“Some Rap Songs,” Earl Sweatshirt’s third studio album, touches upon a wide variety of topics like depression, family, life, love and death.
“Some Rap Songs” features guest appearances by up and coming artists like Navy Blue, a skateboarder turned rapper from New York.
On Navy Blue’s collaboration “The Mint,” Sweatshirt offers his perspective of love, life and death, showing a different side of Sweatshirt listeners haven’t heard or seen before.
On “Peanut,” Sweatshirt stays away from discussing his unstable relationship with his father, but rather reconciles the loss of his father before he had an opportunity to talk their problems out. The well written song offers the most touching moment of the album.
Throughout the album we experience how much growth Sweatshirt has gained as a person and a musician. He went from a foul-mouthed 16-year-old to a 24-year-old adult with a new perspective on life.
On the track “Nowhere2go,” he discusses the feeling of displacement and his depression. The song has a feel of consolation, because Sweatshirt finds out that acceptance is the number one step towards wellness.
“Playing Possum” features audio clips of both his parents publicly speaking, overlaid on top of each other. Sweatshirts’ father, Keorapetse Kgositsile, is a South African poet and political activist and Earl’s mother is Cheryl Harris, a law professor at UCLA.
“Playing Possum” shows us that even though Earl’s relationship with his parents has not been too great, he is still very reflective of his family.
The standout track on “Some Rap Songs” is “Azucar,” where Sweatshirt discusses his struggle with depression, which he’s been dealing with over the past year, alcoholism and drug abuse and the various ways he copes with it.
“I only get better with age, that’s what my mom say to dodge Satan.” These lyrics represent a supportive message from Earl’s mother as he tries to get rid of his personal demons.
The new lo-fi hip-hop direction Sweatshirt is heading for, and his collaboration with less known up and coming rappers is turning him into a very fluid artist. “Some Rap Songs” feels more mature compared to his previous work.
Sweatshirt doesn’t go the traditional, cookie cutter way of hip-hop that primarily focuses on money, drug use and lavish lifestyles. Instead, Sweatshirt takes the less popular route and makes himself seem more vulnerable and human, which make the album’s themes very relatable to the average listener.