it may be that his “daddy was a poet” as he explains on “Burgundy”, an anxious and self-immolating song from Doris, or that his way with phrasing seems unique for a 19-year-old. (or an any-year-old for that matter.) but lately it seems like the media has taken to using earl sweatshirt quotes as pieces of journalism in themselves.
the rap phenom is something of a quote-monster, doing everything from describing drake as ‘Grandma nice’ to roundly dismissing Jay Z’s latest album as a departure from Hov’s best work. one luxury of being a teenager is being unchained but too inexperienced to really care about the difference between “outspoken” and “incendiary.”
his music is right where it needs to be: green and burgeoning. his public statements seem more incidental wisdom than intentional jewel but mixed in are some sparkly (and uncommon) thoughts.
On the intersection of his art and his parents:
In 2011, The New Yorker reported that your dad, the South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, had not listened to your music. Has he since?
I haven’t shown him any music. Like if I was a plumber, I wouldn’t bring a sink home to my parents. I’m not actively trying to bring my work into the house.
On whether rap and poetry are similar:
I think rap music is rap music. I mean, are there heavy writing aspects of it? Absolutely. In a sense is it poetry? Yeah. I’ve heard that so much, growing up in a house with poetry. But I think people like to use that as a shortcut for who’s good and who’s not. It’s like the word “lyrical” — “lyrical” is the worst word in the entire world.
On the post-internet generation:
[...]Like patterns and sh*t that’s going on with the generation that’s a little younger than mine. I seen a 3-year-old who didn’t really know how to speak, but who fully knew how to use an iPad, the other day. Like, how socially retarded kids are about to be…
I’ll deal with things of that nature after I do some ignorant sh*t. ‘Cause I’m still very young.
On Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail:
I don’t like this…
I would love to get punched over not liking that album.
On summarizing Doris:
On the final verse of the last song on Doris, you rap “Young, black, and jaded/hazy vision strolling through the night.” Was that meant to be a sort of synopsis?
That’s a pretty perfect summation of where I’m at most of the time. Like, kind of aloof and salty. And also young and black.
On rappers’ problems versus country artists’:
I’m pretty sure it’s harder for rappers than it is for dudes like Toby Keith. I bet Toby Keith got bitches.
i dunno. there’s something sinister to it…