Earl Sweatshirt may not be one the most commercially successful rappers in the industry, but after spending more than a decade in the industry he has built a solid fan base. Still, however, even some of his most dedicated fans may feel like they don’t know much about him – and that’s been intentional on Earl’s part. Throughout his career, he has been very careful about what he’s chosen to share with the public. He seems to prefer to stay out of the spotlight. While some would argue that being low-key has kept his career from going as far as it can, others would agree that the mystique suits him perfectly. Continue reading to learn 10 things you didn’t know about Earl Sweatshirt.
1. His Name Isn’t Earl
Most people would agree that it’s pretty obvious that Earl Sweatshirt is a stage name. However, it still wouldn’t be too far out to think that Earl Sweatshirt’s first name was actually Earl. That isn’t the case at all, though. Earl Sweatshirt was born Thebe Neruda Kgositsile. When he first started rapping, he was using the name Sly Tendencies.
2. His Mother Is A Law Professor
Earl was born in Chicago but raised in the Los Angeles area. His mother, Cheryl Harris, is a well-known law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. She earned a lot of recognition in the early 1990s for being published in the Harvard Review. Earl’s father was a South African activist named Keorapetse Kgositsile. Sadly, he passed away in 2018 at 79 years old.
3. He’s A Father
For the most part, Earl Sweatshirt has kept a lot of the details about his personal life away from the public. Needless to say, many people were shocked in December of 2020 when he posted a picture of a pair of baby sneakers and another photo of him holding a small child. Although he didn’t explicitly state that he had become a father, it was implied. In the summer of 2021, he confirmed that he does have a child.
4. He’s Struggled With Addiction
Earl’s journey hasn’t always been easy over the years. When he was a teenager, he dealt with a drug addiction problem that resulted in his mother sending him to a boarding school in Samoa. When talking about the experience, Earl told Billboard, “I was plucked out my life and broken down to zero. I didn’t have my phone. I didn’t have weed. I had palm trees and human interaction. I was the purest I had ever been in my life.”
5. He Practices Buddhism
Religion has been important to Earl for much of his life. He was raised in the Buddhist faith, but he eventually went through a period of atheism. Ultimately, he decided to return to Buddhism. Earl’s beliefs continue to be what keeps him grounded – especially working in a hectic industry like music.
6. He Was Nominated For A Grammy
Despite not having a lot of commercial success just yet, Earl’s name has already been in the mix for a major award. In 2013, Earl earned a Grammy nomination for being a featured artist on Frank Ocean’s album, Channel Orange. The award ultimately went to Mumford and Sons. Hopefully, there will be even more nominations (and wins) in his future.
7. He Started His Own Label
Rapper might be the word that is most commonly used to describe Earl Sweatshirt, but what he truly is is an artist. Now he’s also dedicated to helping other artists create to the best of their abilities. He is the founder of an independent record label called Tan Cressida which he is also signed to. During an interview with Clash, Earl said, “I just want to put out good music. Not to make it seem to simplistic, but I want to put out good music, in a healthy, non-exploitative manner. I want to put out good people’s music. It’s a romantic idea.”
8. He Loves Skateboarding
When Earl isn’t busy making music, you can usually catch him out on his skateboard. He told Clash, “Skateboarding helps me make sense of the world. It’s serious problem solving, and precision. It’s like a breath control exercise, as well. Tension and release. It can be like meditation.”
9. He Sells Merch
Earl’s unique sense of style is something that his fans have always loved about him and now he’s sharing a piece of that with the world through his merchandise. Earl sells a variety of items on his website including hoodies, t-shirts, hats, and tote bags. It’s unclear if he has plans to expand his offerings in the future.
10. He Believes People Can Change
Whether or not it’s possible for people to change is something that has always been hotly debated. However, Earl knows exactly which side of the argument he stands on. He genuinely believes that people can change. In fact, he believes that people can change minute to minute if they allow themselves to.