You know how at noon you look at the withered hot dogs sadly rotating in the warming tray at 7/11 and are dismayed, but then at 3 A.M. you're not exactly sober and you buy two hot dogs and eat them in the parking lot and you're kind of disgusted with yourself for becoming the thing you hate most, but you also don't give a fuck because it feels good to just revel in the lowest-common demoninator pleasure that is a drunken 7/11 hot dog if only for this one moment?
This is that, but writing.
Earl Sweatshirt did an impressively wide-ranging interview with Spin that touched on everything from his mental health to his new album to the inner-workings of Odd Future, all of which are far more important than the one small thing he said about Eminem fans, but of course everyone's focusing on the one small thing he said about Eminem fans, and I'm about to do the same.
Spin: Do you still follow Eminem’s new stuff?
Earl: Hell nah! Sorry! [Laughs.]
Spin: I don’t think you’re alone.
Earl: If you still follow Eminem, you drink way too much Mountain Dew and probably need to like, come home from the army.
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Come on now, that's hilarious. I think we can all picture exactly the kind of person's Earl's referring too although we'd never heard them described that way, and that's the sign of a good joke. Is it an over-generalization? Of course, most good jokes are generalizations. This isn't some carefully crafted statement Earl carefully thought over, it was an off-the-cuff response during an interview. It's really not that serious.
So if you're finding yourself getting legitimately upset by what Earl said, that's a good sign you need to take yourself a little less seriously (and you're probably all jacked up on Mountain Dew). Don't get mad, fire some jokes back - is that exactly what Em would do? "If you still follow Earl, your mom's probably mad that you never unload the dishwasher." Ask Earl if he's going to return the money he got opening for Em on tour. See, isn't that way better than getting upset?
The vast majority of Eminem fans are reasonable human beings who couldn't care less what Earl Sweatshirt joked about in an interview, so I won't spend any more time provoking the small minority of Eminem stans who are currently looking for a copy of I Don't Like Shit to burn. After all, provoking Eminem stans is the 7/11 hot dog of rap journalism.
Allow me to close then by pointing out that when Earl wasn't making Mountain Dew jokes he was talking about coming out of a particularly dark period in his life, why he's sampling more in his production and the true reason Odd Future formed. Really, the interview's worth a read for much more than just one quote. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go run a couple miles while reading. Gotta burn off those empty hot dog calories.
[By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.]