SpaceGhostPurrp - Mysterious Phonk: Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp
The name SpaceGhostPurrp (or Purrp, as he likes to be known) may be unfamiliar with a lot, unless you have been following the changing of the guard which is happening in hip hop right now. There are now new gaps in the scene which are open for those who bring something fresh, something that may have been done a while back but didn't have a massive impact. Like the reinvention of Hardcore hip hop as a sub-genre, which has never really been accepted in the mainstream music culture, partly because the lyrics have been too extreme and the beats too dark. However thanks to the Odd Future clan and hits like 'Yonkers' gathering nearly forty-five million hits on Youtube, a new version of hardcore hip hop remerged with roots going back to the horrorcore style, which is still massive in the underground scene. Tyler was all about shock tactics, just like a young Marshall Mathers. SpaceGhostPurrp on the other hand is different kind of creature, there is no stop gap for jokes, there is no comedic tone in his voice, and there is no uplifting curtain call at the end. Here is an album which is shrouded in complete darkness.
Before you even listen to his music you almost have a sense of the dark and mysterious undertone when you look at the album cover. The title font for Mysterious Phonk is scripted in a style you associate with one of those cheap TV horror films you would see on the Sci-Fi channel, or some rehashing of that kids show Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Purrp sits in the middle of the cover dressed all in black as expected, with reverberations of his image at either side of him. This is probably to give you a glimpse of the kind of hip hop production you'll be listening to. A murkier version of the cloud rap which was created by acts like Main Attractionz and Clams Casino.
I suppose you could call it dark cloud rap with production being heavily focused on common audio effects like delay and reverb. These all add to that unsettling atmosphere you sense when strolling through the album. The samples used here are also just as atmospheric and unsettling; on opener 'Mystikal Maze' Purrp raps "The screaming in the back represents hells grounds." This is a nod to the eerie wind sample which continuously haunts the opening track. Other chilling samples similar to this reappear again for 'No Evidence' and 'Paranoid' later on in the album. It seems Purrp likes to create a spectral environment for listeners to enter using effects and samples like this; the ambient background portrays the disturbing and lonely mind of the rapper/producer.
It's not just ghostly ambience which is included in the production of Mysterious Phonk, if you're really going to make an album with such a vivid formula induced into its creation you might as well include samples from the seediest industry in the world, porn. Purrp includes female moans and groans in quite a few of the tracks here, most noticeably in 'Bringing the Phonk' where it seems like there's a woman having an orgasm for just over three minutes. This appears again in 'Suck a Dick 2012' where there's an intro which lasts around fifty seconds, all this contains is muffled female moaning along with spacey and industrial glitches and pads. It feels like a score from some cyborg porn that you would expect to be popular in some lurid dystopian future.
There seems to be a clear resemblance here of 'The Seven Day Theory' by Tupac's Makaveli alter ego, and it's not just in the sinister sounding drum beats which play like g- funk on hallucinogenic drugs, but the actual subject matter in Purrps lyrics which range from threatening to paranoid. Lyrics like "Fuck a friend, I'd rather be alone" and his constant talk of not trusting anyone but his mysterious crew Raider Klan Mafia, is so similar to Tupac's schizophrenic and psychosis filled classic album that it has you thinking about how unstable this young talents mind is.
The explicit nature of Purrps lyrics will offend some, but it doesn't seem like he's using this language for shock value in the way other new talents have (eg. Azaelia Banks). The lyrical content here just sits in comfortably with the murky beats and ghoulish sound-scape. On a second listen lyrics like "Open up your mouth bitch and swallow it" don't seem as shocking because you know the mindset of Purrp and you know how this album plays. It's grimy, unsettling and not for the faint at heart. Some fans of the new hip hop scene which puts emphasis on house beats and heavy synth lines will probably stay clear of it but this is an album which is still made for underground heads who consider releases by Gravediggaz and Non Phixion to be underrated gems.
This lo-fi rap album just shows SpaceGhostPurrp makes "some of the murkiest rap out there." It seems like an introduction to a rapper who could be heralded as the new king of the underground scene, however you have a feeling the talented rapper/producer wants to hit bigger heights than that. His unhinged and visceral production skills could lead him onto to bigger things if the industry was to allow hardcore hip hop into the more commercial scene, but at the moment I don't think the radios are quite ready for industrial, shadowy, sex moaning beats poured into the everyday listeners’ ears. Maybe in the not so distant dystopian future though.