6 Things To Remember From Earl Sweatshirt's NYT Interview
What do you get when you have a mother who is a UCLA law professor and a father who is a South African poet that chops it up with Mandela? Apparently you get a troubled teen rapper whose imagery in his lyrics can leave even the insane puzzled.
Feast your eyes on the long lost, newly found Odd Future calamity, Earl Sweatshirt. Recently Sweatshirt sat down with The New York Times for the most in-depth interview since his re-emergence. Sweatshirt brings us into his personal life struggles with his mother and finally reveals why he’s been gone for so long. We at VIBE understand our loyal readers are busy, so we wrapped it up with the top 6 Things we learned from Earl Sweatshirts interview.
1. Earl Sweatshirt’s real name is Thebe Kyositile.
Like his friend and Odd Future co-founder Tyler the Creator, Earl Sweatshirt is half African. Thebe Kyositile, the lesser-known name of the missing-in-action rapper, is of South African descent. Tyler’s last name is Okonma, which is Nigerian.
2. His mother is a UCLA law professsor and his father is an activist and South African poet, Keorapetse Kyositile.
Apparently Mr. Sweatshirt comes from a background of distinction. His mother, Cheryl Harris is a professor of law at UCLA and a specialist in Civil Rights law (we Googled that last part). Earl’s father, who is now 73 years old, is a South African activist and was a member of the African National Congress. He is also a prominent Black poet. Who knew?
3. Sweatshirt engaged in a plethora of activities while away at Samoa‘s Coral Reef Academy. Including writing rhymes.
From earning a scuba license to swimming with whales, Earl was quite engaged during his time away. Though he got in trouble for sneaking on the Internet, he was also engaged in learning the piano and watching every episode of “The Mentalist.” He even wrote his verse for “Oldie” from The OF Tape Vol. 2 during his stay, before he knew he would ever record it
4. His work as a volunteer for sexual abuse victims helped censor his lyrics.
Before Samoa, Earl Sweatshirt’s album Earl was premised with the phrase: “Lyrics About Rape, Coke, And Couches Will Be Blaring In Your Ears.” Once he started volunteering at the Samoa Victim Support Group, he changed his tune a bit. “There’s nothing that you can — there’s no — you can’t evade the — there’s no defense for like — if you have any ounce of humanity,” he said in the interview regarding cleaning up his lyrics.
5. Sweatshirt has separate management from the rest of Odd Future, as well as a separate record deal.
Earl turned down large advances to ink a deal that would include his membership in Odd Future. With his own imprint to be distributed on Columbia Records, he made sure that he would be able to include the Odd Future logo on his upcoming projects. Looks like its loyalty over money for Mr. Sweatshirt.
6. He is still working on his relationship with his mother.
Like most teenager-parent relationships, some wrinkles of rebellion and misunderstanding may need to be ironed out. After getting much flack for sending her son to Samoa, Professor Harris is still repairing her relationship with Earl. The two are in therapy sessions. “I don’t spend as much time at home as I necessarily should be,” he told The Times. “I know I’m not as considerate as I should be.” Apparently they’ve still go work to do.