Earl Sweatshirt On Fallon Is The Polar Opposite Of Odd Future On Fallon

Earl Sweatshirt On Fallon Is The Polar Opposite Of Odd Future On Fallon

Remember when Odd Future first performed on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon? Of course you do. Even if you don’t remember it, you remember it. That performance was a rare moment of barely-controlled televised chaos. Watching the footage more than a decade later, you can still taste the erratic energy in the air.

Earl Sweatshirt was a member of Odd Future, but he was not at that Fallon performance. At the time, Earl was still a child in a Samoan reform school, and he existed primarily as a mysterious meme. (In that Fallon video, you can hear fans screaming the “free Earl” catchphrase.) Since he returned and resumed the rap career that started when he was not physically present, Earl Sweatshirt has used every opportunity to debunk the simplistic narrative that emerged in that moment. You could almost say that his whole career has been a rebuke to that sort of thing.

Earl just released his new album SICK!, a knotty and interior work that’s still somehow less knotty and interior than much of the music that he’s released in recent years. Last night, Earl was the musical guest on Fallon. He performed the SICK! single “2010,” a song about the period in his life just before his was shipped off to that reform school. (That first Odd Future Fallon performance was in February of 2011.) Onstage at Fallon, Earl was lucid and restrained. He stayed onstage, rapping his song over his beat in front of his rear projections. It was cool. It was also very, very different from the chaotic spectacle of 2011. Watch it below.

SICK! is out now on Tan Cressida/Warner Records. I would love to know what the tourists in the Fallon audience thought of Earl, but from all available evidence, what they thought was “the applause sign is on now.”

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