Features: Frank Ocean
“Sunday” by Earl Sweatshirt, featuring Frank Ocean, is a somber reflection of relationships, fame, and self-awareness. The track dips into the minds of these two artistes as they grapple with their personal struggles, introspections, and emotions. It is a deep dive into the complexities of being in the limelight while dealing with personal life trials.
The song kicks-off with Earl Sweatshirt in the first verse expressing emotion and vulnerability in his relationship. He talks about how difficult it is to admit his feelings, yet he struggles with being open about them. The line “But you not passionate about half the shit that you into, and I ain’t havin’ it” underscores his dissatisfaction with his partner’s lack of commitment. He also confesses to his shortcomings, attributing them to the demanding nature of his music career.
Earl’s flow carries a no-holds-barred honesty that hits hard; the rapper doesn’t shy away from laying bare his truths. He references his fame, his wealth, and the expectations that come with them. Earl notes, “I’m fuckin’ famous if you forgot, I’m faithful,” expressing his commitment despite the temptations that fame brings. He ends the verse on a reflective note, talking about constant movement and, in a twist, his mother’s belief in his divine talent.
Frank Ocean, in the chorus, reflects on his decision to quit smoking marijuana. He talks about how his dreams became dimmer and his nightmares more vivid following his decision to quit. This can be seen as a metaphor for the harsh reality of life that became clear once he stopped using weed as a crutch. The line “And loving you is a little different, I don’t like you a lot” confounds, reflecting a complicated relationship with a loved one that he simultaneously loves and despises.
Frank continues the narrative in the third verse, painting a picture of constant travelling due to his music career. There’s a sense of melancholy as he reveals the transient nature of his existence – not being able to live in any place he visits. He references Fleetwood Mac, a rock band known for their drug use in their heyday, indicating his capability for self-destructive behavior if he gave in to temptations.
The verse ends with Frank’s frank introspection about his sexual orientation and the homophobia he’s faced. His response to the taunt is filled with defiance and a refusal to be defined by derogatory labels. He subtly flips the narrative around the use of harmful slurs and actions towards him.
In the last verse, Earl returns with a tinge of triumph, looming over his accomplishments: “I got my Grammy’s and gold.” His success in the music industry giving him validation against the people who thought he was soft in high school. He again reinforces his willingness to fight back, literally and metaphorically.
Frank returns in the chorus, where he continues his reflections on quitting marijuana, which he associates with more vivid nightmares and complex emotions towards a loved one. He also ends this part on a contradictory note, expressing uncertainty about the direction of their relationship.
In spite of the fame, success, and the sunny West Coast lifestyle, they both continuously grapple with their inner demons. They question if the perks of their lifestyle are worth it considering their bouts of depression, referencing bipolar disorder and a preference for colder, darker climates as a metaphor for their struggle.
To sum it up, “Sunday” is a raw confessional from both Earl Sweatshirt and Frank Ocean – a reality check on the illusions of fame and success. It’s a portrayal of their battles with personal insecurities, turbulent relationships, and the longing for peace in their chaotic lives. This track perfectly encapsulates the stark contrast between their public personas and private lives, making it a compelling listen.