03 12 2013
Until we hear Doris in its entirety, every Earl Sweatshirt track is going to feel like a comeback, or at least a reintroduction-- and as Tyler, the Creator helpfully reminds us at the top of "Whoa," Earl's last single was the unusually plainspoken and revealing "Chum", which makes "Whoa" on some "ol' 2010 shit about...fuckin' and fuck and all that." As usual, Earl makes good on that promise by maintaining a frightening stability that counterbalances Tyler, sounding simultaneously in love with the possibilities of rap and wearied, burdened by the demands of his talent. "Whoa"'s roots can be traced back to a time when Def Jux and Star Trak were assumed to be competing for hip-hop fans' attention. The influences are every bit as dense as Earl's macabre threats, but the larger context is that you really are hearing a guy who still maintains the original allure of Odd Future's 2010 output: straight-up rap-for-rap's sake intended to please no one other than the people making it, but too accomplished and unique to be ignored.
[from Doris; forthcoming via Tan Cressida/Columbia]