Short Essay – Why I Like Earl Sweatshirt’s Music

Nicholas Pincombe expresses his own individualism in a short essay entitled “Why I Like Earl Sweatshirt’s Music” which steps back from the assumptions we have to make in order to determine what the triumphs and falls of an individual really are, as well as why we believe a triumph to be a triumph and a fall to be a fall.


Although I take school and work very seriously, I take these things seriously in the context of somebody who thinks that human life is essentially absurd. This is because we take some things seriously without really knowing why, but we do anyway. If we really get down to it, nothing really matters–but how are we supposed to live if nothing matters? This inner conflict of ideas is the crux of Thomas Nagel’s argument for absurdity in “The Absurd”. My response to absurdity is that we need to choose carefully what we will take seriously in life. I think that the things that are really important involve living in the moment, respecting the ecosystems of Earth, and finding love in everything that we do. I really like Earl’s music because he communicates his idea that life is absurd without really intending to. He just raps about whatever he wants and even though he’s ‘mad smart’, he ‘acts ignorant’.


Earl is a nineteen year old member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All from the Southern United States. Their full name is OFWGKTADGAFLLBBLSBFBN and I invite anybody who is curious to Google the meaning of this acronym. If you are not familiar with Odd Future, then you might be familiar with Tyler, the Creator. Get it? Tyler…’the creator’?! He created Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All! The other noteworthy rappers in the group are Mike G, Domo Genesis, Left Brain, Hodgy Beats, and Frank Ocean. There is a song on Youtube called ‘Oldie’ that is ten minutes long and it features each of these gentlemen rapping into the camera.


Earl was first introduced in 2010 with the release of his self-titled album, ‘Earl’. After Tyler introduces him, Earl introduces himself by saying, “I’m a hot and bothered astronaut crashing while jacking off to buffering vids of Asher Roth eating apple sauce.” He goes on to rap about a wide variety of subjects, but funny business and tomfoolery are the predominant themes of the album. His mother sent him to Samosa for boarding school because he was getting into trouble in 2011. This ignited the ‘Free Earl’ campaign. He has since returned and released a new album, ‘Doris’. This album has been recognized by the Rolling Stones magazine as the 42nd best album of 2013.


I find that I connect with Earl’s tone of voice. The significance of this is that memorizing his raps is an enjoyable past time for me. On Sunday, November 24th, I had breakfast with my good friend Justin Valentine. On the way home, we rapped his verses together a cappella in my car. Also, in September, Justin, myself, and our good friend Jess (James) Hodgson saw Tyler live at the London Music Hall. It was unfortunate that Earl wasn’t there, but I am a fan of Tyler as well. Earl’s rhymes really are incredible. In a ‘duet’ with Tyler, he has the gall to say that he is ‘the reincarnation of ’98 Eminem’. In fact, Earl recently met Eminem because the two of them and Tyler performed at three concerts in Europe.


I don’t think that Earl’s music is for everybody, but there is definitely a part of myself that connects with his music. My goal in writing this essay was to share that part of myself with SASAH and the online community. The songs that I am most likely to be overhead rapping along to are ‘Blade’, ‘Hive’, and ‘Orange Juice’.

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