If you feel the need to rush on stage and hug Earl Sweatshirt during his set at Made in America, ignore the impulse. A fan in Australia recently did exactly that — and Earl cold-cocked the guy.
“Don’t sneak up on nobody man, don’t sneak up on anybody, the world is too crazy for all that,” Sweatshirt says of the incident. “He tried to inject me with AIDS.”
He’s joking. We think.
The Budweiser Made in America Festival is filled with superstars and scene makers, including Beyonce, The Weeknd, J. Cole and Philly’s own Meek Mill (Nicky Minaj’s boyfriend), but Sweatshirt, aka Thebe Kgositsilem, is one of the more compelling figures on the bill.
He’s a minor key conscious rapper who delivers his rhymes in a stream-of-conscious style that is both compelling and a little ominous. He first gained fame as a member of the Los Angeles-based hip-hop collective Odd Future, and has since seen his own profile rise.
Sweatshirt’s most recent album, “I Don’t Like S—, I Don’t Go Outside,” was a Top 20 hit. His words have influence — and he doesn’t like the words many contemporary musicians use when describing women.
“Everyone is desensitized by music right now,” Sweatshirt says. “Dudes who are the most about that type of s— are engaging in, from an observational standpoint, the gayest s— ever. They say ‘I love my dudes but f— them b—es.’ If a kid grows up with that, getting passed down from their pops, they’re growing up and they’re scared of girls. So it’s a problem because it breeds more fear.”
It’s probably safe to say this one won’t be a family-friendly set. But, adds Sweatshirt of his Saturday performance at the fest, “I’m not planning on having a bad time.”
Only in Philadelphia
Made in America, founded in 2012, is curated by Jay Z and features a wide range of music, from hip-hop to EDM to rock, although there’s less of an emphasis on guitars this year.
And there’s no Los Angeles Made in America fest, as there was last year — it’s all Philly.
Local acts performing this weekend include Waxahatchee, Creepoid, Strand of Oaks, and Hop Along.
If you go
Budweiser Made in America
Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon
Ben Franklin Parkway
$171.20 for a two-day pass