Thursday, September 5, 2013

Best New Hip-Hop Track: Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean's "Sunday"


Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean are just meant for each other right now.

While the other players in the rap game are more riled up and ready to spit fiery antagonism than they've been in years – these calm young guns and Kendrick cohorts (who teamed up on an equally bumping, but lethargic, “Super Rich Kids” last year) are content slow-cooking their disses to perfection on collaborations like this.

On “Sunday,” in typical Sweatshirt fashion, the 1994-born emcee's casual delivery slithers around a whirring sample and kickdrum thump – enunciating flawlessly on rundown rhymes like “my dreams got dimmer when I stopped smoking pot/... And loving you is a little different, I don't like you a lot.” His easy drawl is amusingly deceiving, though; although the wordsmithing sounds simple and sluggish to the untrained ear, clever word-after-word, the blasé 19-year old showcases exactly the opposite. Like Lamar, Earl is a natural-born whiz kid.

The 90s-reminiscent sample gets a sugary twist when Ocean’s (non-singing) verse drops – gleaming while he recounts memories with a cunning aim (“I mean he called me a f***ot/ I was just calling his bluff/ I mean how anal am I gonna be when I’m aiming my gun”). Like Sweatshirt’s, Ocean’s nonchalant turn at the mic is, again, more complex than a lazy listener might hear.  Disguised with calm demeanor and cool melody, Ocean shows up - rounding out a crafty victory for two masterminds good enough to forego the loudspeaker.



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