Earl’s dad, former South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile, died on January 3 at the age of 79.
The rapper – real name Thebe Neruda Kgositsile – took to Twitter a day later to pay tribute, posting a picture of his father and writing: “thank yall for your thoughts and love”.
thank yall for your thoughts and love pic.twitter.com/qhualj0fjL
— thebe kgositsile (@earlxsweat) January 4, 2018
Now, Australian promoters Handsome Tours have confirmed that Earl will no longer support The xx on their Australian tour this month. See their tweet below.
The rapper had been scheduled to support The xx for dates in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney. He was also expected to headline a show in Melbourne on January 14, which looks unlikely to go ahead.
NME has approached Earl’s press representative for more information.
We regret to inform that, due to the recent passing of Earl Sweatshirt’s father, he must cancel his appearances as support for @The_xx this month. We sincerely apologise to those affected by this cancellation and send our sincerest condolences to @earlxsweat at this time.
— Handsome Tours (@HandsomeTours) January 8, 2018
Kgositsile seemed to share a somewhat distant relationship with his son, telling The New Yorker in 2011 that he had not listened to Earl’s music.
“When he feels that he’s got something to share with me, he’ll do that,” he said. “And until then I will not impose myself on him just because the world talks of him.” He also denounced much of modern hip-hop, stating: “I really don’t think it’s about anything of relevance, socially, other than young people saying they’re hurt.”
Kgositsile’s career began at an anti-apartheid newspaper, before the African National Congress liberation movement and subsequently being exiled from South Africa in the 1960s. He was later named poet laureate of South Africa in 2006.