Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside (Columbia; 2015)
With a title like I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, it’s hard to believe the latest Earl Sweatshirt album is a major label release; 29 minutes long, almost entirely devoid of hooks and drenched in wallowing, warped organs, its form feels almost punk rock in nature. Evoking DOOM at his most scatterbrained and broken, I Don’t Like Shit is as bleak and antisocial as its title suggests, composed of a dreary and depressing window into Earl’s deep-rooted anxieties and paranoia. Sweatshirt, in a suitably monotonous and detached air, slurs over his own array of minimal, stark beats, crafting an impressively atmospheric and thematically consistent, albeit oppressively claustrophobic whole. By putting away the shock tactics which originally defined him and his Odd Future cohorts, Earl has effectively tailored a scarier and more foreboding portrait of young fame. “I hope my phone break, let it ring,” Sweatshirt mutters on “Faucet”; if nothing else, I Don’t Like Shit’s dedication to its austere vision is fascinating.
Trial Track: “Mantra”