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Album Review: Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

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Among others, Earl Sweatshirt is at the centre of a new wave of young rappers taking over the rap scene, and rightfully so, he’s a talented kid who possesses better lyrical skills than a lot of established rap stars already out there. Earl Sweatshirt‘s studio debut Doris is his much anticipated follow up to EARL, an album Tyler, The Creator said he enjoyed more than Illmatic, yes really. Having stayed loyal to Odd Future and sticking to his roots, turning down big money offers to go to other record labels etc etc it was a great time for Doris to be revealed to the world.

There’s some outstanding production on Doris; Burgundy, Molasses and Hoarse to name a few highlights, that’s not even mentioning Earl’s self produced tracks. The darker, yet more personal tracks produced under Earl’s pseudonym randomblackdude show the lyrical talents that spearheaded his career, ‘been twelve years since my father left, left me fatherless’, ‘I’m shaded with the few whom I usually blow cabbage with’.

It’s abundantly clear the progression from his first effort EARL, yet retains a certain similarity, and certainly pays homage. A line here and there ‘ski mask, bloody ‘preme hoodie’ subtly sheds light on his background with Odd Future namely Tyler and Hodgy’s performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon which arguably made Odd Future what they are today. A beat similar to Stapelton is also clearly a nod at his first release, this time in the shape of Guild featuring Mac Miller. 

Doris is a highly rated album among critics and with justification; it’s dark, sinister, lyrically charged and distinctive of Earl Sweatshirt. He’s achieved a near impossible feat; progressing from his roots while maintaining his underground appeal and what you’re left with is a great piece of music, new and old fans can enjoy.

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