10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

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An introduction to Earl Sweatshirt.

When Earl Sweatshirt's music was ushered into the eyes of the mainstream, he was at a boarding school on a rural island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Following his 18th birthday, Earl came home to California and got busy recording his debut album Doris, which followed the wild success of his debut mixtape Earl. Odd Future's most lyrical spitter was back in action, ready to take the world by storm.

Since then, a lot has changed. Odd Future has more or less disbanded, leaving its members scattered around various California-based projects. Earl has dropped the funny-guy schtick in favor of something realer: a sonic mix between classic Eminem and his peers Vince Staples and Mac Miller. He's also making his own beats, creating a serious vibe for his projects. Last year's I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside was somber, but very well put together. It's brief, but near-perfect as well. 

Earl Sweatshirt has showed no signs of slowing down, and today we'll dig into his catalogue to bring you his ten essential cuts.


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Mixtapes are made for tracks like these. It's a minute and twenty-four seconds long, with no chorus or anything. The beat has a built-in hook, and Earl absolutely bodies it. He's young and talented as hell on "Blade," so take a peak into that early Earl. 


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Here's some more of that early Odd Future steeze. "Molliwooped" displays Earl's impressive flow, and although he hadn't quite learned how to channel his emotions on the track, it's a light-hearted display of his skill-set.


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

If you've ever listened to Eminem's Infinite, you can see how the early Earl material can be compared to Eminem's early stuff. Both MCs are angsty and totally clever on the beats, juggling words like a clown does bowling pins. "It's OF buttercup, go ahead and fuck with us."


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Now we're getting into the post-Somoa Earl. Money came into the equation after Odd Future blew up, and Tyler The Creator plays director for these visuals for "Whoa." The crew is all present as Earl and Tyler murder the west coast beat.

Frank Ocean - "Super Rich Kids" featuring Earl Sweatshirt

10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

What's the best part of a rap crew? The collaborations. Frank Ocean's Channel Orange might be the biggest release of any Odd Future member, and this collab with Earl Sweatshirt certainly didn't hurt the instant classic's reputation. 


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

"Chum" kind of signals a stylistic switch in Earl's style. It isn't anywhere near as goofy or happy as his earlier stuff, but it is chalk-full of substance. He gets really real on the verses, and although it's not at pastels and donuts, it's damn good.

"Uh... time lapse, bars rotten, heart's bottomless pit
Was mobbin' deep as '96 Havoc and Prodigy did
We were the pottymouth posse crash the party and dip
With all belongings then toss em out to the audience
Nothing was fucking awesome, trying to make it from the bottom of Syd's
Feeling as hard as Vince Carter's knee cartilage is
Supreme garment and weed gardeners garnishing spliffs
With Keef particles and entering apartments with 'zine article
Tolerance for boundaries, I know you happy now
Craven and these Complex fuck niggas done track me down
Just to be the guys that did it, like, "I like attention"
Not the type where niggas trying to get a raise at my expense
Supposed to be grateful, right? Like, "Thanks so much, you made my life
Harder, and the ties between my mom and I are strained and tightened
Even more than they were before all of this shit"
Been back a week and I already feel like calling it quits"

"Hive" featuring Vince Staples & Casey Veggies

10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Earl and Vince have a special chemistry, and Casey Veggies definitely doesn't mess it up either. All three MCs crush it on "Hive," which is backed by a beat that's hard as nails. The eerie visuals match the vibes, and it all equates to an essential Earl cut. 


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Earl proves that he's as good as ever with his newest work, and "Huey" is a testament to that too. Under two minutes long, the track kicks off Earl's latest album I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

"Foot and hand on the gates
We was jumping 'em, fuck, I'm like quicksand in my ways
Was always stuck in 'em, stuck it in and I ambulance came
The first time which ain't fast if you Los Angeles raised
And my bitch say the spliff take the soul from me
And the clique tight-knit, it's like the 'lo rugby
Beat the fucking beat up like it stole from me
You can talk to Clancy, you need a feature or quote from me (Bitch)
I'm off Delancy, I reek of reefer and show money"

"Wool" featuring Vince Staples

10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Vince had a huge year in 2015, going from a virtually unknown mixtape MC to one of the lead, young personalities in the game. He linked up with Earl on I Don't Like Shit, crushing "Wool" along with Sweatshirt himself.


10 Essential Earl Sweatshirt Tracks

Earl's most recent work has been getting pretty dark. "Grief" is one of the most morose tracks he's ever released, both lyrically and sonically. It's moody, but it's also pretty great. Sometimes the darkest of hours bring out the best of music, and I Don't Like Shit seems to fall in line with that theory.  

"Good grief, I been reaping what I sow
Nigga, I ain't been outside in a minute
I been living what I wrote
And all I see is snakes in the eyes of these niggas
Momma taught me how to read 'em when I look
Miss me at the precinct getting booked
Fishy niggas stick to eating off of hooks
Say you eating, but we see you getting cooked, nigga"

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