News: Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt Samoa, Coral Reef Academy Footage Surfaces [Video]

Monday, May 7, 2012 9:42AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

While Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt is continuing to live the life of a rap star since returning from an extended music hiatus, footage of his time in Samoa has now surfaced online.

In the footage, fans are introduced to a behind-the-scenes look of what Earl experienced prior to rejoining Odd Future earlier this year.

As Odd Future made its ascent to rap stardom last year, one of their key members, Earl Sweatshirt, was missing in action. After doing our own investigation here at Complex, we were able to determine that Earl was in Samoa enrolled in a youth program at the Coral Reef Academy. Now, Earl is back, filming videos and making live appearances, and even has a brand new record deal. But those of you still curious about what his life was like in Samoa should watch this video that was recently posted on his new fan site. Courtesy of Leila Steinberg and a group of artists who came to pick Earl up and bring him back to Los Angeles, the clip gives us a glimpse of his last days at Coral Reef Academy, the quarters where he lived, and a feel for the environment and general vibe of his program in Samoa. Seems like a pretty special place. (Complex)

Last year, a teenager named Tyler Craven spoke on Earl Sweatshirt's alleged whereabouts after months of seclusion.

Earlier this week, we introduced you to Tyler Craven, the 17-year-old Virginia native who attended Coral Reef Academy in Samoa with Earl Sweatshirt. The previous post consisted of Facebook screenshots and other digital detective tactics similar to those Complex employed when we originally found Earl. We got on the phone with Tyler Craven and he had a lot to say about the nine months he spent in the program, many of them with the missing Odd Future star he calls by his government name, Thebe Kgositsile. From being there with Earl as OFWGKTA was blowing up to day-to-day life at the academy, we have all the details that we need to close this chapter on the Earl Sweatshirt saga until he returns home. (Complex)

After making a publicized return in early 2012, the rapper gave his first radio interview in March.

"Were you talking to people, aware that s---'s going bananas?" the venerable DJ asks an extremely timid Earl who was put in boarding school in June of 2010, just as Odd Future began their meteoric rise to fame. "I was aware, I mean, because ... the Internet." "Were you aware that you were missing out on something this insane? Were you pissed? Were you annoyed?" Peter Rosenberg responded. "Yeah initially, but then I also got to f---ing see that all this s--- isn't fun all the time." Earl, of course, was speaking of the block that he grew up on. An area of Los Angeles where he could skate and mess around on the pavement until the sun went down. But with the group's rise in fame, Sweatshirt can't walk through his home turf without fans asking for pictures and autographs. (The Boom Box)

As of late, he has been putting together his own record label and music.

He'll have his own imprint, Tan Cressida, to be distributed through Columbia. That places him in the Sony system alongside Odd Future, which was one of his priorities. He turned down offers with significantly higher advances and made sure that his contract allowed him to put the Odd Future logo on his albums. "I want it to look seamless," he said. As for his mother's concerns, "She knows she's got nothing to worry about." His way of coping with re-entry has been decidedly low key: whiling away hours at the Odd Future store, skating, making music with everyone in the crew. At one point he joked that he has to stop wearing the five-panel camp hats that are something of a crew trademark. He wants to work on three projects: his solo major-label debut, a collaboration with the producer Matt Martians and EarlWolf, a long-planned collaboration with Tyler. Of "Earl," the song that made him a star, he said, "There's not a time I want to listen to that," describing it as sounding "like you skinned your knee." (New York Times)

Check out the Samoa footage below:

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