Earl Sweatshirt truly is the Shakespeare of our generation and we see this through his song “Chum” in the Doris album. The song is pretty deep but he seems to be talking about his family life and how it has turned him into the person he is today.
Something sinister to it, pendulum swinging slowHe is using quite ingenious wordplay in the above lines. In physics, a pendulums motion is said to be “degenerate” as friction increasingly slows it down. However, the word “degenerate” can also mean an immoral or corrupt person. Earl is describing the pendulums motion as similar to himself, as well as saying he was a moral person who is becoming more corrupted with time
A degenerate moving through the city with criminals
When he says
Get up off the pavement, brush the dirt up off my psyche
This indicates that his troubles are more complex now, involving his psyche rather than just lewd under-age drinking. The line “pendulum swinging slower, degenerate moving” in connection with the slowed down vocals in the words psyche, might mean that Earl’s degeneracy is slowing down with his age as he brushes the dirt off of his dirty psyche. He’s still inclined as a young adult to do stupid things, but he’s starting to slow down.