To the people who listen beyond mainstream rap, Earl Sweatshirt's Doris has been hyped up for 3 years. I, like most people, got my first introduction to not only Earl but Odd Future as a whole with this pretty little video. Now when i first saw it, i said fuck it these guys are too out there for me to fuck with them musically. And for the most part i didn't mess with them. I was a casual observer of the Odd Future movement meaning Yonkers was cool and i respect Frank Ocean and that was it. Then i kept hearing about how Earl is supposedly the next Nas, Em, next great lyricist, etc but he was stuck in Samoa which i'm sure you guys had heard as well. It sucks that Earl actually missed the whole Odd Future blowing up part but when he came back the anticipation for new material from Earl was growing exponentially. Idk how the guy is wired but that is a lot to ask of an 18 year old who is finally coming back home to immediately get back in the studio and drop a classic. I wasn't really paying attention to the situation but one day i was curious to see what all the hype was about and i listened to Chum. I had a Holy Shit moment when i heard that for the first time. This was the same dude that had that video of shit coming out of his eyes? I was amazed at how the words just fell out of his mouth yet it all fit together. That track made me understand why everyone was hyping this kid up and now i had expectations for the debut. Now on to Doris...
I'm not going to lie...i was disappointed. With all the hype that was behind this album i was expecting a classic that would contend for album of the year. However after putting it into perspective i am cutting the kid some slack. After all, he is still a teenager who was pretty much pressured into making this album from the moment he stepped back onto American mainland soil. His first few lines off of Burgandy should have given a warning too when he said "But i'm too busy trying to get this album cracking...I'm afraid i'm going to blow it." I think we all could appreciate the honesty but let's be real; what great rapper doubts themself? He has to come in with the mind set that he is going to kill it. Maybe as he makes more music and gets more comfortable, that doubt will go away. And let me say this before making my next point. Earl has one of the best flows out there right now. I'm not going to say the best because i have not listened to every one but imo him, Joey Bada$$, and Bishop Nehru have the flow game on lock in terms of new school cats. With that being said, too much of one thing is a bad thing no matter how good it is. For the love of God, Earl needs to switch the flow up. I know that's his style but 15 tracks of the marbled monotone flow gets boring no matter how many golden nuggets he may be dropping. Despite how good that flow is, Earl is too talented of a lyricist to not switch it up.
|breakout star of the tape?|
That being said it's not like i hated the album. I was just surprised at the little amount of tracks that i actually liked. I already mentioned Chum but my favorite track off the album is Hive for sure featuring Vince Staples with Casey Veggies on the hook. Let me just say goddam that motherfuckin Vince Staples. I heard the name before but never checked him out but now i will definitely keep my eye on him. To me, he was no doubt the breakout star of the album despite appearing only on three tracks and spitting on only two of them. Which brings me to the point of me not understanding why these artists insist on having so many features on a debut SOLO album. My guess is that they knew listening to only Earl for 15 tracks straight that the monotone delivery probably isn't the best idea to make people actually want to sit through the entire project. Favorite line off the track though did come from Earl when he said "breaking news, death's less important than when the Lakers lose." i mean that line is self explanatory right there. Moving on to the next track with a Vince Staples feature, Centurion. The beat was grimy, i like how it switched up between Earl and Vince but when Vince said "spend it all on guns and rims, i ain't nothing but a nigga, no reason to pretend" i was like yup...i fuck with this dude. It's not some groundbreaking shit but it seems to be the kind of ignorant rap with dope lines, and grimy/dope production that i've been looking for. Pre feat SK Laflare was alright and so was Burgandy. Those are the only tracks from the album that i actually fuck with after hearing it all the way through several times. Molasses was cool, i wish it had a RZA verse though instead of him repeating "i fuck the freckles off your face bitch." Lastly, wtf was mac miller doing? That is the worst shit i've heard in a while. "eating bagels with no cable on." Word? Is that what's hot in the streets right now. Eating bagels with no cable? I really want to get back to liking Mac Miller but when he says shit like that in the stupid muffled voice, it makes it really hard to do so.
In short i have to give this a C+. The reason it did not getting any lower is because there are three tracks that i not only fuck with but go out of my way to bump. Also it introduced me to Vince Staples so thank you Earl. 3 tracks out of 15 is not a good percentage but what can you do. It may seem weird giving an album a C+ despite liking only 20 percent of the material but what can you do. His talent as a lyricist is obvious even through his less than stellar tracks but they weren't hitting it for me. Switch that flow up Earl and rap about other stuff than being angry. I'm anticipating his next album to not only be sound very different but seriously better than his debut. Find some inspiration Earl.
And i also found out that Vince Staples recently dropped a tape with Mac Miller handling the whole production. I have not given it a listen yet but i am praying to God Mac Miller does not rap. That how much i hated his verse.
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