1. No, Doris’ opening track “Pre” is not a Chief Keef outtake. The minimalist sneering guest spot by Frank Ocean’s cousin SK La' Flare leans heavily on the ‘hood nihilism of Chicago’s bad seed. Yet with go-to-lines that seems straight out of a TRAP-STAR-STARTER-KIT (If you are a Molly-popping, Mercedes-riding, hollow-point-bullet-blasting obsessive, Flare’s no-frills verse is for you), “Pre” works effectively as a sneaky Trojan horse. “Hard as arm services, y'all might have heard of him Escobarbarian/Best call the lawyers up,” Earl delivers in just about the most stripped-down way possible. Indeed, this is a lure for first-time listeners who may be intimidated by Earl’s complex wordplay.
2. Okay. Earl Sweatshirt gets down to business on “Burgundy” offering a blurry two-minutes-and-eight seconds breakdown of what its like to be Odd Future’s most gifted (and hyped) lyricist. The bantam rhymer speaks eloquently on dealing with his grandmother’s passing while handling the pressures of finishing up his much-anticipated debut as a dismissive voice disses, “Niggas want to hear you rap. Don't nobody care about how you feel, we want raps, nigga.” This is more like it.
3. Speaking of “Burgundy,” how insanely cool would an Odd Future project produced entirely by the Neptunes and overseen by a suddenly reinvigorated Pharrell come off? Just saying.
4. Next OF representative to blow: Domo Genesis. Don’t take my word for it. Just click play on “20 Wave Caps” and “Knight.” The kid is rabid on the mic.
5. Best Song #3: The bleeding heart paced “Sunday,” on which our low-key hero describes how his newfound fame contributes to sabotaging a romantic relationship. “I don’t know why we argue, and I just hope that you listen/And if I hurt you I'm sorry, the music makes me dismissive,” Earl explains himself over an organ-drenched, melancholy track. Reflective for a 19-year-old.