Earl Sweatshirt is back at it again after his March 2015 album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. Earl drops “Balance” featuring Knxwledge on Adult Swim – a single that is influential of James Dean’s attitude of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement.
Story | Matthew Gonzalez
Image | Adult Swim Singles
Earl drops his poetic style on a 1:19 track that incorporates the everyday balance of stress. These stresses reside in society’s and his family’s expectations of him, and that he is not at a place he should be. In turn, he has been “telling a different story” so his family can think greater of him and not view him as a failure.
Earl’s grandmothers that is on his previous track “Burgundy” has been a haunting reminder of guilt and inner conflict that has been stuck with him for a while.
We can hear this recurring guilt on his new track as he copes to find a balance between a druggy lifestyle and how it’s hard for him to remorse his life priorities over his ill grandmother.
Essentially, “Balance” is a continuation of “Burgundy”. His depression over his deceased grandmother leads to Earl putting up a front for wanting to rap.
Watch the wall collide with my fist/Mostly over problems that I know I should fix
Earl also has hidden tensions with his mother on his smoking habits, his rebellious attitude, and his lack of family responsibilities. He is still undergoing tension with his mother and often just avoids her in general in order to avoid a lecture.
I had to ask moms what I owed to this shit, she said nothin’
She asked about them old times both of us miss, I said nothin’
She asked me if I’m smokin’ again
I told her that I prolly gotta go in a bit
Earl also mentions the racial tensions he is subjected to deal with on a daily basis and how that does not help him with his anxiety. For Earl he feels as if his skin pigmentation is enough to start another argument.
Focused so I know my skin tone is a cliff/We on the edge and they hoping we sip
Earl is trying to tell a story on how everyday problems are bound to happen. We are forced to find our own balance that best suits the representation we have of ourselves. In other words, be ready to react to a situation we are put in.