I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside by Earl Sweatshirt

es album cover

It was 2009 when LA hip hop collective (Tyler, The Creator would be offended being labeled “hip hop” because he’s evolving…) Odd Future started buzzing on line. It took half a blink for the entire world to be mesmerized by their antics, music, and interviews, perhaps in that order.

odd future

Fast forward 6 years and it seems like the peak of the hype is behind us but the group continues to release music individually sprinkled with group efforts as well. The latest offering by Earl Sweatshirt, “I Don’t Like Shit , I Don’t Go Outside,” is his third studio album release. Now 20 years of age, the subjects matter and content have become less graphic, but the lyricist’s pen game is stronger than ever as he delivers a no nonsense 10 track collection.

If “Doris” (Earl Sweatshirt’s 2nd studio album and first since he returned from Samoa) was Earl’s half‐hearted attempt to have a track or two aimed at minimal mainstream success, “I Don’t Like Shit…” goes in the other direction. The entire mood of the album is dark, the production is entirely handled by Earl himself with the exception of “Off Top” (Left Brain), and if you can find any real choruses please let me know because I’m still searching. Let me say this…. “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside” is not for everybody. If you’re like me and come from the boom bap era of the 90’s when you could get lost in word play and a simple beat with heavy drums, then this album is your wet dream. Earl gets right to work on the opener “Huey”, touching on things like having his manager Clancy handle business for him, to drinking too much, missing his grandma, and poking fun at critics who pretend to get him. The second song “Mantra” finds himself dealing with the rising fame and recognition as he raps “Now you surrounded with a gaggle of 100 fucking thousand kids/who you can’t get mad at when they want a pound or a pic/cause they the reason that the traffic on the browser quick/and they the reason that the paper in your trouser’s thick.” Earl continues the long fraternity of geniuses that came before him that never seemed to embrace the limelight and attention that his craft brought him.

“Faucet” is Earl’s best production on the album, reminded me of vintage, 1994 Rza. A self‐admitted student of producing and relative newcomer to beat making, this track compliments Earl’s flow flawlessly. No let up on the onslaught, if any track exemplifies the mood of the album, it’s “Grief.” The darkest, slowest beat lays the foundation for Earl rapping some of his most hyped verses to date such as “Like it or not, when it drop, bet he gotta listen/chasing dragons, tryna make it happen, on a mission/step into the shadows, we can talk addiction” while the final line of the song has Earl spittin’ his most memorable line of the album with “I just want my time and my mind intact, when they both gone you can’t buy them back.” This kid is 20! The final track has Thebe rhyming with his long time collaborator Vince Staples in “Wool”. Trading verses, its a fitting ending to “I Don’t Like Shit…” and they both seem to bring out the best of each other, think Em and Royce or Talib and Mos.

In a time where a lot of the bigger hip hop artists are exploring their artistry and taking risks, Earl refreshingly sticks to his script and spoon feeds his fans nothing but that uncut crack. I hope his music is therapeutic for him because a lot of the subject matter, beats, and references almost made me pull up on him last week…just to make sure he’s good. Earl’s wordplay seems effortless. There’s no doubt that he can rap with anyone out there. His next challenge as he gets older will be to see if he can grow and travel outside his comfort zone to appeal to a broader audience without compromising himself. That’s always the trick though, isn’t it? For now, this shit goes HUUUAAARRRDDD. 7.5/10

Detroit Pistons v Atlanta Hawks

Basketball Equal = Kyle Korver…He does one thing and he does that shit well. Like probably better than anyone else if we’re talking shot for shot (bar for bar). Despite that though he probably won’t ever be a franchise player because he comes up short in other areas.

by @aza_villalobos

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