Monday, July 23, 2012
TRACK: Flying Lotus - "Between Friends" (ft. Earl Sweatshirt & Captain Murphy)
This year's Adult Swim Singles Program hasn't been without its solid offerings, but none have been able to excite me as much as the most recent addition, a Flying Lotus collaboration with Odd Future phenomenon Earl Sweatshirt and an unknown rapper Captain Murphy. Titled "Between Friends," the track will not be appearing on FlyLo's upcoming LP Until the Quiet Comes, which is looking at an October 2 release in the U.S. and an October 1 release in the U.K. by way of Warp Records. Stream the single by heading over to Adult Swim's website.
Without question, Earl Sweatshirt is my favorite MC of the OFWGKTA collective. In fact, I may be representing a somewhat unpopular stance in saying this, but Earl is the only rapper in the group I find to be generally interesting, although that's not to say that I don't think members such as Tyler, the Creator have had a few shining moments. His flow is consistently engaging, and his lyrics are less needlessly edgy than they are clever, though that's not to say that the sort of controversy-stirring vulgarity that is so often associated with OF did not color his work in the past. Post-Samoa Earl, however, seems to have moved on from this. The lyrics on "Between Friends" are definitely not without plenty of self-approbation, but they're among the most tasteful Earl and the majority of the rest of Odd Future has written. Factor in the interplay between Earl and Captain Murphy, and the result is a stimulating look into what one of the most talented members of a wildly uneven collective, as well as a currently unnamed associate, has to offer.
As for the beat, I've come to expect nothing short of fantastic from Flying Lotus. Appropriately, it stays relatively dialed back during the verses, taking a light, jazzy approach and allowing the MCs to dominate the foreground. The outro, however, finds FlyLo showing off his production chops to a much greater extent. What sounds like an ensemble of pitch-shifted vocal samples creates an enormously effective melody, which are complemented heavily by the producer's extremely well-tuned drums. Despite being instrumental, it strikes me as the most emotive and rewarding part of the song. This song succeeded in sparking my interest in Earl's future endeavors, but even more so, it increased my excitement for Until the Quiet Comes by a wide margin.