A middle-aged white woman dances in an abandoned trailer park wearing a pink tutu while an 19-year old black kid raps in his boxers. No, not some dream you get after you huff too much paint, it’s the visuals for Earl Sweatshirt’s new video, ”WHOA”. A follow up to late 2012’s darkly introspective “Chum”, “WHOA” serves as the second single off his highly anticipated album, Doris.
Two years after their hype explosion and Earl’s mimetic trip to Samoa, the Odd Future crew has both toned down the transgression from their earlier tapes while distilling and concentrating all the aspects that made those tapes unique. Unlike “Chum” or other new Odd Future tracks, “WHOA” is a direct throwback to that earlier sound, acknowledged by Tyler (who also produced the track) within the first few lines. Thankfully, Earl has traded in the gratuitous references to rape and murder for a few carefully placed lines about drug use and masturbation, which makes them all the more grotesque and intriguing.
Part of the appeal is the juxtaposition of these lines with Earl’s laconic apathy in the video – the kid is fucking floating on runoff water in the middle of a reservoir tank, rapping while his friend skateboards around him. Casual. Regardless of what you think about Earl and Odd Future, whether the video is just weird for the sake of being weird, no one can ignore the hotness of a line like “Get ‘em higher than the pitch of metal tea kettle songs”. Doris doesn’t have a set release date yet, but if “WHOA” is any indication, it’ll be worth the wait.- King James