Earl Sweatshirt’s “Chum” is an emotive masterpiece that makes good on the young rapper’s initial promise by swapping out the horrorcore theatrics for deeply personal yet relatable rumination. When we first heard it last month, we described the solo single as “Cannibal Ox moodpiece meets Eminem confessional,” but the just-released Hiro Murai-directed music video for the song brings to mind another vintage influence: the Pharcyde. Those pioneers of downer rap left us one enduring classic, “Passin’ Me By,” and an on-par video to go with, which found the despondent dudes drifting upside down through a world that didn’t even know they were there.
Similarly, Earl floats through an unfeeling environment — though in black and white, and considerably more surreal — as he rhymes about being eternally out of touch with his surroundings: friends, family, heritage, music, the media. His glazed look is practically an Odd Future trademark at this point (see the infamous “Earl” video, and Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids” and “Novacane” clips), but Sweatshirt is well on his way to carving out his own identity amongst his peers. It’d be understatement to say we’re looking forward to that 2013 LP. Oh, and by the way:
This albums called Doris.
— Earl Sweatshirt (@earlxsweat) December 4, 2012