Earl Sweatshirt, the missing member from Los Angles based hip hop collective Odd Future, has spoken out about his disappearance and the campaign to FREE EARL. In an interview with The New Yorker he has revealed that he is in a therapeutic camp in Samoa, and he’s not being held there against his will.
Back in April Complex Magazine revealed that they’ve tracked down Earl (real name Thebe Kogsitsile) after following a number of clues from Odd Future lyrics, Facebook musings from fellow students, along with a photo from David Huebner the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. He had apparently been sent there by his mother.
In the interview with Earl, which also includes an interview with his mother (who’s name has been made anonymous due to fears about harassment) and his father, South African poet Keorapetse Kogsitsile, Earl denies he was sent there against his will and says the months leading up to his departure was a mess, he needed time away.
When he was asked about the FREE EARL campaign, he said “Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into ‘They care’.” But when the focus then turned towards his mother.. “Time progresses and the ‘Free Earl’ chants get louder but now comes an 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.'”
Earl concluded that all he really needed was some space, and that there should be no more FREE EARL.
When asked about his return to Odd Future he replied, “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.”
Odd Future will be out here for the Vivid LIVE Festival line up later this month.