Earl Sweatshirt - Coachella - April 12, 2013

Comments (0)


Sat, Apr 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM
click to enlarge Earl Sweatshirt - TIMOTHY NORRIS
  • Timothy Norris
  • Earl Sweatshirt

Earl Sweatshirt


April 12, 2013

It was past midnight in Coachella's Gobi Tent when Tyler, the Creator climbed the scaffolding like a gargoyle. He clung to the metal bars above the stage with one arm, ready to pounce on the crowd at any moment. Earl Sweatshirt rapped with a black bucket hat, a blue-green tie-dye t-shirt, and the laid-back intensity of a smoked-out teenager who takes nothing seriously but his raps.

Flying Lotus operated as Earl's DJ, weaving artfully at the turntables, remixing on the fly. This is what you hoped for from Odd Future, but maybe not what you expected.

See also: No, Seriously, Is Daft Punk Playing Coachella?

click to enlarge Tyler climbs the scaffolding at the Earl show - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Tyler climbs the scaffolding at the Earl show

Two years ago, the L.A. enfant tumblribles made their debut at Coachella. The entrance occurred at the apex of the frothing hysteria then surrounding them. They were archetypal products of the Internet era: discovered on Hypebeast and their own Tumblr, threatening both the blogs that wouldn't post them (2 Dope Boyz), and Steve Harvey.

Their 2011 set was full of rowdy stage-dives and a Pharell Wiliams guest spot. It was inconsistent but electric, and it stamped their arrival as a legitimate phenomenon.

The performance was a certified Coachella "moment," one of four or five that happen each April. But at that show, Earl was AWOL. Speculation ran rampant to his whereabouts. Was he in military school? Was he on a top-secret mission from the illuminati to control the world's supply of do-rags? Would he ever return to rapping or would he turn out to be the rap game Kerry Wood, a prodigy who never realized his full potential? It was later revealed that Earl was attending boarding school in Samoa, which was arguably the least "hip-hop" explanation any of the old guard had ever heard.

In any case, at the show last night, Tyler was finally reunited with Earl at Coachella, performing their latest viral video, "Whoa" before a berserk mob. The set was billed as a Earl solo set, his first real one in the L.A. area since his return home approximately a year ago (there were two brief surprise sets at the Low End Theory club).

See also: Doing Drugs at Coachella? Here's How to Avoid Trouble With the Police

Of course, there were initial nerves and tentativeness that reminded you that Earl is 19 years old and this was one of his first solo shows. But that caution evaporated immediately when Tyler joined him for "Whoa." Placed on the same stage, the pair generated electricity unmatched by almost any rap crew. It reminded you of a younger version of Clipse, if Pusha-T and Malice had memorized all of Madvillainy.

Related Content

Now Trending

  • Jeff Weiss' Bizarre Ride Summer Mix 2014

    This column had ideas of its own. Originally I was going to break down the songs that defined this summer. But in the age of Pandora, Spotify, Sirius XM and Diplodocus-sized hard drives, do you need someone to tell you that Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” is the inevitable pick? You don’t...
  • Fanatics! A Bodacious Assortment of Tunes

    RADIO BROADCAST #27707–20–14 Fanatics! Thank you so much for checking out these notes. Before anything, I hope you are digging the summer, or whatever weather you're in and that these amazing songs we have lined up for you are just what you need. A few highlights to note. The Calico...
  • The Best Concerts to See in L.A. This Week

    Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, July 21 Lady Gaga STAPLES CENTER Since she first burst onto the scene and into the hearts and minds of her little monsters, Lady Gaga has become a genre unto herself. Beyond her hit-laden catalog, featuring many of the...
Los Angeles Concert Tickets


  • OK GO @ The Troubadour
    OK GO performed to a sold out Troubadour on Tuesday night. Their fourth studio album, Hungry Ghosts, is out soon. DC Myles Hendrik opened the night. All photos by Timothy Norris.
  • Nico Vega's Album Release Party
    The Sunset Strip burned up the music scene as Nico Vega launched their Lead to Light record release bash Monday night at The Roxy. Dark Waves played an amazing debut performance, while Queen Caveat broke open the the jammed packed club. Nico Vegas frontwoman Aja Volkman danced in the crowd, brought the party on stage, and painted dots on fans foreheads. Good times as always on the Strip! All photos by Michele McManmon.
  • Air Guitar Championship Semifinals @ The Troubadour
    The Southwest Semifinals of the US Air Guitar Championship were held last Saturday at the historic Troubadour Club in West Hollywood. The event determined who would compete as regional representatives at the 2014 National Finals in Kansas City on August 9th. The colorful contestants (many of whom opted for elaborate codpieces) were judged by comedians Kristen Schaal and the Sklar Brothers. The top score was awarded to crowd-surfing guitarist Kingslayer, the mother of a teenage son who also competed wearing little more than an American flag bathing suit. All photos by Gustavo Turner.