Kelefa Sanneh interviewed Earl Sweatshirt and his mom for the New Yorker. The 8000-word article is not available online, but the New Yorker offered some excerpts on its website.
The teen rapper’s mom defended her decision to ship him off to a school for troubled kids. “There is a person named Thebe who preëxisted Earl,” Earl’s mother told Sanneh. “That person ought to be allowed to explore and grow, and it’s very hard to do that when there’s a whole set of expectations, narratives, and stories that are attached to him.”
On the issue of “Free Earl,” the 17-year old Odd Future member expressed mixed feelings. In an email to Sanneh, Earl wrote: “Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into ‘they care,’” Earl wrote. “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 ‘Fuck 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 shit I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom.’”
As previously reported, Complex went digging into Earl’s background and found him in Samoa. As far as his return, he told Sanneh that he still has work to do. “I miss home. I don’t have any definite date though. Even if I did I don’t know if I’d tell you. You’ll hear from me without a doubt when I’m ready.”