The Oral History of Complex Where's Earl? Oh, there he is. Photo by David Huebner

2011

NOAH CALLAHAN-BEVER: “Two guys in our music department—Jacob Moore and Ernest Baker—found Earl Sweatshirt from Odd Future. He was supposed to be missing but they found him at Coral Reef Academy in Samoa. We beat everybody to the story.”

ERNEST BAKER, Assistant Editor: “Then The New Yorker did a piece about Earl, and they had to credit me and Jacob for our guerilla-style reporting. Their piece had quotes emailed by Earl’s mom, but they didn’t sound like anything a 17-year-old would say. So we did a follow-up story calling those statements into question.”

DOMO GENESIS OF ODD FUTURE: “It was all a dream/I used to read Complex magazine.” [From “Window”]
 

PETER RUBIN: "I show up at the Wiz Khalifa and Danny McBride shoot [April/May] after it’d been going on for an hour and a half or so. Obviously the first thing that hits me is the weed. Wiz and Danny are totally shrouded by smoke. I thought it was smoke machines, but no. When they’re done, Danny sits down with me and Wiz goes off to roll one. I start talking with Danny, and he says, ‘They handed me a joint when we started shooting, but I didn’t know it wasn't gonna end. I smoked the first joint for real, and then I had to slow down. I thought I was gonna have a seizure. But I’m not gonna let this young dude out smoke me.’ It turned into this crazy battle of wills between Wiz and Danny. And then Danny called me after the fact, saying, ‘I don’t know if I gave you anything to work with. I was not in the right frame of mind to be doing an interview, so if you have any other questions, let’s do some now.’”

RICH ANTONIELLO: Four years later, by September 2011, our network crossed the 80 site barrier. We had broken 40 million monthly uniques—in four years.”

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