Since returning from his sojourn to Samoa back in February, Earl Sweatshrt has been relatively quiet, restricting his musical output to a few guest features with Odd Future affiliated artists. Now, however, he’s officially broken his silence with Chum, a promo single that’s as shocking as the best cuts off his eponymous debut EP—but for very different reasons. Here, Earl sets aside the diabolical persona to offer some sober, but lyrically compelling reflections on his ambivalence toward his father (“I used to say I hate him in dishonest jest / When honestly I miss this n**ga like when I was six.”), his resentment toward the hip-hop media for prying into his personal life and the uncomfortable feeling of being, “too black for the white kids and too white for the blacks.” Christian Rich and Randomblackdude (Earl’s producer alias) provide a minimal keyboard backdrop. Does this reflective joint mark the beginning of a dope new chapter in Earl’s career? Debate away—and, as always stay tuned for the latest.
Update: Click “Watch Video” above or scroll down to view the Hiro Murai-directed Chum visual.