So what do you get when you put together a producing mastermind who specializes in ambient beats and an 18-year-old rapper fresh out of a therapeutic retreat for at-risk boys in Samoa? I'm still not quite sure, actually.
"Between Friends" is the newest single from Flying Lotus, the experimental multi-genre producer behind much of the pre- and post-commercial electro bits on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. The track features Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt as well as a new mystery voice in Captain Murphy.
The song was released as part of 2012 Adult Swim's singles program on Mon., July 23, and it's created a modest internet stir most notably in conjunction with the return of Earl Sweatshirt. After the release of his 2010 debut album Earl when he was just 16, Sweatshirt basically disappeared for two years. Rumors swirled that he'd been sent to boarding school after his Mom heard his vulgar lyrics, but he's been pretty quiet about the whole thing in interviews since his return, and his elusiveness is fascinating.
After he was featured in a track on Frank Ocean's stellar debut that dropped a week ago, Earl Sweatshirt finds himself at home in another mellow beat. What I really enjoy about "Between Friends" is that Flying Lotus knows how to produce vocals. The way certain lyrics are accented between thick blurry overdubs and ad-libbed laughter make me feel like I'm living in a fairy tale world run by a 17-year-old who's been watching way too much television. There's a violence about the lyrics that matches the subdued tension in the beat. "Go from rockin’ a beat to just curb-stomping it," Earl Sweatshirt grumbles over some xylophone soundin' synths.
"First off, I'm gonna start charging ya'll per compliment," he rhymes to kick off the track, and at this rate, he'll be rich pretty soon.
Click here to check out the track.