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Earl Sweatshirt: ‘Music makes me hope. Music helps me make sense of the world’

Mr. Nimbus | 09/14/2023

Earl Sweatshirt joins Zane Lowe in-studio on Apple Music 1 for a wide ranging conversation touching on the 10th anniversary of his album ‘Doris’, his new project ‘VOIR DIRE’ with The Alchemist, embracing sensitivity and doing the work, becoming a parent, his relationship with his mom, writing and process, competition, embarking on his health journey, and more.

Earl Sweatshirt Reflects on ‘Doris’ and Celebrating The Album’s 10 Year Anniversary…

Yeah, man, that s**t has been crazy. I’m not going to lie. It kind of just brought back, just everything from that time. And some of the ambiguity, that’s what I think really stuck out to me.I was 18. I was trying to figure it out. They were like, you’re the big rapper, make an album. That’s why I think part of that album was a deliberate shot in the parachute, or in the foot. It was too… The name, the whatever. It was too big for me at the time. I was 18 years old. Right? It was like, n****s was putting a thing on me. And it was like, I don’t even know if I have that much to say right now. I had the ability to manipulate words and play with words and stuff, but in terms of content, I was 18 years old. I have a lot of clarity on it now. I still think I was figuring all of that out. So if you look at that album, there’s a combination of all of that. There’s my first beats on there that I just cannot stand right now. …at the risk of sounding redundant, it’s like I’m really not even that n***a anymore. I’ve already done that. Me, by myself. I’ve loved on that person and everything. So some parts of it felt like karaoke.

Earl Sweatshirt on His New Project With The Alchemist ‘VOIR DIRE’…

Yeah, we got that one. We cooking, we just dropped a single for you, man. I got weird legalese like, floating around in my subconscious because my mom, she is a lawyer. So I just have weird legalese… I mean, the reason why I gravitated to Al so much is because I was privileged in not having that much experience in weird studio sessions. I had only just come from OF, and that was that type of environment. Like, 10 rappers, highly competitive, openly competitive. I love that s**t. It was like that at Al’s, too, you know what I mean? That type of session versus a weird session where it’s just like you and… I don’t know, there’s utility to all of this s**t, right?

Earl Sweatshirt on Embracing Sensitivity and Doing The Work…

I’m the most sensitive n***a that’s outside. I’m not going to lie to you. No, that’s what I was saying outside to them. I was like, what if I went in there with Zane Lowe and sat down and just started profusely crying right now. Serious. I swear to God, ask them, I was like, if I just sat down first question, dry open and profusely crying in 10 minutes. I knew I was sensitive. I knew that I was… Ooh, nah, I’ve gone through ups and downs with it. I feel like in my childhood I was incredibly sensitive. And that’s… Yo, dog. That’s what I’ve had to unpack as an adult. As a child… I had it bro. As a child, I had the get mad, heart to the throat, face hot. I’ve had face hot, tears, throat hurts. Then I went away. The most intensive therapeutic boarding school ever. Learned therapy stuff, and came out of the thing, had a sense of self. Then self-identified through my early twenties and mid-twenties as a chill guy. Then especially with the emotional intelligence, I’m like, yeah, I’m a chill guy. Then, a series of unfortunate events rained on me and that chillness got called the f**k out. Because then I found out… I re-found out how sensitive I was again.

Earl Sweatshirt on Becoming a Parent…

I think the age that I had my son at was a blessing. I was young. I am young, but not so young. And it kind of hastened some of my adulthood… some of my purpose, for sure. And that’s life. And art imitates life. So this s**t just, it cornered me into having to be stronger, take care of different aspects of my health, just become slightly more of a serious person.

Earl Sweatshirt on His Relationship with His Mom…

Yeah, I think me and my mom have mutual appreciation sessions sometimes. Yeah, I think the thing I was talking about, even just off-air right now, watching my mom process, that has been, I guess really illuminating to me too. Just watching my mom process an adult child, or her adult child, you know what I’m saying? And watching her kind of over my adulthood, realize what you said, which is, I’m on my journey and then watching my mom as she could see that I was either safe, or that there was nothing she could do about it.

Earl Sweatshirt on Writing and Process…

I’m always listening. I’m always… Input-output. I’m always listening so that I can put something out. Music makes me hope. Music helps me make sense of the world. I’m observing. I’m intaking. So that to influence my output. Then, with regards to writing, any form of writing, I feel like the goal is the same as kind of being alive. It’s like you want to be seen, you want to be understood, so you want to try and capture these intangibles or these impossibilities. That’s what I spend my time trying to do is, yeah, try and capture some intangibles or some things that might not be… The things that feel familiar that you haven’t heard yet. You know what I’m saying? Some s**t that feels like, “Oh yeah.” It’s just town crier. I feel like, it’s there. It should be around for all of us, it’s just the person that has the eyes to see it, and then the words to exclaim.

Earl Sweatshirt on Competition…

I’m not going to lie, I come from the other side of it. I’m like a vicious competitor. N***a Billy Woods said, “My goals were limited. I just wanted to be the best.” Tap in. Yeah. So I was like… I think maybe with maturity, at some point you realize you kind of just is… Inspired by others and then you’re competing with yourself. You know what I mean? It’s just like, I don’t want to create with any hate on me. You know what I mean? For a good allegory, I feel like for it is, I was a hooper. I was an athlete. That’s where it comes from. As a kid I was like martial arts crazy, skateboarding and all this s**t. Hooping.

Earl Sweatshirt on Starting His Fitness Journey…

I started my health journey earlier this year. I started working out. I go to Air One. I’m inside of the Air One. Come see me at Air One. I’m for sure sworn by secrecy to my gym. My s**t is, you got to take a blood oath to join my gym. Ludicrous be in there.

Earl Sweatshirt on Preferring Texts Over Calls…

I’m definitely a texter. I freeze up every time the phone rings. Dude, when it does the long rings and the s**t is vibrating in my pocket. I have a panic attack every single time. …I f***ing give my number to everybody. Mad n****s have my number.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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