Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist

Voir Dire

Warner • 2024

»Voir Dire«, the first collaborative album between Earl Sweatshirt and The Alchemist, celebrated its release in three ways. The project first premiered as an NFT on the Gala Music platform in August 2023, before the obligatory two-stage rollout (streaming and vinyl/CD). With a slightly different tracklist and guest list, mind you. Unusual and unconventional, but that’s how Al and Earl tick. As we recall, it was 2021 when The Alchemist revealed on YouTube that he was going to release a joint album with Earl Sweatshirt, under a false name and with a false cover. Against this backdrop, the album’s title, which translates as »telling the truth«, takes on a very special meaning. The chemistry between the two Los Angelenos is just right. There have been brilliant examples of this in previous collaborations (including »E. Coli«). The Alchemist’s dragging, catchy soul and jazz loops also prove to be the perfect backdrop for the hard-to-access material that ex-Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt brings to the project. This is due to his monotonous, mumbling stream-of-consciousness flow and lyrics about depression, alcoholism and death. On this almost half-hour work, we see two artists operating in their comfort zones. Not necessarily the highlight of their respective careers, but definitely one of the best rap releases of the past year.