Earl Sweatshirt – Doris (2013)

Every now and then it’s great to hear a rapper who doesn’t rely heavily on endless taboo subject matter to fill his verses. Granted, perhaps I was a little burnt out on the excess of hip hop, as I was listening to Necro’s The Sexorcist a lot alongside Doris, and I’m not exactly saying that this Odd Future member’s solo outfit is clean like a Will Smith album, but it is admittedly refreshing all the same.

Doris, being produced by Tyler the Creator, sounds pretty fuckin’ good. Earl Sweatshirt’s tracks seem to hold a stoned elegance to them, particularly “Hive” which is like what gangsta rap would have sounded like if it was invented in an Amsterdam coffeeshop. “Sunday” is also a great ode somewhat in part to weed smoking, even if Frank Ocean’s contributions aren’t the greatest. Vocal contributions from Tyler the Producer (see what I did there?) on “Sasquatch” are always welcome, and RZA from Wu Tang guesting on the excellent “Molasses” is a nice little surprise towards the end of the record.