Since summer 2010, preternaturally talented Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt (Thebe Kgositsile) has been living in a Samoan reform school — a situation that’s left OFWGKTA leader Tyler, the Creator, thoroughly bummed. “I want him to be out here with us on fucking tour, or I just wanna skate the 7-11 with him, ’cause those are times I won’t be able to get back,” he told SPIN. “That shit just kills me. I miss him.”
So what to make of the tweet Tyler sent Wednesday reading, “Do Not, Kids I Repeat, Do Not Live Your Life Tryna Make Your Parents/Anyone Happy. DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT” a few hours before he’d tweet that the elusive Earl was… also on Twitter (@earlxsweat). Just before his appeal to independence, Tyler also posted, “Ive Never Been Excited And Angry At The Same Time Until Today. Thats A Fucked Feeling,” which, from what we can gather, means that a) Earl is in fact home, or at least reachable by way of the internet, and b) Tyler may be watching his boy from the stands like everyone else.
But if that is indeed the case, Tyler has much to cheer for. “Home,” the first bit of text Earl sent to the Twitterverse, is also the name of a short song he released after reaching a requested 50,000 followers. The track, available to stream at terttlefer.com, is roughly a minute-and-a-half long and features Earl doing cartwheels over a shimmering hi-hat and some warm synth strokes put together by none other than Stones Throw hero James Pants. For all his time away from the mic, Earl is in great shape and is still cursing to boot (take that reform school!). “Send you your fucking arm in the parking lot of a Target / I’m targeting piss, harboring heart dark as that thick parka I slip markers in.”
He sounds hungry and inspired, much the way he did on Earl, the underground solo album that helped to fortify Odd Future’s ascent. “Home” is promising in the way the trailers for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were. A lot of people have a lot invested in this. If the song is to tell us anything, though, it’s that being away has done little for Earl except give him a bigger audience, one that “Home” would foretell is well-earned.