CURRENT: Earl Sweatshirt feat. Vince Staples – “Burgundy” / feat. Frank Ocean – “Sunday”

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Doris, the highly anticipated new LP from Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt hit the Internet this past week, and as was expected, Earl’s latest is everything we could have hoped for. Two of the standouts also are the two tracks that feature the artists arguably with the most name recognition of all the Doris features, Pharrell on “Burgundy,” Frank Ocean on “Sunday.”

“Burgundy” continues Pharrell’s hot streak, and Earl’s flow sits well within the song’s framework. His lyrics, though, offer enough of a diversion from the regal and celebratory production as to expand the breadth of the song’s appeal. “Don’t tell me that I made it / relatively famous,” Earl raps in the first verse. We’ve had our fair share of artists who lament the tortures of fame, yet Earl stands here showing us the strains the quest for stardom put on relationships.

On “Sunday,” Earl and Frank Ocean offer playful rhymes injected with a dose of vitality by the two emcees’ deliveries. They rap about their lack of a dependency on THC, and how their dreams and nightmares are more vivid now because of it. In a week where Kendrick Lamar laid down the gauntlet on pretty much every rapper under 25 (sans Earl, interestingly enough), it’s Frank Ocean who delivers perhaps the more devastating bars. He calls out chronic douchebag Chris Brown about their public dispute earlier this year. After rapping of how Brown called him a faggot during the altercation, Ocean brilliantly quips back, “I mean how anal am I gon’ be when I’m aiming my gun.” Instead of letting Brown or anyone else ignorant towards human sexuality own the conversation, Frank here demonstrates his ability to command the conversation, and the room.

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