Flying Lotus, “Between Friends”

Blake Gillespie

Adult Swim

The Williams Street Records folks must have some serious clout to pluck this gem from Flying Lotus' laboratory. “Between Friends” is the latest release in the Adult Swim Singles Program series and it features Earl Sweatshirt and a rapper who goes by Captain Murphy. The mysterious Captain Murphy is not the character from Sealab 2021, although it does sound a bit like pitch-shifted Del The Funkee Homosapien.

Flying Lotus takes us on a non-linear journey with “Between Friends” as we begin with an intro that's interrupted for a brief meditative flute segment, before the track snaps back into its original twinkling keys over boom bap space. Earl's style is very similar to his ruminations on Frank Ocean's “Super Rich Kids”, as he sounds groggy, mumbling through his intricate verse like it's blahzay-blah to be rapping at a high caliber. Most rappers upon discovering they can rhyme “saki shots” with “body shots” would treat them to a couplet placing, but not Earl. He wedges a dizzying amount of assonance and “soggy Crocs” into his five bar stanza before saki is rhymed with body. It's not a terribly important observation to make, it just should be noted for future discussions on the intelligent patterns within an Earl Sweatshirt verse.

Flying Lotus' “Between Friends” is streaming on Soundcloud and available for download at Adult Swim. The song will not appear on Flying Lotus' Until The Quiet Comes.

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