Even though Earl Sweatshirt’s albums have all been released via the major label Columbia (as well as his own imprint, Tan Cressida), but his music is very much alternative. At no time on any of his albums has it sounded like Sweatshirt was being held back creatively, and yet, that may have been the case. In a new interview with Pitchfork, he revealed that his 2018 album Some Rap Songs will be his last record released via Columbia, which will allow him to push more boundaries on upcoming projects.
He said about making music on a major label, “Figuring out how you can be radical from within the system breaks your head. That’s where I’m really at: that frustrating-ass place. And this is the best attempt I got. Only so much can happen above ground.” After saying that Some Rap Songs is the last album he will release via Columbia, he added, “I’m excited to be free because then I can do riskier shit.”
All three of Sweatshirt’s studio albums — 2013’s Doris, 2015’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and Some Rap Songs — were released via Columbia. The only projects he has released outside of the label came before 2013: His solo debut mixtape Earl dropped in 2010, while he appeared on the Odd Future mixtape Radical that same year, and on the Odd Future album The OF Tape Vol. 2 in 2012.