On a recent afternoon Thebe Kgositsile, 19, wandered around his sparse central Hollywood apartment lugging a gallon of orange juice and thinking about the logo to his fledgling music imprint Tan Cressida.
A piano melody looped from a computer plugged into the keyboard next to it. The early stages of a beat, its evolution would soundtrack the rest of the afternoon as he built it while meeting with his attorney and his manager and worrying aloud that he was getting sick. He'd been coughing all morning, and Bonnaroo was less than a week away.
Thebe is best known as Earl Sweatshirt, rapper, YouTube breakout, member of the Los Angeles hip-hop collective Odd Future. He is the son of a South African poet laureate father and a civil rights attorney mother. His manager helped discover Tupac Shakur. Despite Thebe's age, and whether he likes it or not (he doesn't), his story over the last three years has become the stuff of legend in the rap world.