Surprise EP ‘Feet of Clay’ reflects a new unique style


Jackson Volenec Reporter

Rapper Earl Sweatshirt has released the surprise EP “Feet of Clay,” following his critically acclaimed album release last year “Some Rap Songs,” featuring seven tracks and 15 total minutes of runtime.

Earl Sweatshirt is an artist who rose to prominence in the wave of hype from the influential music group Odd Future, being one of the pivotal members in the group alongside people like Tyler, the Creator and Frank Ocean.

Ever since 2013, Earl has been on the consistent decline from the limelight and public eye, at least compared to the previous attention he was receiving.

With projects like “I Don’t Like S***, I Don’t Go Outside,” fans were exposed to even more depressive and lofi music from Earl. He then went on a three year hiatus from music, returning to release “Some Rap Songs,” a short project that hardly breached the 20 minute mark, despite being 15 tracks long.

“Some Rap Songs” showcased a raw and authentic representation of what some of the struggles and challenges that come with having severe depression. From discussing his waning relevancy in the limelight, the death of his father and the isolated position he finds himself in due to his mental health, the project was a deeply moving piece of art that shows the genuine hardships that so many people have to deal with on a daily basis.

“Feet of Clay” seems to be on a similar path as his previous project was, from Earl’s monotone and sluggish flows to the grim, slow beats that he uses.

The instrumentals have a wickedly dark and evil undertone; something that we have not seen in full display this potently. Tracks such as “EAST” feature haunting wails of a horn in the background as Earl delivers a flow that sounds like something that could have been easily heard on his project last year, but even more mutated and disturbing this time around.

Most of the instrumentals are very sample-heavy, and do not feature a high BPM or an upbeat tempo. They seem to be somewhat Madlib inspired, as they are consistently crafting these mind-altering tunes that immerse you in the mood and vibe this EP wants to set.

This project gives a very unsettling feeling as you listen; like you are inside the mind of a scatter-brained individual who is recalling their past trauma. The lyrics that he delivers on this album do not require deep interpretation in order to see his messages, however, as Earl very clearly states his points that he had to make outright instead of thinking of a metaphor or something. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it exposes his vulnerable state of mind very beautifully.

This entire album feels like you are trudging through a murky swamp in the fog, not exactly knowing where you are headed or where you even came from in the first place. The topics being discussed jump from subject to subject, though they seem to all be rooted in recalling past experiences and memories that inspired the music here.

Many of the observations you can make about “Feet of Clay” can also be said about “Some Rap Songs.” In fact, it would not surprise me to hear that some of these songs off this new EP were recorded in a similar timeframe as the tracks on “Some Rap Songs.”

This would be a welcome addition to Earl Sweatshirt’s catalog, as it continues to push the experimental, depressive, and unique sound that he has been developing for the past couple of years now.

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