We Went There: Earl Sweatshirt at Cabooze
It’s strange to see an artist like Earl Sweatshirt (Thebe Neruda Kgositsile) who is both 24 years old and also a grizzled veteran of the music scene. He is long enough in the tooth to have a deep back catalog, but still new enough that he bustles with energy. Add in the fact that 16-year-old Thebe seemed to be a decade older than his age when he burst on the scene, and you can get some mixed messages.
The sold-out crowd, mostly of people Thebe’s age or younger, didn’t seem to have any reservations, exploding as soon as he bounced on stage and rapping along to his high-energy set. (Evergreen side note to my fellow white people: it is never, ever, even remotely OK to say the “n” word, including when you are emphatically rapping along to your favorite artist. Seriously, just fucking stop.) The last Earl Sweatshirt album was the murky, dense Some Rap Songs, which I was concerned wouldn’t translate to the stage, but Thebe’s energy and charisma made even his darkest songs into bangers on the stage.
Thebe was dealing with a cold, which he apologized for, but you wouldn’t have known if he hadn’t mentioned it. His 60+ minute set kept the crowd wrapped around his finger, showcasing the lighter, fun side of an artist who continues to push the boundaries of hip hop. It was a great set from an artist who I genuinely believe will be a defining act of our generation. I had not seen him the last few times he was here, but he proved without a doubt that even as his music wanders into more complex areas, his live show can still be a raucous party.
See Adam’s full set of photos from the showHERE.
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