One enigmatic member of Odd Future not named Tyler, The Creator is Earl Sweatshirt, whose whereabouts were unknown to the general public until some digging from Complex magazine turned him up in Samoa, Calif. at a "treatment program for at-risk teenage boys." The New Yorker caught up with Earl and his mother via e-mail to shed some light on his sabbatical while the rest of the OFWGKTA crew were off on a performance spree.
The full story, written be esteemed music critic Kelefa Sanneh, is only available to New Yorker subscribers but its online preview reveals that Earl's given name is Thebe Kgositsile and that his father is South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, who met Earl's mother on a trip to Chicago. Earl's parents divorced 10 years ago and the New Yorker tracked down his mother, who is an educator in Southern California.
The L.A. Times Pop & Hiss blog did liberate some choice quotes that reveal he is not too happy with some of the fallout from the "Free Earl" campaign that commenced with his absence.
"Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed they wanted me released because I thought that translated into 'they care,'" wrote Earl via e-mail. "So time progresses and the fan base gets bigger and the 'Free Earl' chants get louder, but now with the 'Free Earl' chants come a barely indirect '... Earl's mom' and in the blink of an eye my worry changes from 'will there still be this hype when I get back to 'Oh ... I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom.'"
It was Earl's mom who shipped him out to the boarding school in Samoa and the rapper states that he ended up going on his own accord. The 'Earl' rapper, who is considered one of Odd Future's best, plans on eventually returning to Los Angeles but right now needs space and for fans to end any ill will towards his mother.
"I've still got work to do," Earl wrote. "And I don't need the additional stress of fearing for my family's physical well-being. Space means no more, 'Free Earl.'"
Watch Earl Sweatshirt's 'Earl'