Looking for Earl Sweatshirt? Here’s a Clue…

Written by Rizoh. Posted in Ya Heard?!?!

Tagged: ,

Published on April 12, 2011 with 18 Comments

So, I’m sitting here listening to some old new Earl joints like “Dat Ass” and wondering how it’s strange that no one has an inkling of an idea where this kid is. It doesn’t make sense. This is America, man. TMZ can find pretty much anyone.

Then I grab my coffee and proceed to do my daily rounds of news surfing and stumble across Jeff Weiss’ Odd Future profile in the Times. Buried in that brilliant piece is a clue that Tyler has worked extremely hard to conceal: his last name. Tyler’s last name is Okonma. Earl’s real name is Thebe Okonma Kgositsile. Stay with me here. Word is they’re somehow related. Brother? Cousin? No one knows for sure. Tyler won’t specify. He likes to throw people off because in his words “people believe anything.” But that’s beside the point.

The point is that both Tyler and Earl are of Nigerian heritage, which partially explains why the OF leader has been reluctant to reveal his last name for awhile. Anyone who’s ever faced some form of resistance because of their background will understand. Akon didn’t divulge his heritage until he was already a global phenom. It was too late for anyone to resist him then. Barack, as confident and charismatic as he seems today, struggled with the idea of being that kid with a funny last name, and he could have passed for a white kid.

Back to Tyler and Earl though. Another reason Tyler hid his real identity is that he was sure people would dig in and probably find the clue to Earl’s whereabouts. If you know anything about African parents, then you know this: their universal cure for rebellious kids is to send them to boarding school in Africa. It’s one of the shittiest things you’ll ever live through as a kid. I spent three months at one of those in my younger days. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was so shitty that I swore off school for the rest of my life. I still have the scars–both physical and mental–to show for that experience. It’s far worse than boot camp. Believe that.

Think about it. We keep hearing that Earl is in boarding school or boot camp, yet no one’s heard a pip from him. Tyler won’t speak of his whereabouts, other than saying that it’s too personal. The only way it makes sense is that Earl’s mom shipped him off to Africa for a dose of realities harsher than the fictionalized version he conjures in his bedroom. I’m curious to see what effect the experience will have on his music.

Someday we’ll know for sure, but if Earl isn’t in a boarding school somewhere in Africa, I’ll eat my head.

Update: Complex found Earl Sweatshirt



Rizoh is the most powerful man in all the lands. He lives in Houston where he earned a BS in Nerf Herding. He's the founder of The Rap Up, the former editor of Roc4Life.com, and is in the Grammy-awaiting band Pervertable Disciples.

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There are currently 18 Comments on Looking for Earl Sweatshirt? Here’s a Clue…. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. yoo i almost went to one of those when i lived in Nigeria. It sucked so much; sometimes there’s no water so you have to fetch it from a well…and if a senior student wants water, why he’ll either take yours or force you to make another trip! They call it training but that’s so wrong. Not to mention the food stinks.

  2. it’s thebe kgositsile not okonma. step ya google game up son! dont believe that bull tyler says about them bein brothers.

  3. it’s thebe kgositsile not okonma. step ya google game up son! dont believe that bull tyler says about them bein brothers.

    • Kgositsile like the South-African poet? That doesn’t really discredit the theory since that’s a last name found in several regions of the African continent. Not sure if it’s common in Nigeria as well but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      • Didn’t even make that connection until now.. In thisniggaugly, when someone says “this nigga look like an African poet.”

        • This actually makes sense. Those dudes don’t even look alike.

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  4. #FreeEarl

  5. Yeah, step your google game up. Coming from a dude who knows Odd Future personally: Tyler and Earl aren’t related, someone only saw that Tyler’s last name was Okonma and inferred that Thebe’s last name was Okonma as well (it is thebe kgositsile). Tyler and Earl (Formerly Sly) met in Sacramento when Tyler temporarily moved there, then Earl moved down to LA and became part of odd future. Step your game up, the theory is wrong (also: thebe and his mom are muslim)

  6. Tyler & Earl aren’t related at all. They both originally met on myspace Tyler was under the name “Ace” (Later on Ace, The Creator then Tyler, The Creator) & Thebe’s (Earl) name at the time was different from his name he as known as now “Earl Sweatshirt”. Thebe messaged Earl about his music and he wanted to collabroate. Odd Future was already made at that time with original members Ace, Hodgy Beats, Left Brain, Casey Veggies, Super 3 then later on added Earl.
    If you want my background on them contact me.

  7. Wow a grown ass man trying to find out where an underaged boy’s whereabouts…..

    • Hey, didn’t say it was 100% fact-checked. So, yeah, I was off the mark by a few continents.

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