Odd Future fans were blown away yesterday (May 16), when one of the group’s most gifted and mysterious members, Earl Sweatshirt, broke his silence in an email to The New Yorker, surprisingly asking supporters to cease their “Free Earl” campaign. Heathcliff Berru, the group’s longtime publicist, told XXLMag.com that he doesn’t believe the comments actually came from the OFWGKTA lyricist, but instead were written by the 17-year-old rapper’s mother.
“With them on tour [Odd Future] don’t want to talk about it,” he told XXL, “but it makes me wonder if that was Earl speaking or his mother speaking on his behalf. [New Yorker scribe] Kelefa [Sanneh] never technically had direct communication with Earl. All I know is that doesn’t sound like Earl. My only thought is for his safe return.”
On Monday, The New Yorker posted comments made by Earl, via email, where he asked for fans to cease their “Free Earl’ campaign because he felt that it was disrespectful to his mother. As Sanneh reported in his story, the West Coast MC’s mom set up the correspondence.
“Please listen: I am not being held against my will,” he wrote. “Initially I was really pleased that all these people claimed that they wanted me released because I thought that translated into ‘they care.’ So time progresses and the fan base gets bigger and the ‘Free Earl’ chants get louder but now with the ‘Free Earl’ chants come a barely indirect ‘Fuck Earl’s Mom’ and in the blink of an eye my worry changes from ‘will there still be this hype when I get back’ to ‘Oh shit I just inspired a widespread movement of people who are dedicated to the downfall of my mom…’ The only thing I need as of right now is space… Space means no more ‘Free Earl.’ If you sincerely care then I appreciate the gesture, but since you know the hard facts from the source you no longer need to worry. I miss home. I don’t have any definite date though. Even if I did I don’t know if I’d tell you. You’ll hear from me without a doubt when I’m ready.”
The elusive MC’s whereabouts where unknown until April, when Complex magazine reported that they located him at a school for troubled boys in Samoa.
Wolfgang leader Tyler, the Creator took to Twitter to briefly comment on Earl’s email. [Earl will] Be Back In Due Time,” he wrote. “Just Wait. Thats My Nigga, He Now Has A Home To Come Too. No Fucking Pressure. Hopefully Fans Respect That. And Respect His, His Moms And Familys Privacy. This Goes For Writers Too. Miss You Nigga, FREE THE EARLY MAN. The World Will Be Ours! OF” —Jesse Gissen