With the whereabouts of Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt found by the members of Complex, fans of the group flocked to the various web spaces that reposted the story, gave the new leaders of the blog game a track back and watched their own hit counts hit levels they may not have previously witnessed. By uncovering the biggest mystery about hip-hop’s bastard offspring, it raises Complex’s guise as “journalist” while making Odd Future’s mystique smaller than it was.

The last thing the group held on to that the public didn’t necessarily know was the true location of its most gifted rhymer, which made the that more chants of “Free Earl” at OF shows that more ingenious to begin with. With Complex uncovering the mystery via Facebook accounts, research into Samoan boarding schools and actual OF songs (“free Earl from them fucking Samoans” anyone), they went through the same route Woodward & Bernstein went through to bring down Nixon.

Ask any quasi-journalist with a grain of salt what is the most important story to break is. It’s not the brand new song nobody’s heard or being privileged enough to hear a new album from an artist via e-mail sharing or sitting in on a studio session. It’s cracking myths and turning them on their heads. By any means necessary.

Fact digging, as sullied a game as it may be is still the one piece of journalism that isn’t shared all over the interwebs. It has to start somewhere and while you can applaud Complex for doing something no other music mag could accomplish, it also tells you that the resources of finding a story these days isn’t for the sake of credibility – it’s for who will read, view and drive up Google Analytics the most.

As reporters, it’s what you’re taught to do – get the facts to frame a story any way you wish. If the info is available to you, you first question its credibility and if everything checks out, pursue it. Does this kill the aura that OF created by rapping about the same topics Nas briskly touched on when “Live At The Barbecue” (if you dare have to ask what line, it’s the “When I was 12, I went to hell for snuffin’ Jesus” one) dropped in ’91? No but it takes a sizeable hit.

“Free Earl” may still be chanted at shows but there will be one smart ass that will bring up the Complex article at a show. He may get his nose broken by Tyler but it’s out there. At this rate, Earl may come back on the Dr. Dre workout plan with a tribal Samoan tattoo for all we know and break free from OF the same way Casey Veggies did.

Such is the nature of the game though. Do whatever you can to be better than the next guy, even if it means violate the privacy of a kid whose friends made him even more famous than his own criminally underrated mixalbum.