Earl Sweatshirt - I Don't Like S**t, I Don't Go Outside (Album Review)

Free Earl! You remember the chant heard around the blogosphere when Odd Future collective rapper went missing amidst the group gaining both underground and mainstream attention. After his return from Samoa he's appeared on a few projects. He's released a pretty good, but very different from his early style especially lyrically, solo album. Doris rode in on the hype of not only Earl being back but also on the anticipation of what his first official album would sound like. I was more than interested when it was announced he'd be releasing his sophomore album on short notice. Odd Future, as a whole, has lost some steam. Aside from Tyler, The Creator, Mellowhype , and Earl not many more names from the group have become all that big and not many releases have surfaced and caused a big huge panic. There are also swirling rumors, semi-confirmed by Tyler himself, that Odd Future is really more of a brand now than a collective and the members don't speak as often as they used to. So going into this album I wondered what the most hyped member of the collective, aside from Tyler, would do on his follow-up album. Could he continue to build on his hype after the initial excitement?

While I Don't Like... may not have immediately ear pleasing singles like the songs "Hive", "Chum", and "Whoa" from Earl's official debut album Doris or feature the same rapid style delivery fans enjoyed from Earl's debut mixtape the album as a whole is pretty strong. In fact, as a whole, I think this album is much stronger than Earl's debut album Doris. The album features mostly production from Earl himself and it creates a vibe that no doubt early fans of Earl's and Odd Future will appreciate while both older and newer fans alike will find an album that features a more mature rapper. Earl feels a little more grown up on this album and the album's cohesive vibe is all a part of that.

The only other Odd Future member feature includes a couple tracks produced by Left Brain under the moniker Lord Rudah. Noticeably absent from the album is Odd Future leader Tyler, The Creator. Nothing on this album can outright confirm if anything is awry in Tyler and Earl's relationship. He doesn't speak about it directly on the album. The only thing you can really point out is Tyler's absence. Honestly though the album focuses on Earl and less on features. It's less on being a part of a collective and more being a solo artist. Sure frequent collaborator and long-time Odd Future associate Vince Staples shows up on "Wool" adding quite a bit of flair to the track. His appearance combined with the production style and Earl's flow on the track easily remind me of the pairs track on Earl's debut mixtape.

The album is a little on the short side. That doesn't bother me much but "Wool" kind of ends the album abruptly, but on a high note. "Grief" has a brooding beat that feels slightly minimal and gloomy. It has a rough garage sounding beat. The album as a whole sounds a lot like this with the occasional piece of bridge of music connecting the tracks. "Grief" features one of these; the end of this gloomy garagey beat moves into an ear pleasing sunny sounding synths coupled with the garagey sounding beat. "Faucet" is one of my favorite songs lyrically and it's a definite standout on the album.

At this point most of Odd Future's members are becoming less exciting. Other than being able to tag their albums with the OF tag they have had some trouble making big waves with fans outside of Odd Future loyalists. Earl continues to show you why he was a highlight of the collective. He continues to progress with this release in his style, lyrical maturity, and overall ability to craft solid songs that in this case have created his most solid work to date.

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