Pitchfork have published a new interview with Earl Sweatshirt, conducted around the release of his latest album Some Rap Songs back in November. The profile piece is packed with gems as Earl talks about self-discovery, wanting to add to the tapestry of timeless black art, and falling in with Brooklyn rapper MIKE and his sLUms crew, as well as more personal topics like dealing with the death of his father, South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile.

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Perhaps the biggest revelation, however, is that Earl is no longer on Columbia Records, with whom he signed back in 2012, and promises “riskier shit” in the future. In fact, Some Rap Songs was supposed to be one long standalone track — inspired by Standing on the Corner’s experimental 2017 release Red Burns — but the powers that be wouldn’t allow it. “Figuring out how you can be radical from within the system breaks your head,” Earl said. “That’s where I’m really at: that frustrating-ass place. And this is the best attempt I got. Only so much can happen above ground.”

Check out more highlights below and read the full interview here.

On the death of his father:

“My dad dying was the most traumatic moment of my life, but grief doesn’t just work as sadness—funny shit happens in there. I’m depressed every day and I be having fun. I feel like the music feels like how the brain is wired to work: The most traumatic shit can happen and you could think how you need Lysol.”

He stayed with his sister while he was in Johannesburg making arrangements for his dad’s funeral, reconnecting with her in the process, and he laughs about having to unpack the complicated history of the word “nigga” for his 5-year-old nephew. “I lost my father so that I could be reunited with my family,” he says.

On Some Rap Songs:

His ongoing education on black history and white supremacy had a clear impact on Some Rap Songs, which he calls an album explicitly geared toward black listeners. “It’s for a specific chemical equation,” he says, adding that he enjoys playing people the new track “The Mint,” with its lyric, “Crackers pilin’ in to rape the land.” “That’s a timeless line,” he says, smirking. “My niggas from 1513 felt that.”

On the streaming industry:

“These algorithms are weird and undefeatable.” He compares such innovations to other Silicon Valley blunders claiming efficiency always equals progress. “I miss the old evil,” he says, chuckling, referring to traditional music industry machinery. “Deification is the only other alternative to being a number now: You’re either a number or a god,” he adds, considering being an artist under the grey cloud of Big Data. “And if you’re a god, they love you like a god and they hate you like a god. Neither is real.”

On evolving beyond his early success:

“There’s an incel community that fucked with OF super tough, just the idea of just boys being misogynistic with their bros,” he says… “I hope the internet is not God for kids,” Thebe says, worriedly, ashing his spliff into a ceramic green ashtray with three frog heads poking straight up out of the rim. But after a moment of introspection, he reconsiders. “I don’t want to be sitting up piping all this negativity, bro. Because my heart is telling me, when I start to wander down them sentences, that niggas is figuring it out, and I can’t shit on they efforts.”

Related: Album Stream: Earl Sweatshirt ‘Some Rap Songs’