Friday, May 2, 2014
"Nebraska" ft. Mac Miller & Vince Staples- Earl Sweatshirt
"I rap better than most of these rap veterans," Vince Staples wearily raps in his anchoring verse over sighing James Bond horns and grumbling bass in new Earl Sweatshirt effort "Nebraska". In terms of rap boasts it's one of the more exasperated in recent memory. There isn't the slightest hint of excitement in Staples' voice as he rattles off the line. He sounds so lifeless that you'd think he was about to do a 25-year prison bid.
But that lifelessness is exactly what makes Staples and Odd Future cohort Earl Sweatshirt better than rappers in almost any weight class. The joy in listening to them resides in their impassivity. Quite often when you hear them rap it's easy to imagine a vacant stare consuming their face. There's no glower or scowl just an emotionless abyss. When Staples speaks of "sweet revenge," you know he'll have it because he clearly has nothing to lose. Similarly, Sweatshirt's promise to use a weapon and "make a peppermint outta that white tee" is a bite without a warning bark. The initial moniker of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All Don't Give A F*** is fully fulfilled in Earl. While Tyler, the Creator growls, Earl murmurs over discordant piano keys about "switching through lanes, handling business on my side of the line." If he's going 150 the entire time, there would be no surprise. He's already admitted to being "frightened and scatterbrained," every action flows out of that toxic fountain. And if it all sounds too daunting, there's some "sweat talk" those "rap veterans" could probably offer you.
(Note: Because of how simpatico Staples and Sweatshirt are here, it wasn't easy to find a seat at the table for Mac Miller. But rest assured, the dude goes off. He manages to chow down on "shawarma" and shout out Chewbacca in the same weed-addled line that's "as calming as the Dali Lama.")