Stream Earl Sweatshirt Solace

Anyone still just name-checking Earl Sweatshirt as a “member of Odd Future” hasn’t been paying much attention to the young rapper’s rise over the course of the past few years. 2013’s Doris and his recent I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside both serve as testaments of Earl’s evolution from an absent kid-genius to a 21-year-old legal adult who boasts a significant font-size on festival posters. Still, the young Earl is forever fated to be painted as the missing force behind some of Odd Future’s most impressive mixtapes, the one lost in the chants of “FREE EARL!” at sold-out shows around the time Tyler, The Creator’s Goblin dropped, and the subject of the New Yorker’s 2011 profile, “Where’s Earl?” But Earl — who was in Samoa at the time, attending a boarding school that his mom sent him to — wasn’t necessarily stoked about any of this misplaced idol worship. He told The New Yorker:

Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into “they care.” So time progresses and the fan base gets bigger and the “Free Earl” chants get louder but now with the “Free Earl” chants come a barely indirect “Fuck Earl’s Mom” and in the blink of an eye my worry changes from “will there still be this hype when I get back” to “Oh shit I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom.” I can say there have been few things in my life worse than the moment I was trying to figure out who started all this “let’s get together and hate Earl’s mom” business and had now subjected her to potential physical harm and realized that in a way it was me.

In this situation, Earl’s mother was seen as a target: a no fun nay-sayer who sent her super talented kid far, far away, in fear that he would succumb to hooliganism. A lot of verses on Earl’s new record are about coming to terms with the pain that he knows he caused her, about making amends with someone who he feels was unjustly wrangled into his unconventional rise to fame. In a recent interview with NPR, Earl talked about sharing music with his mom, and about the times their taste coalesces: “My mom likes everything. My mom low-key — my mom is tight as hell. The best records that I have in my house are from my mom.” Prior to that, Earl briefly mentioned that he’s been working on a new small EP project called Solace at the studio he set up at home. He made Solace with his mom in mind, and he appears to have dropped it today via YouTube with the caption: “music from when i hit the bottom and found something.” Listen to Solace below.