The sleuths over at Complex claim to have found Earl Sweatshirt, Odd Future’s most elusive member. By employing investigative tactics that involve lots of Facebook browsing, the magazine has deduced that Earl is (or was at some point) in Samoa, at a program for at-risk teenage boys called Coral Reef Academy. While the article admits that his current whereabouts are unknown (they suspect that he could already be back in L.A.), this is still a bit of a Holy Grail for OFWGKTA fans who have been chanting “FREE EARL” for the better part of a year.
Or is it? About an hour after the story broke, Tyler, the Creator took to his Twitter account to refute the claims made by Complex:
The plot thickens even more when one inspects fellow Odd Future member Mike G’s Twitter account, where he posted a rant about how people now know where Earl is, including a definitive “Complex was right” tweet:
So, who’s spreading the right information? Considering Mike G’s reaction, it would appear that Complex was right after all, especially when one considers Tyler’s tendency to manipulate the media. However, until Earl is back with the group (fingers crossed for May 13), no grand claims should be made yet.
In another turn of events in this story, Bethelehem Shoals (formerly of FreeDarko, RIP) and Brown Recluse, Esq. have uncovered a possible link between Earl (real name: Thebe Kgositsile) and prominent anti-apartheid activist Keorapsetse “Willie” Kgositsile. Shoals goes on to say that he’s not sure whether the familial link exists between the two, despite what could be some artistic similarities: “One of Keorapetse’s poems features the line, “I dig graves with artistic precision,” which is a boast that could easily have come from Earl Sweatshirt.” That post has been removed, with an update citing incorrect facts and their weariness with pursuing them: “We, however, did not feel comfortable going any further with this. Earl, after all, is only 17 years old.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 14, 2011