Earl Sweatshirt‘s new album Sick! has become a critical darling in the weeks since it dropped (if not a complete commercial success, debuting at No. 80 on the Billboard 200), but that didn’t stop rapper turned podcaster Joe Budden from utterly trashing it on his show.
Budden denied even listening to the album, using Earl’s relationship with Tyler The Creator to undercut Earl’s impact. “Yo, when your man stop inviting you to the studio, you’re not getting me to listen to what you’re doing,” he said. “Sorry, that’s like a rule of thumb for me.”
However, Earl doesn’t seem fazed by Budden’s assessment — although he did have a clever response. “Its weird that bro didn’t like my mood muzik,” he joked on Twitter, referring to Budden’s fan-favorite mixtape series Mood Muzik and drawing a not-so-subtle comparison between the similar emotional content of both rappers’ catalogs. “LOL what happened twin?”
its weird that bro didn't like my mood muzik LOL what happened twin?
— thebe kgositsile (@earlxsweat) January 26, 2022
Earl’s got a point; Budden’s Mood Muzik series could easily be seen as a precursor to many of Sweatshirt’s own beloved, super-introspective albums, as they deal with many similar themes and subjects such as addiction, anxiety, and depression, with both of their output grinding against the grain of the mainstream sounds. Knowing that, it’s unsurprising that Earl chose to take the high road in this case, making Joe Budden’s loud criticisms of his project sound a lot more like sour grapes — something that the elder rapper has been chewing on for a long time.
Earl Sweatshirt is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary.