Even after he returned to Odd Future after his rehab stint in Samoa, the mythical Earl Sweatshirt remained a mystery. In his first interview, Earl — known legally as Thebe Kgositstile — was quiet and distant; his first song back “Home” sounded like it was recorded on a MacBook and was no ticker-tape parade; and his extended verse in the OF posse cut “Oldie” was veiled and complex. He has kept himself a secret.
A feature in today’s New York Times extensively explicates Earl’s story and character for the first time, exploring his notoriously difficult relationship with his mother (a law professor at UCLA), his hiatus in Samoa, and his future, which includes the surprising news that he has been given his own label, separate from Odd Future. It’s absolutely worth a read if you’re a fan of OF, or even interested in how a parent deals with their kid’s wild and sometimes scary success. Check out Earl’s notorious “EARL” video below.