The rumors around Earl Sweatshirt’s follow up album to 2018’s Some Rap Songs and the 2019 effort Feet Of Clay have been swirling all year long. First, Alchemist said he and Earl had hidden an album on YouTube under a fake name. Next, Vince Staples made the biblical assertion that he, Earl, and Alchemist had laid down “30 verses on 30 beats” for a project with Earl and Alchemist. Then in September, Alchemist went on The Needle Drop and said that Earl’s album was “done and it’s incredible,” and is 21 minutes long. The Black Noise-produced “2010” dropped last month, and now, we finally have confirmation of the next Earl release.
The just-announced Sick is a 10-track project that’s set to drop on January 14th, 2022. The announcement also came with the release of the newest single, “Tabula Rasa,” featuring Armand Hammer. The video is a one-shot take that brings us through a home studio with first Armand Hammer’s Elucid dropping his verse, before Billy Woods lays his down and Earl brings it home with an ill stream of consciousness flow.
Earl released a statement on Sick and it speaks directly to what he address on “Tabula Rasa”:
“SICK is my humble offering of 10 songs recorded in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns. Before the virus I had been working on an album I named after a book I used to read with my mother (‘The People Could Fly’). Once the lockdowns hit, people couldn’t fly anymore. A wise man said art imitates life. People were sick. The People were angry and isolated and restless. I leaned into the chaos cause it was apparent that it wasn’t going anywhere. these songs are what happened when I would come up for air. Peace and love to Zelooperz the enigma, The Armand Hammer, and my good friends Alchemist and Black Noi$e. Peace and love to u.”
If the tracks on Sick are laid out like four-plus minute “Tabula Rasa,” then there’s no chance that this is the 21-minute album that Alchemist referred to. That couple with reading between the lines of Earl’s statement, makes it possible that Sick is just a step towards a separate full-blown album. Time will tell. For now, peep the video for “Tabula Rasa” above.
Check out the album art below.
Sick is out 1/14/2022 via Tan Cressida/Warner Records. Pre-order it here.
Earl Sweatshirt is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.