The once-missing-in-action Earl Sweatshirt has dropped the second video off his highly anticipated debut album, Doris. It’s called “WHOA,” which is a pretty apt title for it, considering it features Earl teaming back up with his partner in crime, Tyler, the Creator, to take it back to “that old fuckin 2010 shit.”
Earl’s last video, “Chum,” was an introspective, solemn, startlingly honest reflection about his relationship with his father, mother, and Odd Future. “WHOA” is all braggadocio buried under dense wordplay, layered in intricate, winding metaphor. (“Yeah, the Misadventures of a shit talker / Pissed as Rick Ross’ fifth sip off his sixth lager / Known to sit and wash the sins off at the pitch alter.”) The track, featuring jazzy piano set against the dark, synthy, pounding beats that the crew loves, was produced by Tara Razavi (who’s produced several Odd Future videos, including the fantastic “Rella”).
Tyler directs the video, under his “Wolf Haley” alias, which features other crew members including poster boy Lucas, skater Nakel, Jasper (being Jasper), and labelmates Trash Talk. The guys flip traditional rap video tropes: a middle-aged woman in a tutu in place of a video vixen, a trailer instead of a mansion, a beat-up car instead of a Maserati. Tyler shows off some janky bling while rolling his eyes shrugging off his plaid shirt like, “Oh, this old thing?” with the swagger of Kanye showing off his Margiela. Instead of lapping in luxury, a close-up of Earl reclining on a floating pool lounge pans out to reveal that he’s actually in a small pool of dirty water at the basin of a skateboarding bowl.
Maybe the best part of the whole thing, though, is seeing Earl and Tyler — who have adamantly called each other brothers — reunited, pushing each other in shopping carts, acting silly. At one point Tyler raps, “50 K for the last check / But the Dollar Menu still be on deck,” and it seems true. The crew might be making money now, but (at least in the world of this video) they’re still the same wild kids loitering on Fairfax in L.A.