The following is the full cover story from Mass Appeal Issue #52. To get a copy of your own, subscribe here. Photos by Sagan Lockhart.
ODD FUTURE BRETHREN EARL SWEATSHIRT IS THE MAN.
WORKAHOLICS WILD MAN BLAKE ANDERSON IS THE MAN.
MEET THE MEN.
Somewhere in Hollywood, California, Earl Sweatshirt leisurely skates down the sidewalk, polyurethane wheels zig-zaggin’ and zoomin’ over literal Stars on the Walk of Fame. A lot of the celebrity names enshrined in cement immortality on this block are long-forgotten figures, unbeknownst to the many young people who stroll by here on a hot, sunny, splendid winter weekend afternoon in Los Angeles. But many of those young kids lucky enough to spot Earl skating by instantly recognize the Odd Future artist, and some of them, like the skinny dude in skinny jeans who just noticed him right now, even spazz out, not so much saying, “Hey, Earl,” but rather just pointing at him and making weird noises. Earl totally shrugs it off, though. Actually, he might not even have noticed the guy.
If you know anything about Earl Sweatshirt, you probably know the popular 18-year-old is not sweating fame. He’ll tell you he’s bad in social settings, at meeting new people. But amongst people he knows and is comfortable around, he’s not really that shy, often saying some pretty damn funny things, and usually adopting various voices and making faces to heighten a joke. He also seems to like doing random things just for a laugh, like taking his newly adopted “Lucky Dog” (an inflatable plastic canine used for the Mass Appeal cover shoot) for a walk in public and actually talking to it, or screaming “Get out of here!” at his skateboard when it slips off the wall of his messy apartment and slides over to his feet. But you can tell he’s also quite bright, a fast thinker good at making quick-fire quips.
His homie Blake Anderson, one of the stars/creators of the extremely hilarious, kick-ass Comedy Central series Workaholics, is also quite smart with lightning-speed observational skills and is, as you’d expect, funny as shit. Anderson arrives today chill as can be with his lady by his side. He’s rockin’ a peyote-friendly Carlos Santana tee, some bizarro toy sunglasses shaped like an animal, and a six-pack of San Pellegrino Blood Orange (“Aranciata Rossa” if you’re fancy) with packs of Strawberry Fields Tic Tacs for everybody to share. Blake’s blonde, bushy ‘n’ bountiful coiffure certainly attracts attention anywhere he goes, but so does his sometimes wild behavior, like the time in 2010 when he jumped off the roof at a house party and landed on his back, royally fuckin’ it up, but thankfully living to see another day.
The two buds are both, at least for the time being, not as hectic as they will both soon be. Earl, finally back in a regular groove after his caring mother unexpectedly shipped him off to the Coral Reef Academy in Samoa over two years ago in fear that her son was going down the wrong path and needed some help, is in the final stages of mixing Doris, his follow-up to the awesome Earl, while Blake has some time away from his show that is going into its fourth and fifth seasons of production. On this lazy afternoon, the duo and immediate friends who also include photographer Sagan Lockhart, lounge about just shooting the shit, looking at a ‘zine with a hot, steaming cartoon turd on the cover, and listening to Gary Wilson’s special brand of “music for perverts.” When Lil B escapes from Earl’s iTunes playlist next and invades the sonic atmosphere of the room, everyone involuntarily starts noddin’ their heads in approval. When Based God asks through the speakers, “Why you in my house?” both Earl and Blake react with big-ass grins. “What a great fuckin’ question,” says Earl.
Well, Mass Appeal managed to ask these two fine, upstanding gentlemen a few questions of our own, and while these queries may not be as great as anything Based God can come up with (but, really, let’s be honest, who can compete with Based God?) we’re pretty damn sure that the often funny answers of Earl Sweatshirt and Blake Anderson will be worthy of your time.
Mass Appeal: Let’s start with how you two met.
Earl Sweatshirt: It was Coachella 2012.
Blake Anderson: We were in a beautiful garden by a fountain.
ES: There was beer. And champagne.
BA: And I saw this gentleman and he came up to me and he said his name was Steve. And I’m like, “Alright, sounds good to me.”
MA: That’s how most beautiful relationships start.
ES: “Hi, I’m Steve.” That is how most beautiful relationships start. I remember one of the first questions I asked you was, “Are you tryin’ to hit this [joint]?” And you were like [fake English accent], “I don’t mind if I do.”
BA: The garden is a very magical place.
MA: Was Carlos Santana there? [Blake is wearing a Santana t-shirt]
BA: I don’t think Santana was there. But he’s more than welcome to join.
ES: Next time.
BA: I bet Santana would be a homie, too.
ES: “You tryin’ to hit this, Santana?”
BA: You know he would. Santana always hits it.
ES: Hits it right. [Laughter]