Earl Sweatshirt is on my “must see” list for SXSW. Though his second album, Doris, was a bit flat with too much flashy collaboration, it is the first album, EARL, that has me thinking that there is a reason to see him at the Belmont tomorrow night, in fact he is the headliner. His lyrics are not easy to stomach; for some it could seem like another rapper who has a misogynistic formula to rap success. I mean, the person who discovered him is Tyler the Creator, so that should be an indicator of the type music and lyrics you can expect. However, I can see past that and understand that Sweatshirt produces such slick verses and, though nasty, they are very well written in a demonic, pretty offensive fashion for what we know as underground rap. Not to mention the beats are so simple, yet so well placed and carry a lot of depth in their delivery with monotone lush, naturally distorted vocals. Don’t get me wrong, there is no profound message in most of his songs but some songs like “hoarse” and “chum” linger with endless possibilities. Focus on that but don’t forget about the ugly, though. Because life carries both at the ends of our shoelaces, right? Sweatshirt is worth a listen, he has a vision and maybe even in some of those lyrics that are not too foul, he can show off some talent.