Last month, Earl Sweatshirt decided to bless his fans with an exceptional new single titled “2010,” which is expected to appear on his forthcoming album Sick! Over the weekend, the Odd Future alum added to that with “Tabula Rasa,” a Theravada and Rob Chambers-produced effort that features assistance from NYC duo Armand Hammer. To no one’s surprise, Sweatshirt, billy woods, and E L U C I D make quick work of the off-kilter production with bars centered around African leaders, various obstacles faced, a classic children’s game, and much more:
“Been to there and back, tall tales tossed to the breeze, we keep facts in the midnight wax, family tree sap, light leak through the leaves on familiar tracks, I know it’s real even when I’m feeling bad, resilient as they built the black, she shimmy into the, yeah, that’s consent gettin’ established, you only trash if you trash, I keep it simple and dynamic, trust the passage rites to life’s chapters, I have to write to find balance, this game of telephone massive, I do what I have to with the fragments…”
“Tabula Rasa” also sees a matching visual courtesy of Joseph Mault, which takes on a lo-fi feel and sees the artists creating music in a studio residence — billy woods can even be seen delivering his bars while cooking ribs on a grill. Towards the clip’s end, the camera heads into a room where Earl Sweatshirt performs while the Alchemist and Boldy James watch nearby.
Sick! will eventually follow Sweatshirt‘s third studio LP Some Rap Songs, a critically acclaimed effort that saw additional appearances from Standing on the Corner, Navy Blue, and Earl’s parents — civil rights professor Cheryl Harris and late South African poet/political activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. Since then, Sweatshirt released the EP Feet of Clay, along with a subsequent deluxe version with additional collaborations from Mavi, Mach-Hommy, Maxo, and more.
Press play on “Tabula Rasa” below.