Earl Sweatshirt. A storied member of the rap community. Known to some, but even those who’ve been listening to the Los Angeles rapper have spent years discussing how little they understand him. A lot of that speculation ended last month, when Earl dropped Some Rap Songs, an album wonderfully—and dangerously— fused with the man himself.
Since the release of Some Rap Songs, which ends a three year long break from 2015’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt, Earl has been pondering the aftermath. The irrefutable results. Some Rap Songs was one of the best albums of 2018. It’s a breathing soundtrack of Earl’s perception. It’s honest, black expression. It’s rap. And it’s all there. His triumph, his grief. His solace, too.
Recently, Earl chose to further express himself and the album. In his new short film “Nowhere, Nobody“, Earl—with direction from Naima Ramos-Chapman and Terence Nance—diagrams the emotional setting of Some Rap Songs. Using the tracks, Earl baths in his grief. He parts the weeds from ancestral busts. He revisits the rooms of his mind, of his life, and shows us what it looked like to become the man he is today. The man who was alive enough to write Some Rap Songs.
Along with dropping “Nowhere, Nobody”, Earl Sweatshirt announced that he is going on tour. This marks a huge return for Earl, who cancelled a number of dates from his last tour. But so much has changed, personally and professionally. You can even see it in the promotional posters, dictated as such:
“Thebe Kgositsile Presents: Fire It Up! A TOUR STARRING EARL SWEATSHIRT & FRIENDS”. Thebe Kgositsile, being Earl Sweatshirt’s real name. A good start to upholding the intense authenticity we hear in Some Rap Songs, to maintaining the complete fusion between the man and the art he made. With several supporting artists (BBYMUTHA, Black Noise, Liv.e, Mike, Na-Kel Smith), the “Fire It Up!” Tour could end up being one of 2019’s best rap concerts.
Earl Sweatshirt’s North American Tour will hit most major cities, including New York City, where he will perform at Irving Plaza. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (2/1) at 10 AM with Live Nation/Citi presales beginning Thursday (1/31), at 10 AM.