When his music broke through during the great Odd Future explosion of 2010, Thebe Kgositsile never witnessed the rise to fame that his peers enjoyed. Exiled away at Coral Reef Academy, a residential school in Samoa for “troubled youth”, the elusive rap prodigy known as Earl Sweatshirt was denied access to the Internet and cut off from the outside world. Released 18 months after his return, the debut record he named in tribute to his late grandmother Doris, has achieved well-deserved critical acclaim, including Clash’s album of the year.
Proving ever elusive, when Clash tries to make contact with Earl at the agreed time, he has lost his phone and is unreachable for several hours. Waking up at 6am the following morning for another attempt, we finally get through to his girlfriend Mallory, who kindly passes her phone to Earl as the pair finish up a late dinner in Los Angeles…
I know you don’t like interviews, and I always find asking the first question pretty awkward, so I thought I’d ask the Based God, Lil B, how to start. He said: “Ask him does he love Lil B because I love Earl and Odd Future.”
Hell yeah dog. Oh man, of course I love him. He knows that, he has to know that!
What is it that you love about him? I know a lot of “purists” get confused about what you see in him.
I f*ck with Lil B because when he came out he just changed so much shit. I remember seeing his shit in 2009, before it was cool to like him. Before it was some niche thing like, “Yeah like I’m really into like shitty photos and the only rap music I listen to is Lil B.” And the n*gga is very thorough. You can tell he really listens to rap music, just because of how all over the place his music is. Like, he has shit that sounds like f*cking Hot Boys shit, he has shit that sounds like Dipset, he has shit that sounds like literally everything. And at the end of the day, that n*gga can rap his ass off.