Earl Sweatshirt is back. Since Odd Future’s explosion into the music scene in the last two years, the world was met with a fiery rap collective that shook the rap genre to its core. We have become familiar with Tyler, The Creator, Domo Genesis, Hodgy Beats and the rest of the Wolf Gang crew in the last few years, but one member always remained shrouded in mystery: Earl Sweatshirt. Sweatshirt, also known as Thebe Kgositsile, is the youngest known member of Odd Future, and the only evidence of his work came in the form of his debut Earl LP, which drew considerable attention since its release in 2010, as well as a several songs from The Odd Future Mixtape and “Dat Ass” single from his Sly Tendencies days. As Odd Future’s popularity grew, the growing question of Earl’s location, and even his identity, was brought to the forefront. As a result, a worldwide search began for the 17-year-old rapper backed by the constant chanting of “Free Earl." A breakthrough in Sweatshirt’s search came in April 2011 when Complex wrote they found Sweatshirt somewhere in Samoa. In May 2011, Kelefa Sanneh of The New Yorker took things a bit further and even communicated with the rapper via email while writing an extensive piece about his correspondence. A year later, and we are hit with the return of the one of the most sought-after rappers of the last year. According to Pitchfork, a Tumblr and Twitter account linked to Sweatshirt have surfaced on the Internet.
“Nigga need followers. Give me 50,000, and I’ll release this shit for everybody,” Sweatshirt said in a tweet.
He asked, and they came. 50,000 followers later, Sweatshirt stuck to his word and released his new “Home” single to the masses. There is no word yet in what Sweatshirt will be up to following his homecoming. Could he possibly be contributing to Odd Future’s upcoming mixtape or working on his Earl follow-up? Only time will tell, but after spending so much time in the shadows, it’s time for the spotlight to shine on Sweatshirt as we see how far this rapper can go.