Freestyle on Sway in the Morning by Earl Sweatshirt
I’m old. And sometimes semi-jaded. So listening to twenty year old Earl Sweatshirt rap— rap, rap, effortlessly rap—brings me back to my middle school and early high school days, ones where I would ardently listen to the Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique and De La Soul’s Stakes is High and Hieroglyphics’ Third Eye Vision while playing Cool Boarders and Crash Bandicoot on PlayStation (no number needed after that; just PlayStation). What I love about Earl is the fact that he’s judgmental and irrational; that he’s impulsive and chock full of youthful, quasi-nonsensical jeremiads. I love that he’s exactly his age and not trying to act older—or younger. Mostly what I love, though, is the cadence, intonation and sheer flow that exercises and envelopes his voice when he’s rapping. As this freestyle on Sway in the Morning can attest, dude can rap. He might be picky as shite—but dude can rap.
Jeff Alessandrelli is the author of the full-length collection THIS LAST TIME WILL BE THE FIRST, which was reviewed at Coldfront here. Other work has appeared in Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, Boston Review and four chapbooks. The name of Jeff’s dog is Beckett Long Snout. The name of his micro-press is Dikembe Press.
Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?
Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.
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