Earl Sweatshirt: No more ‘Free Earl’
“Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into ‘they care,’” Earl wrote. “So time progresses and the fan base gets bigger and the ‘Free Earl’ chants get louder but now with the ‘Free Earl’ chants come a barely indirect ‘Fuck Earl’s Mom’ and in the blink of an eye my worry changes from ‘will there still be this hype when I get back’ to ‘Oh shit I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom.’”
The “Free Earl” chants might be the only part of an Odd Future concert that doesn’t offend Tegan & Sara, but as Kelefa Sanneh learned in a nine-month investigation for the New York Observer, the hip hop collective’s missing MC doesn’t necessarily welcome all the publicity. Speaking with Sanneh over e-mail, Earl Sweatshirt (born Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) added, “The only thing I need as of right now is space. I’ve still got work to do and don’t need the additional stress of fearing for my family’s physical well-being. Space means no more ‘Free Earl.’” That said, Thebe did note that he misses home, and while he doesn’t know when he’ll wrote, “You’ll hear from me without a doubt when I’m ready.”
The 8,000-word article also includes interviews with both Thebe’s mother and father, the latter of which is Keorapetse Kgositsile, one of South Africa’s most celebrated poets. To read the entire thing, buy the magazine’s digital edition here, or download it on your iPad.