Tag Archives: swag

90s baby Spaceghostpurrp swags out Miami

The defining story of hip hop in 2011 was the rise of Odd Future. Tyler and company spent the year inciting riots and confounding critics, before establishing a record label and getting a TV deal. Whatever your take on the divisive and controversial crew, suffice it to say that the biggest lesson for fans of the genre is that 90s babies do hip hop differently: weirder, darker, and more drugged out. Knocking down the door that OFWGKTA opened up, Harlem’s A$AP Rocky has dominated the scene since LiveLoveA$AP dropped on Halloween. A$AP is nobody’s idea of a gifted lyricist, but the production on his debut is striking; it’s more sinister and more ethereal than anything in the game. The best known and most talented producer on the album is Clams Casino, but the album also features two cuts by the next star of based / swag hip hop: Spaceghostpurrp.

Miami’s Muney Jordan has christened himself with a name only a late night stoner can appreciate. Spaceghostpurrp’s influences are the epitome of millenial hip hop: early Three 6 Mafia and DJ Screw, Mortal Kombat and the occult, purple weed and purple drank. The beats are detuned, dripping with syrupy bass. Purists will no doubt blanch at his simplistic flow, but as for creating a vibe and a mood, Spaceghostpurrp is unmatched. From the skull emblazoned cover of last summer’s Blackland Radio 66.6 mixtape (stylized as Blvcklvnd Rvdix, in the style of the day) to fuzzy cassette type mastering, everything feels as underground as a coffin.

The 22 track Blackland Radio is predictably sprawling and uneven, but the highlights are diamonds in the rough. Beyond the unprintable chorus, there is actually a safe sex anthem somewhere in the raunchy boom bap of “Suck a Dick for 2011” (and fear not, there is already a 2012 follow-up: “Blvck Lipstick S.A.N.D. 2012“). “Pheel Tha Phonk” is classic g-funk lean, as if ripped off a tape released sometime around Spaceghostpurrp’s 1991 birthdate.

Last weekend I attended Spaceghostpurrp’s first hometown show, held in downtown Miami’s Eve (the former White Room, where I saw Rusko in December 2009), a pretty shady venue that stretches the definition of a nightclub. The crowd was, like Spaceghostpurrp’s Raider Klan, mostly underage, decked out in snapbacks and streetwear. Members of the Raider Klan crowded the stage, with various rappers and DJs taking turns warming up the crowd, with mixed results. The headliner’s set was brief but intense, and the crowd – ecstatic to see one of their own on stage – ate it up.

The fact that the show was one of his first is indicative of the music world in 2012 (just ask Lana Del Rey). This is an artist raised by both the streets and Adult Swim who has honed his craft in the unnerving glow of the computer screen rather than the stage. The contrasts are the foundation that allows Spaceghostpurrp to craft this otherworldly music. Other than sounding vaguely Southern, there isn’t a sense of place in his music (“the Internet” doesn’t count). Still, when he grounds his production in something more local, Spaceghostpurrp turns in one of his tightest songs yet: the Miami bass jam “Don’t Give a Damn.”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SpaceGhostPurrp-Dont-Give-a-Damn-Miami-Bass.mp3″ text=”SpaceGhostPurrp – Don’t Give a Damn (Miami Bass)” dl=1]

In 2011, the world discovered Odd Future.  In 2012, Spaceghostpurrp proves that 2011 was just the beginning.

Download: Spaceghostpurrp – Blackland Radio 66.6

What the fuck is OFWGKTA?

It’s a question I’ve received a few times after nerding out on Twitter: what the fuck is OFWGKTA? That unwieldy acronym stands for “Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All.” Odd Future is an LA rap collective made up of rappers, beatmakers, artists and skaters. In name: Tyler the Creator, Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis, Mike G, Frank Ocean, Left Brain, The Super 3, Syd tha Kyd, Jasper Loc, and Taco Bennett.

Everything about them is polarizing, from fandom on down. They’re old enough to drive but barely old enough to drink. They love non sequiturs but have no love for their fathers, who are either absent or might as well be. Everything is swag or not.

The beats are grimey, borrowing from chopped-and-screwed trap hop, Stones Throw futurism and everything in between. Wu-Tang is the nearest comparison, if only in form but not function. Lyrical topics include, notably, drug abuse, violence, and rape, alone or in combination. The one-upmanship is pure high school male, the depravity and vileness a product of our unshockability. Blame it on 9/11 and / or the Internet.

If you don’t get it, it’s not for you. Hell, it’s barely for me. At 26, I might as well be 2 Dope Boys, Nah Right, or worse – Steve Harvey. So instead of trying to digest the group’s 150+ songs, I’ll just provide the essentials that capture Odd Future’s essence better than I can.

All music is freely available on the OFWGKTA web site.

OFWGKTA – Radical

More fully-formed than their original offering, the Odd Future Tape, Radical is their most accessible material, if only because of the Mos Def, Gucci Mane and Roscoe Dash beats they hijack. Here’s Hodgy Beats over Dash’s “Turnt Up” and Earl and Tyler over Gucci’s “Lemonade”

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Turnt_Down.mp3″ text=”Hodgy Beats – Turnt Down”]

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Orange_Juice.mp3″ text=”EarlWolf – Orange Juice”]

Tyler the Creator – Bastard

Tyler the Creator aka Ace aka Wolf Haley, in the inevitable Wu Tang analogy, is the RZA. On Bastard, he puts his cards on the table on the first track: “This is what the Devil plays before he sleeps… I cut my wrists and play piano because I’m so depressed.” “French” is a banger you might nod your head to until Tyler spits out “rape her and record it / then edit it with more shit.

Earl Sweatshirt – Earl

Tyler’s little cousin is Earl Sweatshirt, and like a younger brother, he has to go big or go home. Earl’s current absence from the group (due either to boot camp, jail, or a severe grounding) will definitely leave a void: he’s one of the sickest, most fascinating members of Odd Future. “epaR” is a violent fantasy sequence with a hook that beats its not-so-subliminal title. And his self-titled rant features their most telling video yet.

[wpaudio url=”/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/epar.mp3″ text=”Earl Sweatshirt – epaR”]

Ready for more?

  • Hodgy Beats’ Dena Tape shows flashes of talent, but he really puts it together when he joins Left Brain to form MellowHype; the Halloween themed BLACKENDWHITE is their better album.
  • Domo Genesis takes the reins as the requisite weed rapper; he beat Wiz Khalifa to the punch on his Rolling Papers tape.
  • Odd Future isn’t just about rap: subgroup Jet Age of Tomorrow has released two albums of mostly-instrumental space funk that is trippy on another level.