With the soon forthcoming release of Earl Sweatshirt’s new album Some Rap Songs, the 24 year-old rapper has a lot to say both on wax and in conversation. In a recent interview with Vulture, Earl, born Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, opened up about the loss of his South African father, poet Keorapetse “Bra Willie” Kgositsile in January and the complexities behind how simple he tries to make his art.
In the past the California native has been vocal about how dysfunctional his relationship was with his father, but his death is something that has been hard to process. “For a long time this year, I was still kind of in shock and still can be shocked by the fact that my dad died,” he said “That s**t really threw me the f**k off.”
“I’ve just been figuring it out,” he continued. “But at a certain point, all of the pressures just kind of broke me. Just the idea of having to perform while I was kind of in this weird space, it was like, no fucking way. Why would I risk it? That’s not some dice I’m trying to roll. I need to process and heal some things for myself before I can be presenting myself.”
Some Rap Songs is Sweatshirt’s first body of work since his 2015 project, I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside. And he choose the simple name of the project because he prefers something clean instead of a saturated pool of art. “Incomplete s**t is really stressful to me, and the concept of unsimplified fractions is really stressful to me,” he explained. “So, with things like the album title, how I structure shit, and even how I write, it was really just like, What is this? The album title was kind of a response to that question.”
The “DNA” artist also touched briefly on Mac Miller’s death. “He was moving real fast,” he said. “A lot of the shit that we hold on to that slows us down, that makes us care about different shit and makes us second-guess? It can make a man complacent.”
Read the full interview on here. Some Rap Songs drops on Friday (Nov. 30).