Some Rap Songs Review


Ellie Downs

Album; Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt on vinyl.

Some Rap Songs, an album by Earl Sweatshirt, has an interesting backstory; It was made to bring peace to Earl Sweatshirt, also known as Thebe Kgositsile. When his father died the West Coast rapper was left to figure out a lot of things about himself. Earl Sweatshirt spent a lot of time thinking to himself as he had been depressed most of his life. He says it himself in “Nowhere2go”, “Yeah, I think I spent most of my life depressed.” This album could be a symbolic representation of Earl not only making peace with himself, but also reinventing himself.

Some Rap Songs features skittering, a technique that involves looping beats throughout the entirety of the album. The looping beats are a great representation of the grieving process; having your feelings go in a loop while your inner voice talks out and thinks through your problems. The loops may seem like it clashes with Earl’s lyrics, however, it actually works in the rapper’s favor giving this whole album a very avant garde feeling.

As the album goes on the production gets more distorted. With enough listens you can notice times when the songs get more distorted, almost like checkpoints. An example of this is before and after “The Mint.” The production after this song becomes much more wobbly and choppy and takes the listener farther down this spiral of poor mental health. This spiral climaxes at “Peanut”, which focuses on the passing of Earl’s father an hour after his death. Peanut has unrecognizable sounds going on in the background while Earl mumbles about finding peace, when it seems almost impossible given his circumstances.

People had mixed reactions to this album, critics gave Some Rap Songs praise. Pitchfork, an independent music review website, gave the album an 8.8 out of 10. Pitchfork writes, “The 24-year-old has become the OG to a vanguard of younger artists who are blurring the lines between avant-garde jazz and hip-hop.” An apt description of the album as Earl popularized the genre with Some Rap Songs.

I personally enjoyed this album through the end. I enjoyed how the album flows and sounds, despite it sounding like the beat and Earl’s flow clash. It represents pulling yourself out of a spiral of poor mental health and self-destructive habits. I understand that it is not for everyone, but I think people should give it a listen regardless. It never hurts to try out something new. If you enjoyed this album, try artists like MIKE, Navy Blue, and Zelooperz. They have been called “Earl’s Children” as they take inspiration from the jittering and looping jazz samples Earl uses in Some Rap Songs.