 bpm, andante, 20 beats per bar at a 4/4 time signature, and it was written in the D flat major key (3b Camelot key). The lyrics of the song are very poetic and heavy. The song is simple and it is not very long at one minute and 50 seconds. This is the embodiment of Earl Sweatshirt’s recent discography.
Earl Sweatshirt once had widespread fame. As a part of the collective “Odd Future”, led by Tyler the Creator and Frank Ocean-two Grammy recipients, Earl was a hot topic in the mainstream music scene. His mother sent the sixteen-year-old away to a correctional school for adolescents in Samoa, an island in the middle of nowhere, due to his vulgar lyrics for two years and he came back even bigger. Earl was very famous among kids. He was a leader of the youth until purposely he sabotaged his fame.
In 2015, Earl Sweatshirt distanced himself from Tyler the Creator, Odd Future, and the mainstream media and lost many fans due to many reasons explained by Earl. First, he wanted to spend more time with his Grandmother as she was about to die. Second, he was going through a depression because his father died. Third, he and Odd Future had a falling out due to creative differences. Fourth, he wanted a new audience. Odd future had a large number of fans but they were mostly young, immature, ignorant kids, contrasted to Earl who was going through changes and growing as a person becoming more self-aware and socially conscious. In 2015, Earl successfully alienated most of his fan base with the album “I don’t like Shit I don’t go outside” and EP “Solace” which both had slow melodies and deep and depressing lyrics such as
“It’s me and my nibbling conscience
n****, I’m fixing to give up
I’ve been alone for the longest
it’s trouble the way that we jogging
nothing gon’ save us or stop us”
“I got my grandmama hands
I start to cry when I see em
cause they remind me of seeing her
these the times that I need her most
cause I feel defeated...”
“Time waits for no man and death waits with cold hands
I’m the youngest old man that ya know
if ya soul intact let me know”
This didn’t appeal to his mainstream audience though which resulted in Earl losing a lot of young fans and attention, though he successfully gained an older, more mature audience, such as myself. Earl’s music appeals to me because his lyrics and flow are extremely unique and cool to me. He often uses syncopation too where he raps off-beat. His lyrics are typically deep, self-reflective, and depressing and I relate to them very heavily.
Although Earl does not have nearly as many fans as he used to and his albums don’t sell nearly because of his change in subject matter, he has garnered much more respect in his sphere of music from hip-hop fanatics and music critics. He has a small cult following. And, mentally, he is doing much better. But for him to regain that same mainstream visibility that he once had, society would have to become, for the lack of a better term, “woke”. Earl is now rapping about social consciousness and the black and African plight in his newest album “Feet of Clay”. This is as far as it gets from mainstream hip hop because the songs are very short, slow, and off-beat. Furthermore, it is more like poetry than rap. So for Earl to gain mainstream attractiveness, society would have to wake up to social issues in the world, more so than it is right now.
Article by Huey