This is what you get when your mom says "We have Some Rap Songs at home"
Earl Sweatshirt arrives when you least expect it. Similar to a Frank Ocean or an Isaiah Rashad, he updates his catalogue every three years instead of every 12 months. Earl's stans hate it. They always want more, it never comes fast enough.
After the release of his 2018 album "Some Rap Songs", his third album, we could assume that another long pause will separate his last project from the next. Surprisingly, 11 months later, the famous rapper returns with a seven track EP of 15 minutes entitled "FEET OF CLAY". If Earl is now impatient, ready to play more music, hip-hop will not complain. And yeah, I'm going to do a track-by-track analysis:
Earl starts kicking immediately. This beat is such a dirty black cave that even cockroaches will find unattractive. I like Earl's flow. It's fluid as if he were a drunk Kung-Fu master. "74" is the trademark Earl delivered on "Some Rap Songs". Textures straight out of the darkness.
The production sounds like a gloomy cartoon. His voice just came out of nowhere. Earl looks like he's hitting the ceiling and the microphone's on the ground. His voice just hovers. "EAST" is an infinite flow of words that could continue endlessly. It's bewitching.
3. "MTOMB" (feat. Liv., prod. by Alchemist)
I wonder if Earl did part of the production? These rhythms have its warmth. I love that loop. Earl flies without tripping.
Earl's brevity is excellent. I'm just lost in rap, trying to catch every line. He's the kind of rapper who sometimes makes you listen to something, not necessarily for the mind or something deep, but because you never know what kind of gold nuggets he'll give up. Earl's gonna give you that line you're not thinking about. Destabilizing.
5." EL TORO COMBO MEAL" (feat. Mavi)
Earl and Mavi are, together, Batman and Robin, Gohan and Piccolo. "EL TORO COMBO MEAL" is probably one of Earl's strongest productions. It's so much brighter than usual. Mavi begins. Passionate, he is. Earl is still floating. I would like to come back to this song, of course.
6. "TISK TISK / COOKIES"
Oh it's tortuous and clear at the same time, elusive. An impression of falling into the heart of a Gousset watch mechanism after smoking.
7. "4N" (feat. Mach-Hommy)
Earl and Mach both ring as if the microphone was across the room. The flow is slow, heavy. The shadow of Some Rap Songs will have dragged on during all this short project.
Earl Sweatshirt's "FEET OF CLAY" picks up where some of the songs from "Some Rap Songs" left off. It is a more flexible and sunny version. This does not tire listeners with heavy themes or Olympic performances. Earl doesn't fall for getting his message across. The rapper once verbose says less, but the brevity of his sound and style is charming. "FEET OF CLAY", a bit like "Some Rap Songs", sounds like a rapper recording an album in the cave and slipping into the microphone. Poetry is not as powerful on FEET OF CLAY as on SRS. Earl is driven by passion, but he doesn't seek perfection.
With Earl, it's not a question of providing the purest mix, nor if it has the clearest voice. On the contrary, it is a concern for honesty. He is a rapper, and rap doesn't need to be brilliant or polite. Music must be honest. FEET OF CLAY pursues this quality.
Best tracks: "El Toro Combo Meal (feat. Mavi)", "OD", "Tisk Tisk / Cookies".
Worst track: "4N (feat. Mach-Hommy)"