I've avoided Mr. Sweatshirt in the past, his appearances in Odd Future and with Tyler The Creator turned me off from his style. Earl raps with a very spoken element, his slightly deep voice and walking pace on the mic sound so casual its like lyrical loitering. I'm not trying to hate, just expressing where I couldn't connect with what this guy is doing. However his newest release, Some Rap Songs, gained a lot of clout and made it to several tops lists of the year. Unfortunately it just didn't work for me.
This record can definitely be described as Avant-garde, or given merit for its experimentalism. Every track can be split into two elements that lay its concepts bare. On the lyrical front we have Earl sleepwalking his words through loose strings of free association and train of thought expressions that in brief moments muster visions, insights or food for thought. Mostly it comes off as lethargic and sleepy, his energy is mute, very civilian and little of his rhymes stir an emotional response. Each track just drones on by with the same tone. After a fair few spins even familiarity doesn't tip the scale for Earl as an MC, I fail to find what the appeal is in this approach.
The other half is the instrumentals that mostly revolve around oddly timed cuts, reversing loops, dropping the expectant complimentary drum beats and shifting the sample source into odd frequency ranges. Its the better half for sure, quite a few of the tracks have something to offer but what is on display is quickly saturated by a lack of depth as many of these sounds are looped to death with short snippets consisting of seconds repeated with little variation for the duration of the songs. Overall it is worth a spin for each of its unique sampling setups but beyond that... It just dulls.