Regardless of how you feel about Odd Future, New York Times has an excellent article on the return of Thebe Kgositsile, aka, Earl Sweatshirt, who was sent by his mother to Coral Reef Academy, a therapeutic retreat for at-risk boys in Vaitele, outside of the Samoan capital of Apia shortly before the group's rapid rise to fame and controversy. Earl, considered by many to be the most talented rapper of the lot, has recently returned from what is tantamount to exile in the age of the internet, and it seems he underwent some changes:

As part of the Coral Reef curriculum he also performed community service, spending time working at Samoa Victim Support Group, a center for survivors of sexual abuse, including children.

“That was a pivotal moment,” he said one afternoon at Bristol Farms, a supermarket near his manager’s office. One of the things Earl Sweatshirt had been prized for as a rapper was his extreme imagery, bordering on vile. “You can detach imagery from words,” he said, adding that he “never actually pictured” the things he rapped about. (“Lyrics About Rape, Coke, And Couches Will Be Blaring In Your Ears,” was how “Earl,” the album, was advertised on Odd Future’s Tumblr when it was released in March 2010.)

The article goes on to vaguely illustrate the conflicts between Odd Future and Earl's mother, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and how Earl is now negotiating his newfound perspective and his newfound fame and wealth, most of which he's been absent from until now.

[Earl] arrived in Samoa resentful. “That’s why I was gone for so long,” he said, discussing the stages of acceptance most of the participants in the program go through: resistance, false commitment, then finally, actual growth. “When the kids that got there at the same time as me were all leaving, it was like, damn,” he said. “There’s such a clear difference between someone who’s faking it and someone who’s like, ‘O.K., maybe I don’t hate my mom.’ ”

Read the whole thing here.