SpaceGhostPurrp // Mysterious Phonk // June 11 // 4AD
How naive are you? Do you really think that good songs are all that it takes for an artist to take off? Nonsense. People are beggining to understand that, mainstream is getting their heads around that and the first widely appreciated genre of music to adapt experimentalism that sells is hip hop. Just less than 10 years ago we were all trapped under the wrath of crap wannabe gangstas that completely killed the genre by making it money oriented and removing the street value that it always had. It became the capital of commercial vanity. Simply said, hip hop sounded dead. Now it sounds alive again, living the day to the fullest. SpaceGhostPurrp might be young and upcoming but his debut LP Mysterious Phonk is 100% future.
Florida native and A$AP Mob associate Muney Jordan AKA SpaceGhostPurrp has been dropping mixtapes and songs since 2010 but has been largely overlooked. It’s weird but it’s also fitting. His music is very left field and immediately recognisable but it moves like mist in the darkness and it’s very easy to miss it. It’s full of dark passive nihilism. It’s sounds very open ended but it’s also an ideal riding-downtown-Miami music. Out there but within reach. Really, there isn’t another person that sound quite like SpaceGhostPurrp. His debut LP Mysterious Phonk collects his best songs from his career acting like an introduction, compilation and biography. The instrumentals is what makes Mysterious Phonk the best rap album of the year at this point. They are free flowing, weirdly catchy and dark. The only thing that sounds remotely similar to Mysterious Phonk is 2011’s Shabazz Palaces LP. Other than that, Three 6 Mafia come to mind but unlike the Memphis gang, SpaceGhostPurrp is much more experimental and doesn’t sound like music that is made to please anyone but Purrp himself. Mysterious Phonk sounds like an album made by person that doesn’t care about anyone in the world and yet, it hits closer than anything else released this year. Whichever way you look at it, it’s is quite an album that doesn’t pay any attention to the rulebook or south obsessed trends. There’s a reason why this is a rap album coming out on indie giants 4AD. It makes a lot of sense in the end.
SpaceGhostPurrp is less jazz crazed than Shabazz Palaces. A lot of the moments on here are much more straightforward and user friendly. At no point does SpaceGhostPurrp sound like he’s trying to cram four different songs into 3 minute tracks. For the best as he doesn’t tell psychedelic tales. He doesn’t pretend to be a hardcore gangsta, instead aiming for a more casual, yet still very street friendly rhymes. He’s not the most lyrically impressive man in the game but that’s not the point here. Mysterious Phonk might sound like it consists mostly of usual suspects like hoes and busting but there’s a streetwise aspect to SpaceGhostPurrp that makes him less of a baller and more like a schizophrenic street poet. “I don’t have money, I don’t have cars. All I got is the truth and a couple of bars” he claims on album’s opener Mystikal Maze. Not that he doesn’t want any. “Money is my god” he declares on Been Fweago before claiming the title for himself on The Black God. It might sound close to another guy who keeps calling himself a certain god but SpaceGhostPurrp is much more serious with his music. It’s not as po-faced as the too-cool-for-school R.A.P. Music or streetwise Section.80. Just like Lil B’s efforts, Mysterious Phonk is positive, hopefull and looking up.
So SpaceGhostPurrp is scary right? He’s confusing too. He has no problem with telling you that life is beautiful and then following it up with whispers of death. Mysterious Phonk is a collection of his previous material which might sound like it’s going to be disjointed but it’s quite the opposite. If anything it lacks something that would make SpaceGhostPurrp sound more human but that’s a little complaint considering how many fakes are trying to be real these days. SpaceGhostPurrp is his own producer, keeping the artistic vision 100% his own. The insight he offers, the beats he produces. Mysterious Phonk might collect tracks from the past but it still sounds like the future, one less destructive than Death Grips, one where darkness doesn’t necessarily mean sadness or pain. SpaceGhostPurrp’s darkness is full of positivity. Move over based god, the black god is the new hip hop messiah.