The rapper from Odd Future, whose disappearance became a pop music mystery, speaks out on where he went: Coral Reef Academy, a therapeutic retreat for at-risk boys in Vaitele, outside of the Samoan capital of Apia:

As Odd Future became more popular, though, his absence was harder to ignore. While Ms. Harris remained largely silent, ‘Free Earl’ became a slogan, a hashtag, a mantra. Odd Future fans began to see her as an antagonist. At one point a threatening note was left on her door.

‘I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that this decision to send him away to a school that had the kind of support for his emotional well-being that he needed would turn into a story about locking him away,’ she said. To explain her son’s absence, she added, ‘I would’ve had to have talked about his personal life in a way that I think would’ve been really unfair.’

“Earl Sweatshirt Is Back from the Wilderness.” — Jon Caramanica, New York Times

More #longreads from The New York Times

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