11. As sensitive from-fatherless-child-to-unlikely-success-stories go, “Chum” is some majestic, barebones stuff.
12. Did Mac Miller just hold his own against Mr. Sweatshirt? (see: “Guild”)
13. The Wu-Tang Clan master RZA mans the boards on the vintage Shaolin heater “Molasses.” Odd Future and the iconic Staten Island crew are most definitely distant cousins.
14. Best Song #1: From its dark, jangly guitars to its cinematic decadence, “Hoarse” represents Earl at his most dynamic. Featuring post bop jazz trio BadBadNotGood, this riveting exhibition gives the unique MC ample space to lyrically stretch out. “Fist clinched emulating '68 Olympics/Rock it from the cradle 'til he middle aged and limp-sticked/Coughing from the stable probably indicating spliffs lit/Dismissed, feel it in that saturated cranium/Heavy as insurance off a spanking new laser gun…” Did I mention this kid is pretty damn good?
15. Bottom Line: While lacking the focus and conceptual patience of Tyler, The Creator’s Wolf, Doris embraces its core progressive zeal with little concern for mainstream acceptance. This is highbrow, bold, uncompromising, and at times off-centered stuff. As is, Earl Sweatshirt has created a strong, intriguing, and more importantly, mature statement. The future for the ledge-walking wordsmith is scarier when you factor in that he has yet to master the art of topical songwriting (he’s more stream-of-conscious artiste than poet). Again, scary is the word.