Some Rap Songs

Some Rap Songs is the third studio album by American rapper Earl Sweatshirt. It was released on November 30, 2018, through Tan Cressida Records and distributed by Columbia Records.

Some Rap Songs
Some Rap Songs.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 30, 2018 (2018-11-30)
GenreHip hop
Length24:39
Label
Producer
Earl Sweatshirt chronology
Solace
(2015)
Some Rap Songs
(2018)
Feet of Clay
(2019)
Singles from Some Rap Songs
  1. "Nowhere2go"
    Released: November 8, 2018
  2. "The Mint"
    Released: November 20, 2018

The album features guest contributions from Navy Blue, Standing on the Corner, as well as vocal samples of Earl's mother Cheryl Harris, Earl's father Keorapetse Kgositsile who is credited posthumously, and an instrumental sample of Hugh Masekela, who is also credited posthumously. It features prominent production from Sweatshirt himself, with further contributions by Darryl Anthony, Adé Hakim, Denmark, Black Noise, Sage Elsesser and Shamel of SOTC.

Cover artEdit

The cover of Some Rap Songs is a shaky, blurry selfie of Earl smiling,[note 1][2][3] "blurred beyond any easy identification".[1] The facial features shown in the photograph have been noted: the staff of Atwood Magazine wrote that "The photo's details are still vaguely discernible, namely Earl's blurry face and floating, penetrating eyes",[2] and Dylan Green of DJBooth highlighted the "teeth stacked together in a terrifying smile below glaring eyes."[3]

Several commentators have compared the album's blurry cover photograph with the music itself.[1][2][3][4] Israel Daramola of Spin called it "an apt visual metaphor for the music itself, both in the image of a spark of life amidst chaos, and in the sense that the creative process of taking the photo may have been ruptured as it was happening."[1] Atwood Magazine stated that the album "sounds how this picture looks—unpredictable yet calculated, blurry and distorted yet well-defined".[2] Green wrote of the album's tracks that "The bars and the beats clash in a way befitting" of the cover photograph,[3] and The A.V. Club's Clayton Purdom wrote that "That blurry cover and demurring title are no feint; [Earl is] buried in the mix, his voice fighting against crashing waves of old jazz samples and the cut-up shades of long-gone voices."[4]

Release and promotionEdit

Some Rap Songs was released on November 30, 2018.[5][6] On January 30, 2019, Earl uploaded an eight-minute short film titled Nowhere, Nobody in promotion of the album, featuring different songs from the album throughout the video.[7]

SinglesEdit

The album's lead single, "Nowhere2go", was released on November 8, 2018.[8] The album's second single, "The Mint" featuring Navy Blue, was released on November 20, 2018.[9][6]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?8.0/10[10]
Metacritic86/100[11]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [12]
The A.V. ClubA[4]
ConsequenceB−[13]
Financial Times     [14]
The Guardian     [15]
Mojo     [16]
NME     [17]
Pitchfork8.8/10[18]
Rolling Stone     [19]
XXL4/5[20]

Some Rap Songs was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 86, based on 19 reviews.[11] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 8.0 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[10]

Reviewing the album for The A.V. Club, Clayton Purdom stated: "Well, it can be [dour]. But it's also ecstatic. Make no mistake: This is an album by one of the best rappers alive, elbowing slant rhymes and assonance into his disses ("Please do aboard, I could feel when you're forcin' it / Still in a bore riddim") and exhaling those singularly oblong sentences of his ("Galaxy's the distance between us by Christmas," he describes one floundering relationship)."[4] Fred Thomas of AllMusic wrote: "Simultaneously sad, strange, and warmly nostalgic, Some Rap Songs is excitingly listenable and emotionally connected despite its abstruse approach. The album's triumphs are in its fearless risk taking and the insight it allows into the journey of Earl Sweatshirt's constant creative regeneration".[12] Pitchfork's Timmhotep Aku said, "The project is distinctly rough around the edges, to great effect; there's the sound of dust popping off vinyl and cassette hiss throughout. ... His uncle and father are gone, but Earl is still here, carrying on their artistic legacy—and, with the help of his collaborators, building his own".[18]

Sputnikmusic wrote, "Every loop [of "Nowhere2go"] reveals another layer to the undulating beat, but for the first time thus far it's Earl taking the spotlight, rising above the track with a tired yet hopeful rap that's so melodic he's nearly singing. And in case you were worried the boy wouldn't spit, it's followed quickly by "December 24", a song dating back years under the name "Bad Acid" which provides the strongest link to the more aggressive and conventional early 2010s Earl".[21] Daniel Spielberger of HipHopDX praised the album saying, "Some Rap Songs is reminiscent to Earl's late friend Mac Miller's final album Swimming. Both bring the listener through the process of overcoming trauma and healing but ultimately, choose to leave the story unfinished".[22] XXL critic Chris Gibbons said, "Some Rap Songs packs a lot in 25 minutes, making for an unsettling listen that is also one of the most personal, gripping rap records of the year".[20]

Charles Holmes of Rolling Stone stated, "Some Rap Songs is the rare album by an immensely talented lyricist who deigns not to pull out any fireworks, opting to sink into the cushion's of a therapist's couch in the search for an honest work of art. It's a delicate statement of restraint, and in this case the process shows more of the artist than ever before".[19] NME's Sam Moore enjoyed the album, saying, "Some Rap Songs may be a brief exercise, but its ambition and the—largely successful—execution of its ideas demonstrate that the enigmatic Earl is as fascinating as ever".[17] M. T. Richards of Exclaim! said, "Although a very strong record for what it is, Some Rap Songs lacks the emotional power of the two albums that preceded it, particularly Doris, which charted Earl's transition back to civilian life from a Samoan wilderness camp".[23]

RankingsEdit

Select rankings of Some Rap Songs
Publication List Rank Ref.
The A.V. Club The A.V. Club's 20 Best Albums of 2018
8
Complex 50 Best Albums of 2018
49
Fact The 50 Best Albums of 2018
15
NME Best Albums of the Year 2018
59
Noisey Noisey's 100 Best Albums of 2018
58
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2018
7
The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s
27
Rolling Stone The 200 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time
80
Spin 51 Best Albums of 2018
6
Stereogum The Best Albums of 2018
35
Uproxx The 50 Best Albums of 2018
10

Track listingEdit

Some Rap Songs track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Shattered Dreams"
Kgositsile2:21
2."Red Water"KgositsileKgositsile1:44
3."Cold Summers"
  • Kgositsile
  • Willy N'For[b]
  • Emmanuel Baloka[b]
  • Jimmy Stormy[b]
Kgositsile1:06
4."Nowhere2go"
  • Kgositsile
  • Darryl Joseph
  • Adé Hakim Sayyed
  • Adé Hakim
  • Joseph
1:53
5."December 24"
Denmark1:46
6."Ontheway!" (featuring Standing on the Corner)
  • Kgositsile
  • Giovanni Cortez
  • Sherman Willis[c]
Kgositsile1:41
7."The Mint" (featuring Navy Blue)
Black Noise2:45
8."The Bends"
Elsesser1:34
9."Loosie"KgositsileKgositsile0:59
10."Azucar"
Elsesser1:25
11."Eclipse"KgositsileKgositsile1:33
12."Veins"Kgositsile1:59
13."Playing Possum" (featuring Cheryl Harris and Keorapetse Kgositsile)KgositsileKgositsile1:34
14."Peanut"KgositsileKgositsile1:13
15."Riot!"
  • Kgositsile
  • Shamel of SOTC
1:06
Total length:24:39

Sample credits

  • ^[a] "Shattered Dreams" contains samples from "Shattered Dreams" as performed by The Endeavors and written by John Thomas Jr.
  • ^[b] "Cold Summers" contains a sample of "Road Man (Mystic)" as performed by Mighty Flames and written by Willy N'For, Emmanuel Baloka and Jimmy Stormy.
  • ^[c] "Ontheway!" contains samples from "Trust in Me Baby" as performed by Soul Superiors and written by Sherman Willis.
  • "The Mint" contains a sample from the film Black Dynamite.
  • ^[d] "The Bends" contains a sample from "After Loving You" as performed by Linda Clifford and written by Lowrell Simon and Richard Tufo.
  • ^[e] "Azucar" contains a sample from "I'm Just a Shoulder to Cry On" as performed by The Soul Children and written by Donald Davis, Harvey Scales and Albert Vance.
  • ^[f] "Veins" contains a sample from "I Made a Mistake" as performed by Billy Jones and written by Curtis Mayfield.
  • "Playing Possum" contains vocal samples from "UCLA Law Keynote" as spoken by Cheryl Harris, and an excerpt of "Anguish Longer Than Sorrow", a poem written and spoken by Keorapetse Kgositsile.[18]
  • ^[g] "Riot!" contains a sample from "Riot" as performed and written by Hugh Masekela.

PersonnelEdit

Credits were adapted from the album's liner notes.[35]

  • Thebe Kgositsile – engineering, mixing, vocals
  • Shamel of SOTC – mixing engineering, bass guitar on "Ontheway!" and “Riot!”
  • Mike Bozzi – mastering engineering

ChartsEdit

Chart performance for Some Rap Songs
Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[36] 40
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[37] 90
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[38] 31
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[39] 69
Irish Albums (IRMA)[40] 53
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[41] 35
UK Albums (OCC)[42] 75
UK R&B Albums (OCC)[43] 16
US Billboard 200[44] 17
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[45] 10

Release historyEdit

Release dates and formats for Some Rap Songs
Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
Various November 30, 2018
[46]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Though Israel Daramola of Spin refers to the cover art as "a shaky photograph of an unknown smiling person blurred beyond any easy identification",[1] the staff of Atwood Magazine identify the individual as Earl Sweatshirt,[2] and DJBooth's Dylan Green identifies the photograph as a selfie.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Daramola, Israel (December 5, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt's Some Rap Songs Makes The Deliberately Wrong Feel Right". Spin. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Our Take: Earl Sweatshirt Bends Time and Space on 'Some Rap Songs'". Atwood Magazine. January 9, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e Green, Dylan (December 7, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt 'Some Rap Songs' 1 Listen Album Review". DJBooth. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Purdom, Clayton (December 6, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt locks in on the uncompromising Some Rap Songs". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Strauss, Matthew; Minsker, Evan (November 20, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt Releasing New Album Some Rap Songs Next Week, Shares 'The Mint': Listen". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Cook-Wilson, Winston (November 20, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt Announces 'Some Rap Songs' Album, Releases "The Mint" [UPDATED]". Spin. Archived from the original on November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Cowen, Trace William (January 30, 2019). "Earl Sweatshirt Shares Experimental 'Nowhere, Nobody' Short Film". Complex. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
  8. ^ Minsker, Evan; Bloom, Madison (November 8, 2018). "Listen to Earl Sweatshirt's New Song "Nowhere2go"". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 23, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  9. ^ Ross, Alex Robert (November 20, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt Drops "The Mint," Confirms New Album 'Some Rap Songs' [Update]". Noisey. Archived from the original on February 16, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  10. ^ a b "Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Archived from the original on December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Thomas, Fred. "Some Rap Songs – Earl Sweatshirt". AllMusic. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  13. ^ Monroe, Tommy (December 4, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt Keeps It Short and Personal on Some Rap Songs". Consequence. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  14. ^ Hunter-Tilney, Ludovic (December 8, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs — a short but intense experience". Financial Times. Archived from the original on December 8, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  15. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (December 7, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs review – powerful, emotional poetry". The Guardian. Archived from the original on December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  16. ^ Crichton, Ian (March 2019). "Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs". Mojo (304): 80.
  17. ^ a b Moore, Sam (November 30, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt – 'Some Rap Songs' review". NME. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c Aku, Timmhotep (November 30, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs Album Review". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Holmes, Charles (December 4, 2018). "Review: Earl Sweatshirt's 'Some Rap Songs' Defies Expectations With a Statement of Restraint". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Gibbons, Chris (December 7, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt's 'Some Rap Songs' Album Toys With Convention". XXL. Archived from the original on December 8, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "Review: Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  22. ^ Spielberger, Daniel (December 10, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt Some Rap Songs Album Review". HipHopDX. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved January 5, 2018.
  23. ^ Richards, M. T. (December 3, 2018). "Earl Sweatshirt: Some Rap Songs". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  24. ^ "The A.V. Club's 20 best albums of 2018". The A.V. Club. December 18, 2018. Archived from the original on December 19, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2018". Complex. December 5, 2018. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  26. ^ "The 50 best albums of 2018". Fact. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "Best albums of the year 2018". NME. December 13, 2018. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  28. ^ "Noisey's 100 Best Albums of 2018". Noisey. December 4, 2018. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  29. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Pitchfork. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  30. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 2010s". Pitchfork. October 8, 2019. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  31. ^ Dukes, Will (June 7, 2022). "The 200 Greatest Hip-Hop Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  32. ^ "51 Best Albums of 2018: Staff Picks". Spin. December 12, 2018. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  33. ^ "The Best Albums of 2018". Stereogum. December 4, 2018. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  34. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Uproxx. December 3, 2018. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2018.
  35. ^ Some Rap Songs (booklet). Earl Sweatshirt. Columbia Records. 2018. B07KKFK5H6.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  36. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. December 10, 2018. Archived from the original on November 28, 2017. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  38. ^ "Earl Sweatshirt Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  39. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  40. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 7 December 2018". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  41. ^ "NZ Top 40 Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. December 10, 2018. Archived from the original on December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  42. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  43. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  44. ^ "Earl Sweatshirt Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  45. ^ "Earl Sweatshirt Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  46. ^ "Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt". iTunes Store. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
    "NEW EARL SWEATSHIRT ALBUM (CD)". earlxsweatshirt.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
    "NEW EARL SWEATSHIRT ALBUM (CASSETTE)". earlxsweatshirt.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
    "NEW EARL SWEATSHIRT ALBUM (VINYL)". earlxsweatshirt.com. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.

External linksEdit