Samoa helps star rapper

MAKING CHANGES: Front left, Leila Steinberg, American rapper, Earl Sweatshirt, and back right, Samoa’s Sulu Gofoaiga. [Photo: Aaron Jacob]

Earl Sweatshirt may not be known in Samoa but google him and you’ll find that his whereabouts for the past 18 months has been under constant discussion in the foreign media.

The star American rapper is a member of the Los Angeles's Odd Future, a gang of a dozen teens – rappers, producers, singers and skaters – who have spent the past year becoming the hottest thing in music.  He has been at the Coral Reef Academy at Vaitele for 18 months, and he graduates tomorrow.

Earl, whose real name is Thebe Kgositsile, told the Samoa Observer that “I’ve had to do the majority of growing up here”.
He says it was in Samoa that he learnt humility and the value of family.

“I was a thoroughly disrespectful person before I left, but that was not an option here.”
Earl returns to the USA on Sunday more focused on what he wants to do in life. His first option is to finish high school.

He says he had a lot of support while attending the Academy, including that from his mother and friend, Leila Steinberg.
While in Samoa, he’s learnt how to make the traditional umu; flown to Tonga and swum with the whales and enjoyed the waterfalls and beaches Samoa has to offer.

While in America, Miss Steinberg says she received an email from Earl. It spoke about how in America, people are taught to think for themselves. Here in Samoa, its more community-oriented. For instance, on a bus, when there’s no room, someone will sit on the other’s lap. In America, one gets pushed away if they get too close.


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