Tan Cressida, Columbia Records
Earl Sweatshirt’s eponymous 2010 mix tape propelled him to rap infamy, shocking the world with its vile content and dark subject matter.
Following two years in enforced exile (his concerned mother sent him to a boarding school for troubled boys in Samoa), a more mature Earl returned home to work on his debut album Doris. With his signature mumbling monotone delivery, Earl toys with syntax over languorous and moody beats on this surprisingly grown-up release.
Slick production from the likes of The Neptunes (Burgundy) and Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA (Molasses) as well as features from Mac Miller (Guild) and fellow Odd Future member Frank Ocean (Sunday) act as a cherry on top of the teenage prodigy’s undeniable knack for wordplay.
Doris is the work of a young wordsmith gifted beyond his years that signals more to look forward to. The youngest (and arguably the most lyrically gifted) member of the eccentric rap collective Odd Future uses a varied palette of emotions on his latest release as opposed to simply relying on shock value to make an impact.