May 3, 2015

SpaceGhostPurrp - Mysterious Phonk (2012)

No hate, but hip hop in the most recent years hasn't completely clicked with me. SpaceGhostPurrp is one of the very few artists that I've been down with. The dude found underground/internet success with his dirty Memphis-inspired mixtapes in 09-11 and reworked many of those songs on 4AD for an album called Mysterious Phonk. This essentially was his make or break album, but unfortunately it was largely panned or ignored by major publications which eventually led to him going somewhat crazy, releasing music sporadically, and cutting off most ties with his affiliates.

SpaceGhost's biggest selling point for most people is the murky and lo-fi tracks he makes that remind people of the Memphis underground. He made an interesting move by going to 4AD, the big dream pop and alternative rock label of the 80s and 90s. As a result, his grimy beats became the polar-opposite; completely polished and shimmering, and critics felt that his dumbed-down mantras weren't working as well, causing him to lose momentum (the explosion of A$AP Rocky didn't help either). After his first B.M.W. mixtape was also somewhat overlooked, it doesn't look like he'll be coming back to the same level he was at.

I'm not one of those critics though. The album is far from perfect and doesn't flow quite right, but so many of these songs are fantastically navigated. His ambitious layering and odd techniques are executed with confidence and don't sound a bit try-hard. SpaceGhostPurrp is the only guy in Raider Klan I fully appreciate as an MC. He's easily the most memorable, has the best voice, and drops the dopest little punchlines. While his lyrics revolve around nothing but unjustified hedonism, he's the perfect guy to do it whether he's rolling chants or actually flowing (i.e. Don't Get Ya Head Bust). He owns the atmospheric style and thankfully doesn't disrupt it with too much with features.

15 years from now when people are done with Drake, Kanye, and arguing about Iggy Azalea's place in hip hop, I bet this will be seen as a classic. Seriously, this is the most original music I've heard in the past 5 years besides Sir Lucious Left Foot.


Mysterious Phonk