Early postings to iTunes are bedeviling L.A. hip-hop albums this week.
First came the endless and preplexing tease over Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly," which went on and off the digital retail service in various versions. Now Sweatshirt, one of Odd Future's marquee rappers, is "livid" over an apparently unexpected announcement that a new album, "I Don't Like . . ., I Don't Go Outside," is due out on Columbia/Tan Cressida on March 23.
The album appeared Monday night as listed on iTunes with no prior notice to fans. That's a common strategy these days, but perhaps not one that Earl intended to pursue on this release.
It's not a leak, per se, as only one single, "Grief," was made available for download. But the timing and spontenaity seemed to rile Earl, as seen in a fervent series of late night tweets:
"ITS TRASH TO HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S ERRORS, I AM ... HOT"
"TOO MANY . . . COOKS"
"DON'T TRUST IT IF IT DOESN'T COME FROM THE SOURCE"
Despite the anxiety over the announcement, "Grief" works as an effective anti-single, full of slow-moving synth clouds and spacious drum clatters that lend a creeping unease to Earl's lyrics. A color-reversed video makes the clip look like X-ray footage and suggests Sweatshirt is in an even more experimental, confrontational mode than his last LP, "Doris."
We've reached out to reps for Sweatshirt and Columbia for more detailed responses about what happened and will update this post accordingly.