Earl Sweatshirt - Sick! (Light Blue Vinyl)

Regular price $ 31.99

A lot happened in the time between Earl Sweatshirt's dizzying and beautiful 2018 album Some Rap Songs and its proper follow-up Sick!. In addition to becoming a father, the rapper wrote and recorded the album as the COVID-19 global pandemic unfolded. While Some Rap Songs saw Earl processing personal grief and societal change through a filter of glitchy, dreamlike production, Sick! carries the specific dread and anxiety of the era it was created in while paradoxically communicating a sense of heightened purpose and clarity. Earl's lyrics have grown more dense and layered with meaning since his teenage days in Odd Future, and Sick! is a new tier of the kind of intricate wordcraft that's been evolving throughout his solo albums. With these ten tracks, Earl's poetic, spiritual, and surreally detailed rhymes distill huge concepts into single bars, saying so much with so little that the lyrics can seem scattershot until they're more closely examined. Opening track "Old Friend" captures the isolation and worry of the onset of COVID-19 in just 79 seconds, while "2010" is a psychedelic sprawl of nostalgia. Earl's verses on the Armand Hammer-assisted "Tabula Rasa" are heady and introspective, reflecting on staying centered in the midst of endless chaos. Vocals and instrumentals sometimes blurred on Some Rap Songs, and its ominous lo-fi 2019 follow-up EP Feet of Clay, but voices are high in the mix on Sick!, emphasizing the complexity and vividness of the lyrics. Much like the projects that immediately preceded it, the production here is just as big a factor in what makes Sick! so powerful. Navy Blue's murky, lumbering beat drives the title track, the Alchemist chops up scratchy jazz samples for "Lye" and "Old Friend," and Black Noi$e delivers instrumentals that explore futuristic synths and tense atmospheres on some songs and shift to the weary guitar loop and sentimental piano figures that make up closing track "Fire in the Hole." Sick! is brief, with just ten songs clocking in at around 24 minutes, but every move is placed with intention and forethought. Sharp, direct, and fluid in a way that's almost supernatural, Sick! perfectly conveys the duality of frustration and drive to persevere that arises from living through exceptionally difficult times.

1 Old Friend 1:19
2 2010 2:28
3 Sick! 1:51
4 Vision 4:14  
     feat. ZelooperZ
5 Tabula Rasa 4:11
     feat. Armand Hammer
6 Lye 1:52
7 Lobby (int) 1:12
8 God Laughs 1:24
9 Titanic 1:52
10 Fire in the Hole 3:37