I Am Thankful for Earl Sweatshirt’s Security Guards


Giving thanks is just as fun as taking thanks, so I’d like to give a little thanks this evening in the form of a short little Thanksgiving tale for you. Think of it as a dessert to fit right next to your mashed p’tatters.

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All. There’s no real way you haven’t heard of them until now. Let’s put it this way- when I was a kid, I had dreams of being in the Brady Bunch. Now, I have dreams of being in OF. They’d never have me, of course, I don’t have the effortlessly provocative, ruthless wild-n-crazy mthrfkr attitude that pervades their every action. (I’m still talking about the B-Bunch).

But when it comes to Odd Future, sure, they’re ruthless, but they have quiet moments as well. Take, for example, this music video that Tyler the Creator directed not too long ago:

See? That Sondre Lerche-ass song wouldn’t necessarily fit into the OF catalogue. (Killer music video, by the way.)

What I’m trying to say is it’s hard to gauge exactly where they’re coming from sometimes. Case in point- Early Earl.

I’ve been to an Odd Future show before and it was BAWNKERZ. People were flying around, on stage, in the audience, tossing away their inhibitions with the same velocity as their flailing limbs. This was the mindset I brought into Earl Sweatshirt’s show at this year’s Hopscotch Festival in Raleigh, NC.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 7.07.01 PMI was mistaken.

Before Earl came on, there was a slew of old-school hip hop acts, including Big Daddy Kane who got everyone going crazy with the good ol’ fashioned call and return that makes true hip hop shows interactive and fun as hell, in a Dora the Explorer kind of way.

There was even some b-boy magic!

And then, Syd tha Kid did what she usually does at an OF show and hyped the crowd up for a good while, spinning and being the hypeness. If the momentum of the night was to be believed, Sweatshirt was going to take the universe by a storm. However, I learned too late the cardinal rule of Odd Future-

If all of OFWGKTA is there, is an insane circus of animal-like intensity and sweaty absurdity. If only one member is there, things are going to be introspective, clever, weird, and impressive from an artistic standpoint. But ain’t nobody twerking.

I couldn’t help myself. My adrenaline was tweaked. I was ready to pop off.

But when he took the stage, it didn’t popp right off. It was, honestly, chill chili. Earl is incredibly charismatic, and talented, but I was waiting for the lose-your-shit moment that never came. Of course, the fans were hyped up, but in a more reserved personable way, like “Yeah! We fully support you! You are an inspiration! Heck yes!” as opposed to “OH HELL IM PRETTY SURE I JUST GOT KICKED IN THE TEETH WITH AN ENTIRE HUMAN SOMEHOW AND I CAN’T HEAR MY OWN CRIES” kind of hype that is at your normal OF show.

I had to go for it. Though, for a few of the songs, he purposefully even changed the lights to match the slow and somber mood, I knew that my last chance to go crazy would be coming up. And it was his last song, with a beat that could support a degree of crumpy wildishness. And so I went for it.

I propelled myself into the air and was reluctantly caught by a crowd of people who decided where I was headed- the damn stage. Going hard, I dug deep into my Warped Tour childhood to demonstrate my love for the music via desperate flailing arms and legs.

And that is when I got on the stage. For the most brief of moments, I’d put it around 0.3 seconds, I was on stage. And then, without hesitation, one of Earl’s security guards yanked me by my gawdamn neck and dragged me, kicking wildly, into the dugout. This guy’s arm was probably one-and-a-half of me. He tossed my ass out, and even did the cliche “dusting my hands off like a job-well-done” thing.

Of course, the old adage “pics or it didn’t happen” applies here- and I’ll do you one better.

As soon as I was thrown out, I walked back in and caught the end of the song. Apparently, my fiasco actually, temporarily, slipped Earl up, as he was laughing at my plight against the tree-trunk man and missed a lyric.

And so, that’s pretty much my Earl Sweatshirt experience. My advice to you, follow the cardinal rule of OF and you should be okay. However, be sure to keep in mind, that if you see one Brady on their own, it’s no big deal, but if you see an entire Brady Bunch all at once- get the fuck out of there.


-Pedro LDV



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