Last month, we found Earl Sweatshirt, and today The New Yorker took the investigation into the Odd Future rapper's whereabouts one step further, landing an email interview with the mysterious teen star.
The exchange took place courtesy of Thebe Kgositsile's mother, who requested that she not be named. She gives her own reasons for sheltering her son from OFWGKTA's newfound attention. She tells the magazine, "There is a person named Thebe who preexisted Earl. That person ought to be allowed to explore and grow, and it's very hard to do that when there's a whole set of expectations, narratives, and stories that are attached to him."
Earl's mom sent questions to her son via email, and she relayed his responses to The New Yorker when he wrote back. After picking up a physical copy of the issue, here's everything Earl Sweatshirt said that was printed.
On whether he was forced to leave Los Angeles for Samoa:
"No, no no no no no no no no no no. Please listen: I'm not being held against my will."
How the experience has changed him:
"I've had to do a lot of growing up since I left, so naturally my perspective has changed. A lot less effort is exerted toward proving that I care less than you about everything, so I'm a lot less frantic. I guess the simplest way to put it is that I'm more comfortable with myself, which is something that I couldn't have told you like eleven months ago."
His thoughts on Odd Future's rise to fame:
"The couple of months leading up to my departure were a mess for me. I've been watching all of this unfold the entire time. The "Free Earl" campaign and the ridiculously large amount of publicity OF's getting. It's been pretty strange for me. A lot of times I have trouble wrapping my head around OF being on the Coachella ticket or there being a more-than-substantial international fan base because you can't really experience things like that to the fullest extent vicariously, no matter how hard you try."
On whether he still writes raps:
"I still write stuff from time to time when I get excited or feel moved to, but none of it's really too groundbreaking or anything. I've got other things on my mind."
His thoughts on the "Free Earl" movement:
"Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into "they care." So time progresses and the fan base gets bigger and the "Free Earl" chants get louder but now with the "Free Earl" chants come a barely 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." I can say there have been few things in my life worse than the moment I was trying to figure out who started all this "let's get together and hate Earl's mom" business and had now subjected her to potential physical harm and realized that in a way it was me."
His personal message to fans:
"The only thing I need as of right now is space. I've still got work to do and don’t need the additional stress of fearing for my family’s physical wellbeing. Space means no more “Free Earl.” If you sincerely care than I appreciate the gesture, but since you know the hard facts from the source, you no longer need to worry. This applies for anyone affiliated with OF, fans and members alike."
On when he will return:
"Hopefully soon. 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."