Former South African poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile – the father of rapper Earl Sweatshirt – has died aged 79.
South Africa’s SABC report that the former poet and writer passed away early Wednesday morning. His career began at an anti-apartheid newspaper, before 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.
Earl – real name Thebe Neruda Kgositsile – has broken his silence following the news, posting a picture of his father on Twitter 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
Kgositsile seemed to foster a strained relationship with his son, Earl Sweatshirt, 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.”
A new Earl Sweatshirt album is expected shortly, after the rapper teased new music back in September 2016.
The LA rapper chose his performance at the Calgary festival, which ran on the weekend of September 10-11, to debut the new material. He hasn’t released a full-length album since 2015’s ‘I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’.