The former Odd Future member delves deeper into the abstract sounds explored on 2018’s Some Rap Songs
At this point in his career, Earl Sweatshirt has fully exceeded any expectations that were set during his early career with Odd Future. The 25-year-old rapper has been turning heads for nearly a decade, continually growing as a lyricist and an artist. With FEET OF CLAY, Earl continues to raise the bar, delivering his second masterful collection of abstract hip-hop tracks in under a year.
While sonically this isn’t too far from the raw, lo-fi sound of his fantastic 2018 LP Some Rap Songs, it still feels fresh. Most of the songs here barely eclipse the two-minute-mark, and don’t have a semblance of traditional song structure. In fact, most are just a single verse, with the occasional outro, feature or chorus throughout. Earl is marching to the beat of his own off-kilter drums and warped horn samples, creating a musical identity that is uniquely his.
Handling most of the album’s production, he has built the backdrop for what feels like the stream of consciousness of an emotionally wounded young man. Throughout the album he opens up about his alcoholism and his depression in the wake of losing his father and grandmother. This is a poetic portrait of grief wrapped in warm but ominous, distorted, sample-based instrumentals.
Serving as the perfect companion piece to Some Rap Songs, FEET OF CLAY showcases a man looking back and trying to come to terms with loss, heartbreak and addiction. Earl’s growth as both a man and an artist are apparent, and this is another great entry into his already phenomenal catalogue.
Trial Track: “MTOMB”
“Sellin’ kids culture with death, circlin’ like carrion
The more the merrier, phone got you livin’ vicarious
Ice melting ‘cause it’s so hot
The veil lifts, the pain salient” (Earl Sweatshirt on “74”)