On the latest episode of Atlanta, the FX show from Donald Glover that kicked off its fourth and final season last night, a familiar voice floated through the speakers as characters Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) and Darius (Lakeith Stanfield) ruminated on the death of a local rapper, Blue Blood. The raw, woozy vocals set to a thumping beat belonged to none other than Earl Sweatshirt, Pitchfork can confirm. The Los Angeles artist provided new music as a stand-in for Blue Blood’s “experimental” songs, as Paper Boi calls them, which play throughout various scenes.
In the episode, titled “The Most Atlanta,” it’s revealed that Blue Blood died three months previously, echoing the late MF Doom, whose October 31, 2020, death was also publicly announced on December 31, 2020. After reminiscing about “secret shows he’d only post clues about on Tumblr,” Paper Boi finds a clue of his own within Blue Blood’s lyrics while listening to his music at a gas station, which leads him on a surreal scavenger hunt through Atlanta’s laundromats, movie theaters, and even comic book shops, in yet another likely homage to Doom.
Once he finds the final key, Paper Boi learns the clues lead to Blue Blood’s actual funeral, being hosted by his widow, Keisha. She explains that Blue Blood wanted to outdo himself once he found out he was going to die, which meant recording a new album and planning the guessing game alongside a variety of merchandise, including T-shirts, comics, and a barbecue sponsorship. Plus, all the hardcore fans who cracked the code and showed up get to take home one of the cannabis plants sitting under a grow light in the corner. “Track 11 is how to care for it,” Keisha explains.
Atlanta’s fourth season arrives six months after the release of Season 3, which premiered this past March. Read “What Does Atlanta Hip-Hop Think of Atlanta the Show?” on the Pitch.