SICK! – [Earl Sweatshirt]

If you and your friends are true fans of music of any kind, it is an inevitable occurrence that the debate of your top 5 favorite artists will come up probably more than once in your lifetime. These discussions always get me going because considering I write about music on a daily basis, everyone always expects me to have an unarguable list that is bulletproof, but the simple fact is that this probably isn’t the case because these things are all subjective. At the same time, my opinion of the top 5 best artists out, as opposed to my personal favorite top 5, is definitely drastically different but I truly and firmly believe that Earl Sweatshirt fits into my list no matter what.

Earl has been one of my all-time favorite artists for over a decade at this point, and while his more recent music has been much more experimental and has appealed to a more niche audience, I feel like it just shows his creativity way more than ever before. Additionally, Doris is one of my all-time favorite albums of all time and I believe that there isn’t a single second to skip on the project itself, so whenever Earl gets ready to drop one of his highly sought-after albums as he just did with SICK! today, I legitimately drop whatever I’m doing to give it a thorough and complete listen.

After hearing the three singles that came out, my expectations were at an all-time high, but I knew that if anyone could live up to these hopes, it was Earl, and I can say with the utmost certainty that he exceeded any of my preconceived notions by far. SICK! gifts us 10 new songs total (including the 3 singles) that span just over 24 minutes long, and there isn’t a single second on this effort that falls flat even remotely.

Earl’s lyricism is as sharp and eye-opening as ever while the diverse production choices he makes add up to not only continuously keep things as fresh as can be, but also present him with a complex variety of sounds that allow him countless opportunities to get creative, experimental, and dexterous with his deliveries. It’s always difficult for me to find accurate words to describe anything that Earl puts out, and this album is no different.

So, the best way I can describe it to one of his fans that hasn’t listened yet is that it’s similar to Doris with the fact that his narratives are clear and not as abstract as they have been on some of his other projects while also including some more exploratory or empirical production and flows as he has included on other albums like Some Rap Songs, for instance.

Earl’s music is best experienced with your own two ears, so considering I already know that my words won’t be able to come close to doing his latest album SICK! enough justice, it’s something you need to take the time to listen to and fully ingest on your own in order to truly appreciate this indescribable work of art from the West Coast legend.