Earl Sweatshirt’s Coral Reef Academy Friend Says "New Yorker" Story Is False

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The saga continues. Two months ago Complex solved Odd Future‘s longstanding Earl Sweatshirt mystery. We confirmed the rapper’s presence at a troubled youth center called Coral Reef Academy in Samoa. A month later, the New Yorker published a story in which Kelefa Sanneh claimed to have actually corresponded with Earl himself through relayed email messages from his mother, who is also quoted (but not named) in the story.

The quotes from Sanneh’s email interview with the teen star made the once brash, defiant MC sound like a changed man. Earl said, “I’m not being held against my will,” admitted to hardly rapping anymore, and asked OF fans to stop the “Free Earl” chants. Due to the lack of a face-to-face or phone interview with the missing Odd Future member, the story was met with immediate skepticism. The New Yorker hosted a live online chat for people with additional questions, and in his first response, Sanneh even said that “there’s simply no way of knowing whether (or how much) [Earl’s] replies were influenced by his family, or his school.”

Now it appears that doubts about the authenticity of Earl’s New Yorker quotes may hold some merit. Coral Reef Academy alumni Tyler Craven, who indirectly led Complex to Earl’s initial discovery when we stumbled onto his Facebook, is back from Samoa and bent on telling people “the truth” about Earl. Last weekend the Virginia native’s page lit up with questions from OFWGKTA supporters, which led to responses from Craven about his friendship with Earl, staff conduct at the academy, and allegations about the credibility of the New Yorker quotes.

The untold truth about Earl Sweatshirt or attention-seeking antics from a scorned student?

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