Earl Sweatshirt is currently touring the US behind last year’s experimental Some Rap Songs (one of our favorite albums of 2018), and he brought many songs off that record to NYC’s Irving Plaza on Saturday (3/30), while also throwing in tons of older favorites. Shortly before Earl took the stage, DJ Black Noise took his spot behind the decks, and hyped the crowd up with a few instrumentals, as surreal, blurred projections appeared behind him. When Earl finally did come onstage, he greeted the highly rambunctious audience to a few older fan favorites including “Pre,” “Burgundy”, and “Molasses,” off his debut LP Doris.

The show’s setlist was fairly heavy on material from Some Rap Songs, with Earl blazing through album highlights such as “Red Water,” “Azucar,” “Nowhere2go”, and many others. Aside from dominating the stage by himself, Earl was also occasionally greeted onstage by many friends and collaborators, including opener Na-Kel Smith, who joined Earl for their track “DNA” from Earl’s great sophomore album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, and then stage dived into the energetic crowd towards the end of the show. Earl also brought out NYC local Wiki (who’s performing his own headlining show in NYC on Tuesday) to perform their collaborative track “AM//Radio,” and NYC local Navy Blue for a performance of their Some Rap Songs collab “The Mint.” Earl also sprinkled in some unreleased tracks in his setlist (like he’s been doing at other stops on this tour), which didn’t sound too out of place among many of his more popular tracks. After Earl’s set was finished, he requested that DJ Black Noise “not [play] my music, I’m trying to turn up!” The night ended with an atmosphere resembling a packed club, with Earl, Wiki, Nak-el Smith, Pink Siifu, and more bouncing around the stage, while dancing to hits like Future’s “I Serve The Base,” which prompted an onstage dance battle between some members of Earl’s crew. It was an appropriately wild, energetic end to an incredibly crazy night.

Before Earl’s main set, Nak-El Smith treated the audience to many tracks from his debut LP Twothousand Nakteen, which dropped in January. He later added, “I got $400 tonight [for this show], it’s my first real music money!” Following this, second opener BbyMutha warmed up the crowd with a highly charismatic set, which involved her dressed in a flamboyant, bedazzled cowboy hat. She later began tossing water bottles into the audience, and even took a fan’s water bottle to drink. Later in her set, fans continued to demand more water bottles, which led her to ask “Why do y’all want water, are y’all that thirsty? There’s a bar in the back and y’all still want our water?” The topic of water bottles soon became a running joke throughout the night, with Earl later pausing for a drink, telling the crowd “I want you guys to stay hydrated. Not ‘cause of the water bottle thing, but ‘cause I care about y’all.”

View photos from the entire show in the gallery above, and watch some videos of Earl’s set below.

UPDATE: Wiki also just dropped a new freestyle, and you can check that out here:


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photos by P Squared