Earl Sweatshirt‘s new album is officially arriving early next year according to the West Coast wordsmith's Instagram as of Friday morning (December 10). The announcement of his new LP 'Sick!', comes with an attached and confirmed 1/14/2022 release date via Tan Cressida and Warner Records.
Serving as the follow-up to 2018’s 'Some Rap Songs' — and his first release since 2019’s 'Feet of Clay EP' — Sick! was recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic and found Earl “lean[ing] into the chaos” as peoples’ health deteriorated and their anger and restlessness grew.
“Sick! is my humble offering of 10 songs recorded in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lock-downs,” he explained in a statement. “Before the virus I had been working on an album I named after a book I used to read with my mother (The People Could Fly). Once the lock-downs hit, people couldn’t fly anymore.
“A wise man said art imitates life. People were sick. The People were angry and isolated and restless. I leaned into the chaos cause it was apparent that it wasn’t going anywhere. These songs are what happened when I would come up for air.
“Peace and love to Zelooperz the enigma, the Armand Hammer, and my good friends Alchemist and Black Noi$e. Peace and love to u.”
In September, producer The Alchemist spoke to 'The Needle Drop’s' Anthony Fantano about Earl Sweatshirt’s new album, calling it “incredible.” Along with the album’s title, release date and cover art — which features a framed mold of the “Chum” rapper wearing a mask surrounded by two pills, African photos and a clove of garlic, among other items — Earl shared a new single called “Tabula Rasa” featuring underground Hip Hop favorites Armand Hammer.
Named after the theory that the human mind is born as a “blank slate,” the track finds the trio trading poetic verses over contemplative, piano-laced production from Theravada and Rob Chambers. Earl Sweatshirt actually plays third fiddle, with Armand Hammer’s Elucid and Billy Woods handling the opening two verses. But he closes out the collaboration in typically introspective fashion.