Spaceghostpurrp Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp
By Jesse FK Howard
“I don’t have money, I don’t have cars, all I got is the truth and a couple of bars” - The first verse in the first track ‘Mystikal Maze’ sets the stall for this album – Mysterious Phonk is dark lyrically and in the beats.
I know artists don’t like to be compared so i’ll get it in early – SpaceGhostPurrp feels to me like somewhere between A$APand Shabazz Palaces - which is no insult. The feel of this album is definitely similar to the ever growing A$AP, which makes sense given he produced and featured on the LiveLove Mixtape. A$AP and SGP have been beefing on twitter this week though over an apparent stolen beat and verse, which is bad news in terms of future collabs because these two sound great together. ( @spaceghostpurrp @asvpxrocky ay bruh all that subtweetin aint gangsta bruh u a fuck nigga bruh and you a fake ass nigga to fuck nigga and dont say im hatin )
SGP is part of something which is getting bigger and bigger in music; normally with Hip Hop you can hear a sound is New York, LA or Atlanta – or at least East Coast /West Coast. Spaceghostpurrp’s debut however is part of a beats driven, geographically un-locatable hip hop which almost feels like a sub-genre. The likes of A$AP, Jeremiah Jae, Shabazz Palaces, Odd Future and even Kendrick Lemar to me, all feel like part of a movement to more emphasis on complex and weighty beats..
Lyrically this album doesn’t disappoint as well, SGP has a dark vibe with a good flow which shines through in ‘Paranoid’, and ‘Grind On Me’. On ‘Black God’, SGP shows he isn’t afraid to throw some big statements out there too- “I got to have the world in my hands, i’m a God, I’m no longer a black man”. Anyone who would take that lyric at face value though would be missing the point.
The flow and lyrics definitely do stand up, but for me, Mysterious Phonk is all about SGP’s production and beats.
It’s unsurprising to me that 4AD who are releasing this album are considering releasing the instrumentals on their own because the beats really are trill. SGP has produced the whole album and clearly is at home in production. Osiris of The East is one of the best and has the kind of minimal flow and keyboard loops you would hear on a Zomby track. ‘Don’t Give A Damn’ is another one which could easily play out in a club with or without a vocal. Without the vocal, you wouldn’t know it was from a hip hop album – it sounds minimal and almost a bit dubby, I couldn’t give it a genre.
This album is dark and engrossing and like most hip hop, sounds best loud. It isn’t quite the statement that LiveLoveA was for me but SGP is just further proof that hip hop doesn’t have to be done with the old 4/4 breaks from the 90s; there is a big place for this new wave of future beats in hip hop.