The TV show that taught Earl Sweatshirt how to talk
(Credit: Frank Morales)

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The TV show that taught Earl Sweatshirt how to talk

A former member of the legendary LA-based crew Odd Future, Earl Sweatshirt is one of the few rappers who managed to gather enough of a cult following while in the crew that he could sustain a solo career after the crew’s dissipation. 

Earl Sweatshirt, akin to Tyler The Creator and Frank Ocean, was able to gather a separate following while still in the crew for several different reasons. Not only was his name bizarre and comical, but he also had a unique look. 

Some may have described him as ‘goofy’ or maybe even a bit ‘dopey’ looking, but that was part of his appeal. He was preppy, perhaps slightly nerdy, but this, combined with the fact he was a rapper, was refreshing for many who were sick of the macho gangster aesthetic. 

Sweatshirt’s alternative style of hip-hop has remained highly popular, and last year, exactly a decade after the release of his debut album Doris, the lyricist (real name Thebe Kgositsile) teamed up with The Alchemist to release his fifth solo project Voir Dire.

In the leadup to the album’s release, Sweatshirt and The Alchemist sat down with Complex for an episode of their YouTube series ‘GOAT Talk’ to speak about a range of topics and reveal things and people they believe are the ‘Greatest Of All Time’. 

During the conversation, the pair spoke about what could be considered the greatest radio freestyle ever. Insisting it is Vince Staples’ 2014 freestyle on Sway In The Morning, Kgositsile proclaimed, “Vince! Vince! That’s a real freestyle, too. Vince on Sway. Four minutes, and it’s just his right finger [tapping] that keeps him tethered.”

Providing his own response, The Alchemist disclosed, “My favourite is an old one with Cam, Ma$e; it’s the whole Killa Kids before Dipset. Super early. It might have been a [DJ] Clue joint.” He continued, “Ma$e goes first. He’s kinda rhyming like Onyx like he’s screaming it’s incredible!”

The Alchemist also hinted that Big L may have made an appearance on the freestyle. The two then proceeded to talk about the “GOAT TV Show.” The Alchemist sarcastically suggested M*A*S*H, a sitcom from the 1980s. Elaborating why, he explained, “The minute the music came on, you were just instantly depressed. I’m probably revealing my age by saying M*A*S*H. It was actually the worst, so for me it’s the best.”

However, Earl Sweatshirt made an interesting revelation by responding, “I guess the one that taught me to talk. The Chapelle Show. There were like two regular seasons and then a lost season. That sh*t had middle schools on fire!”

You can watch Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist on ‘GOAT Talk’ in the video below.