Earl Sweatshirt Renounces Rape Lyrics of His Early Rap

By Lora Neng
August 26, 2013

With a new album release in the past week, it seemed like good timing for Earl Sweatshirt to reflect on changes since his first break into Hip Hop.

The young rapper had barely entered his mid-teens when he emerged as a standout talent from amongst his Odd Future group mates. His eponymous debut “Earl”  became a sensation for its smart yet brutal braggadocio. Then as Odd Future ascended the music charts, their young prodigy was noticeably absent from the spotlight, sent to the Coral Reef Academy in Samoa for at-risk youth, where working with sexual assault survivors and has since changed him to renounce the glorification of violence from his early release.

Now at the conscientious age of 19, “I’m an adult. I can’t be fucking talking about raping people and shit,” Earl told GQ. “That fully draws the line, where it’s like you can stand on either side. Either you’re a fool that is down with fucked up shit – I mean, I’m a fan of macabre shit, you know what I’m saying? But not like that. At the end of the day, I’m not some evil guy.”

In fact, he tweeted, “I hope i lose you as a fan if you only fuck with me cause i rapped about raping girls when i was 15.”

Still that doesn’t mean there’s no room for dark elements in his music, which in his new album Doris has some people seeing allusions to mental illness. “I don’t know about mental illness, but I’m a sad bitch sometimes.” He continued, “That’s the shit I’m more attracted to, so even if I’m not, the shit that gets me excited is all very moody and unstable. That’s some shit that I don’t even see changing.”

Photo credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times

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