AOTY 2018
Earl Sweatshirt - Some Rap Songs
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2018 Ratings: #48 / 709
Year End Rank: #34
User Score
Based on 635 ratings
2018 Ratings: #11
November 30, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Tan Cressida, Columbia / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
A.V. Club

The video-game melancholia and digital ephemera of I Don’t Like Shit showed how purposeful the blown-out sonics of the SoundCloud era can be when paired with a generational talent, but Some Rap Songs places Earl’s aesthetic within a longer timeline, reaching back to the atmospheric, bomb-shelter style of turn-of-the-millennium backpack rap, as well as the early-’90s golden age to which that nodded.

100
The Guardian
Amid a rap culture of sprawling albums with cosmopolitan beats that hop between country and style, Earl Sweatshirt’s third album initially seems as modest as its title. Mostly self-produced and with few guests – two of whom are his own parents – its 15 tracks only break the two-minute mark twice. But it ends up being one of the best rap albums of the year, a smoky iceberg of great emotional depth.
90
Highsnobiety
This modestly-named third full-length foray sees Kgositsile comes into his own by fully embracing genre-bending abstraction. It can be challenging, even voyeuristic, but it is heart-wrenching and compelling nonetheless.
90
AllMusic

Simultaneously sad, strange, and warmly nostalgic, Some Rap Songs is excitingly listenable and emotionally connected despite its abstruse approach.

88
Pitchfork
With his latest record, the onetime teen prodigy reemerges as the face of a new sound and scene that blurs the line between avant-garde jazz and hip-hop.
85
Northern Transmissions

Some Rap Songs is a pretty rare rap album as each song perfectly bleeds into one another. This leaves the group of songs in its own concept universe.

84
Sputnikmusic

Detractors might call Some Rap Songs unfinished-sounding or simplistic, pointing to the 15 tracks that barely eclipse the length of Kanye's 7-track Wyoming albums earlier this year. But Earl is a formalist who knows exactly when he's done making his point, a skill that puts him above most contemporaries just as firmly as his lyrical talents.

82
HipHopDX

With its esoteric lo-fi production and imperfect style, Some Rap Songs is easily one of the year’s most intriguing projects.

80
NME
‘Some Rap Songs’ may be a brief exercise, but its ambition and the – largely successful – execution of its ideas demonstrate that the enigmatic Earl is as fascinating as ever.
80
Crack Magazine

In just under 25 minutes, Some Rap Songs explores a great deal of psychological territory. It’s a record that’s unconcerned about being liked, but it’s worth spending some time with it. Earl Sweatshirt has important things to say, and you’ve got to lean in close if you want to hear them.

80
Rolling Stone

Some Rap Songs is the rare album by an immensely talented lyricist who deigns not to pull out any fireworks, opting to sink into the cushion’s of a therapist’s couch in the search for an honest work of art. It’s a delicate statement of restraint, and in this case the process shows more of the artist than ever before.

80
The Needle Drop

Some Rap Songs is Earl Sweatshirt's most emotionally intense and artistically defined project yet.

80
XXL

Some Rap Songs packs a lot in 25 minutes, making for an unsettling listen that is also one of the most personal, gripping rap records of the year.

80
Spectrum Culture

It’s impossible to say where Earl is mentally after Some Rap Songs. This was obviously a document of catharsis and exploration, diving into his own artistic and troubled genetics. But musically, he’s created the most captivating album of his career.

75
The 405

Some Rap Songs is not a casual record—it isn’t one to bump in your car, neither is it one to “enjoy” per se. Depression, a shared yet unique experience—is a topic to empathize with—and for Earl, it’s a festering reality—one he has finally been able to channel into his art most intricate and affecting.

70
Exclaim!

Although a very strong record for what it is, Some Rap Songs lacks the emotional power of the two albums that preceded it, particularly Doris, which charted Earl's transition back to civilian life from a Samoan wilderness camp.

67
Consequence of Sound
It’s yet another deep, personal, reflective album that’ll impress listeners but, in this instance, leave them only partially satisfied. While they’ll no doubt be dreaming about some of these beats for weeks, they will also wish the conversation Sweatshirt begins here would continue and that the young rapper would speak up. That’s the price that comes with having something to say.
60
NOW Magazine
The album could be a blueprint for the future sound of hip-hop. But for now, it’s unlikely the avant-garde lyricism will dominate RapCaviar anytime soon.
MaxSmitty98
95
Ever since their dismemberment, the solo acts of Odd Future have put out their best work to date. Frank Ocean with Blonde, Tyler with Flower Boy, and now Earl with Some Rap Songs.

This album is this generations response to Madvilliany. It is mind-warping, lo-fi, and at the same time feels like Earl coming to peace with who he is.

FAV SONGS:
Shattered Dreams, Cold Summers, Nowhere2go, December 24, Ontheway!, The Mint, The Bends, Azucar, Veins, Playing Possum, Peanut, Riot!

LEAST FAV ... read more
PcPowerUp
45
an album of snippets

Edit for people who wanna know my issues with this: It feels and sounds like a bunch of unfinished demos that were made in 2 months. The flows are really uninteresting and overall there's really nothing overtly enjoyable about this project. Each song is too short to be truly enjoyable (That's not saying short songs are all bad, but at least pack something interesting in the short runtime of a song)
LepardRyan
40
Edit: Alright to clarify, I wrote this in the middle of my anger and I should have stated that I really enjoyed a lot of moments on this album despite how negative my review comes off. Their was certainly great potential in a lot of these tracks, but I felt that none of that could be actualized given how short this thing is. Keep the same tracklist and extend this from 25 minutes to 35-40 minutes, and I would totally get the hype. It just feels unfinished.

Yeah I'm actually angry over this ... read more
zachthesnack
80
Edit: Earl evidently decided he wanted to be black Slenderman on his newest album cover

Watching Earl come completely out of his shell like this is truly an experience

Without a doubt, his best production as of yet
PreeMo
86
EDIT: Okay, it isn't the album of the year anymore...so you could say that people are somewhat sane (lol)

Kinda funny train of thought: the AOTY of this website is lowkey a totally random, half-assed 25 minutes snippet feast with bad mastering...

Too bad that this shit is dope tho...we literally got the most authentic album we could get from Thebe at this point and it is a short lo-fi tape full of Madvillainy-esque, also kinda like beat-tape Knxwledge sounding instrumentals and lyrics from a ... read more
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Track List

  1. Shattered Dreams
  2. Red Water
  3. Cold Summers
  4. Nowhere2go
  5. December 24
  6. Ontheway! (feat. Standing On the Corner)
  7. The Mint (feat. Navy Blue)
  8. The Bends
  9. Loosie
  10. Azucar
  11. Eclipse
  12. Veins
  13. Playing Possum (feat. Cheryl Harris & Keorapetse Kgositsile)
  14. Peanut
  15. Riot!
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Added on: November 20, 2018