After health scares, drug binges and a disturbingly dark new album, Odd Future wunderkind Earl Sweatshirt insists he's finding his balance: "It's about being OK with yourself, for better or worse."

It's a few minutes to showtime, and Earl Sweatshirt, one of the most compelling, confounding young rappers today, needs to do one final bit of preparation. Sitting in a dressing room at The Ready Room in St. Louis -- where he's launching a world tour days after releasing his new album, I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside (Tan Cressida/Columbia) -- the 21-year-old takes out a vial of liquid chlorophyll, squeezes a few drops into a glass of water and ceremoniously chugs the resulting algae-green mixture down. "This shit got oxygen in it, bro," he says excitedly.

Subscribe to billboard biz to continue reading this article and thousands more.

Billboard.biz subscribers get:
  • 24/7 coverage of every genre and sector of the business with over 150 exclusive charts
  • Bulletin: Breaking stories, chart info and analysis sent directly to your inbox every weekday
  • Billboard Magazine iPad Edition: An enhanced version of the magazine with video, photo galleries and playable charts
  • Archives: A rich history of Billboard.biz articles and exclusive charts

Join now or Log In