In 2019 SpaceGhostPurrp may be more known for his online antics than he is for his music. Purrp was once considered ‘Hip-Hop’s renaissance man’. He pioneered the revival of the 90’s sound and aesthetic. SpaceGhostPurrp pioneered the underground vision. He was destined to be the next big thing in the rap game. Sadly, things have not turned out this way for the Carol-City artist. A myriad of factors have caused his career trajectory to fall into a downward spiral. The purpose of this feature-length article is not to focus on what could have been. Instead the purpose is to focus on what has occurred throughout SpaceGhostPurrp’s polarising career. This feature will detail the artistic triumphs of SGP and explain how his impact has changed the music landscape forever. SpaceGhostPurrp is an infamous figure in today’s rap game. His impact and influence can not be denied. This is LO-FI The Magazine and for our second feature article we will delve into the career of the ever-polarising Markese Money Rolle aka SpaceGhostPurrp.
2010/11: THE DAWN OF THE PHONK
SpaceGhostPurrp’s internet presence can be traced back to the AOL era and his start in the music world can be traced back to 2008. Two years after his initial debut, SpaceGhostPurrp would emerge on the underground scene. On May 23, 2010 SpaceGhostPurrp created his YouTube account ‘SpaceeGhostPurrpMJ23’ and SGP was officially born. A few months later, NASA: The Mixtape would kickstart Purrp’s prominence in the underground scene. With co-signs from underground pioneers Kreayshawn and Speakz! It seemed like SGP’s star was destined to shyne. During 2010/2011 SGP would establish himself as an underground superstar. A wave of change was brought upon the underground scene with Purrp’s arrival. After a handful of years in which he released music under “Muney Jordan” Purrp finally found his lane in 2010/11. The dawn of the phonk was upon us.
NASA: The Mixtape catapulted SpaceGhostPurrp from virtually unknown to being one of the hottest underground prospects. The mixtape was released through the traditional avenues of Datpiff and his hallowed YouTube channel. In 2010 the underground was still in its infancy. Lil B demonstrated the power of being an independent artist through his revolutionary use of the internet. In this ‘infant’ stage of the underground only a handful of artists had notable followings. Luckily for Purrp two of these established artists took notice of his innovative work. Speakz! And Kreayshawn both co-signed the NASA Tape. These co-signs helped bring Purrp to the forefront of the underground scene. NASA: The Mixtape helped launch SGP’s career but nobody would predict the impact that he was about to have on the music world.
NASA: The Mixtape is an undisputed classic. Released September 13, 2010, It was the mixtape that birthed the legend of SpaceGhostPurrp. The co-signs Purrp received during this era and the quality of his music rose his profile to new heights. NASA: The Mixtape typifies the underground sound. The project sprawls several trunk-rattling soundscapes that are tied together by one nostalgia inducing sound effect. This sound effect is a sound from Microsoft 3D Pinball, a free to play game that came pre-installed on several PCs during the late 90s and early 2000s. This unique sound effect separated his mixtape from anything else available at the time. It also created a sense of consistency throughout the tape. The multitude of sounds were all tied together through the simple use of sound effects.
The mixtape personifies its title accurately. NASA: The Mixtape is a drug-induced, waved-out journey through the galaxy. Instead of travelling through the galaxy by the usual means, SGP takes us on an interstellar journey that is best enjoyed riding in an old school Cutlass Supreme.
Sampling Immature‘s “I Wanna Know You That Way”, Purrp kicks off NASA: The Mixtape with ‘Intro (Rare)’. The self-produced beat contrasts the galactic electric guitar driven sample with SGP’s trademark asteroid breaking kicks and 808s. The song opens with tone setting bars: “Spaceship, spaceship, bitch fuck relationships”, which establishes his unmatched energy from the outset. Intro (Rare) sounds like the soundtrack to an intergalactic apocalypse. The sample adds the necessary depth to Purrp’s hard hitting trunk rattling sounds. The smooth, sultry sounds of 90s RnB were flipped on their head in ‘Intro (Rare)’ and its fits seamlessly with SGPs new age speaker knocking elements. ‘Intro (Rare)’ is far from cookie-cutter material. It’s a daring effort from a young and hungry artist who managed to craft an amazing soundscape by using contrasting elements. Just like his inspirations Juicy J and DJ Paul used to flip heavenly movie scores into aural horror, Purrp managed to flip something sultry into a song that’s worthy of being the soundtrack to the galactic apocalypse. SpaceGhostPurrp sets the tone of NASA perfectly with the brilliance of ‘Intro (Rare)’. One track deep and the NASA galaxy was thoroughly illustrated through Purrp’s wizardry.
After the apocalyptic beauty of ‘Intro (Rare)’ we segue into ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’. ‘Intro (Rare)’ is the soundtrack to the galaxy’s apocalypse and ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ is the soundtrack to the galaxy in its post-apocalyptic state. ‘Intro (Rare)’ featured Purrp exorcising his demons. On ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ Purrp flips the script and exudes a cool similar to Max B, the originator of the wave. His intergalactic mack mode was activated. Sonically, SGP explores waters which have rarely been explored. Infectious dubstep wobbles resonate throughout the track and they fuse with the equally infectious horn sounds to create the ‘space swag’ by which NASA abides by. The signature Purrp elements are present as well. The signature speaker rattling 808s, claps, hi-hats and kicks are present to add the ‘Phonk’ to the dubstep driven beat. Lyrically Purrp catches the pocket of the constant dubstep wobbles to exude his cool and kick knowledge on the hedonistic aspects of each and everyone’s lifestyle. As previously mentioned, Purrp’s mack mode was activated throughout the track. Think of ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ as a 2053 AD version of 8 Ball & MJG’s Space Age Pimpin’. This adaptation of the dubstep sound makes ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ one of Purrp’s most unique songs. It’s one of the best combinations of rap and dubstep to exist. ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ introduces us to the hedonistic side of the NASA galaxy. Through the use of his mack mentality SGP seamlessly transported us from the chaos of ‘Intro (Rare)’ into the cool of ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’.
Following the dubstep driven ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ we move into ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’. ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ is perfection in .mp3 form. Sampling ‘Lil Chill- Ain’t No Luv Lost’ Purrp floats over this track like a true West Coast OG. ‘Intro (Rare)’ illustrated a thundering galactic war, ‘Sex Money Drugs (Wavy)’ encapsualtes the hedonsistic aftermath and ‘For The Love Of Money’ is the introspective ride through the stars and solar system. ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ is the quintessential companion for your late night rides. Arguably Purrp’s best effort at reviving the feel of the West Coast sound. ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ serves as a prophecy for Purrp’s future. This prophetic nature adds a unique element to this tracks lore. SGP raps: “I don’t wanna sell my soul for no fuckin’ fame, SpaceGhostPurrp just remember that name”, “Imma be on VH1, Imma be on MTV”, “I wanna make this rap shit better, fuck sellin’ crack”. All these statements would eventually become true. These prophetic statements illustrate the beauty of ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ and furthermore NASA: The Mixtape. This debut project serves as a prophecy to the rest of his career. Everything he spits on NASA becomes true. The mixtape is generally driven by aesthetic but those pockets where he prophesies his rap career add substantial depth to the mixtape experience. Whilst listening to NASA: The Mixtape you glide through the galaxy of NASA and its “red diamonds same colour planet Mars” nonchalantly without a care in the world. However, whilst you glide nonchalantly you encounter these asteroids of prophecy, these asteroids of a young artist’s hopes, desires and dreams. These asteroids of raw emotion would eventually turn in to fulfillment for Purrp. ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ is a raw display of his desire to make this rap shit work. Knowing that these desires, these asteroids would become fulfilled adds an element of lore that is absent from your run-of the-mill song. The prophetic nature of ‘For The Love Of Money (Wavy)’ makes it a standout song on NASA: The Mixtape and one of the best from his discography.
Sonically, the formula for ‘For The Love Of Money’ is identical to the previous two tracks. That being, the fusion of a sample with Purrp’s signature elements: 808s, kicks, claps and hi-hats. Simplicity is usually the best recipe and that rings true with the sonic elements throughout NASA: The Mixtape. The array of samples used on this tape allow this simple formula to reign supreme. Three tracks into the NASA experience and SGP has taken samples from RnB, Dubstep and West Coast G-Funk. Three very different spectrums of the music world. This trio of differing origins are all tied together through SGPs proficient sound design. Purrp’s hard hitting elements are a constant throughout the tape. Couple this with the use of the pinball sound effects and SGP is able to maintain a constant theme throughout the NASA journey. Despite the stark differences in sound between tracks.
‘I Love Lean (Weed)’ appears after ‘For The Love Of Money’ for the next chapter in our NASA exploration. “I Love Lean (Weed)” continues the harkening back to rap lore of the 90s. For this track SGP samples Mystikal’s “Still Smokin” to teleport us to an interstellar strip club. This hazy, drug anthem embodies the ambience of the South during the Y2K era. It is a song which should have become the ‘go-to’ for every hypebeast during the peak tumblr era of 2011-2014. Unfortunately it was ahead of its time. As a result the song remains slept on until this day. Lean has been a staple of rap culture since the days of DJ Screw. Purrp re-energised this lean culture and brought it back to prominence in an underground world that was fuelled by it’s love of drugs. On a song in which he professes his love for the purple potion, SGP flows impressively over the menacing instrumental. Again he drops another prophecy by saying: “SpaceGhostPurrp imma bring this rap shit back, Thanks to Bricksquad they brought that trap shit back.” Prophecies such as these age like fine wine and add another layer to the legacy of NASA: The Mixtape. ‘I Love Lean (Weed)’ is a dedication to the drank that fuelled the creative genius of Purrp and his idols that came before him. The menacing drug anthem fits perfectly amongst the array of stars in the NASA galaxy.
Through the first four tracks of NASA: The Mixtape, SGP has taken us through a galaxy of mayhem. Using the soundscapes of RnB, Dubstep, West Coast G-Funk and New Orleans Bounce, Purrp has taken us to each corner of the NASA galaxy. On the next track Purrp continues to profess his love and admiration for very distinct ways of life. ‘I Love Lesbians (HOT!)’ follows ‘I Love Lean’. On this cut, we are taken on an UFO directly to Based World. ‘I Love Lean’ is the slow, menacing drug anthem whereas ‘I Love Lesbians (HOT!)’ is its antithesis. The galactic soundscapes are ever present on this NASA track. The club-worthy sonics are ever-present. Instead of the kickstand inducing lean, ‘I Love Lesbians (HOT!)’ is best suited for those in the club thizzing off molly. The hyperactive beat coupled with the content and flow of the song makes ‘I Love Lesbians (HOT!)’ a seamless fit on any Lil B tape. The based braggadocio is strong throughout the song and it illustrates Purrp’s innate ability to seamlessly switch between styles whilst maintaining the thematic consistency of the tape. ‘I Love Lesbians (HOT!)’ is another stop on the journey through the solar system that is known as NASA:The Mixtape.
SpaceGhostPurrp taps into his former alias Muney Jordan for the next track on NASA: The Mixtape. ‘Muney Jordan SpaceGhostPurrp (Trap)’ is his ode to the late 2000’s trap movement. On this cut he channels his inner OJ Da Juiceman or his inner Young Jeezy to create a song which is a few DJ Drama tags away from being featured on a Datpiff compilation. This is yet another display of Purrp’s proficient ability to draw inspiration from a specific era or moment in time and use this inspiration to create his own interpolation of the aforementioned style. This is the trap banger for all those on planet NASA. Simplicity is king yet again as Purrp lets his ‘phonky’ elements shake, rattle and boom the trunks of all the NASA Gang Raiders out there. ‘Muney Jordan SpaceGhostPurrp (Trap)’ is yet another selfless display of homage form Purrp. Many artists go to exhaustive lengths to detract those who influenced them. But SGP remains transparent when its comes to those who inspired him. Just as previous tracks on NASA: The Mixtape were inspired by bygone eras in music, Purrp uses ‘Muney Jordan SpaceGhostPurrp (Trap)’ to pay homage to the peak era of the Trap music movement.
‘NASA Gang (Swag)’ revisits the ‘galactic war’ sound of the intro track. The track starts off with what has become a signature SGP chant which is : “Kill that hoe, Kill that bitch”. This chant, which has since been used by Robb Bank$ on the song ‘ILYSM’, coupled with the haunting beat immediately paints the anarchist nature of the NASA Gang. The outcasts of the galaxy per se. Despite the darker tone of the track it maintains the infectious trunk-rattling vibe. SGP’s signature ‘really’ ad-lib shines bright on the track as it interloops with the quasi-based flow which is used throughout the song. ‘NASA Gang (Swag)’ is a braggadocious head-bumping, mosh-worthy anthem which best exemplifies SGP’s futuristic swag. He adds to the anarchist nature of the track by rapping: “Slow the beat down… Get off that jerking shit”. This quote doesn’t just add to the contrarian swag Purrp possesses; it is also another prophetic moment on NASA: The Mixtape. One year later, after being on that “jerking shit”, people would be engrossed in the trill aesthetic that was pioneered by SpaceGhostPurrp. ‘NASA Gang (Swag)’ is a slap-in-the-face to all the conformists out there.
People who are labelled as ‘different’ are often referred to as ‘spaced-out’ or ‘alienated’. Purrp flipped this connotation with ‘NASA Gang (Swag)’ and in turn NASA: The Mixtape. SGP embraced being an outsider. He turned being an outsider or being ‘spaced-out’ into the legendary space swag which he exhibits throughout the tape. ‘NASA Gang (Swag)’ personifies the vision of NASA: The Mixtape. It’s all about embracing the ‘space swag’. Embracing being different.
Purrp brings the vibe back with ‘Yo Purrp (Swag)’. This is the stoner anthem for the NASA galaxy. ‘Yo Purrp (Swag)’ uses the instrumental of OJ Da Juiceman’s song ‘Crazy Color Chain’ which is produced by Lambo Beats. Purrp takes this instrumental and turns it into a hypnotising track for those sessions of inebriation. ‘Yo Purrp’s (Swag)’ hypnotism is furthered by the constant echoing of his trademark chant: “kill that hoe, kill that bitch”. This echoing combined with SGPs verses and adlibs illustrate how Purrp layers his vocals to further the ambience of the track. The vocals are layered in a very unconventional way to leave the listener in a mystical trance. ‘Yo Purrp (Swag)’ is a welcome smoke break on the trip through the NASA galaxy.
‘Friday (Strip Club)’ is the next song on NASA: The Mixtape. Arguably the most well-known track off of the project, the song has since been co-signed by Wiz Khalifa as well as other artists. ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ samples Cherelle’s ‘Saturday Love’ and adds a booming bass line to create a frenetic club-banger. One of SGPs most iconic songs, it still rattles the trunk even 9 years after its release. ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ is the perfect bounce back from the smoke break that was ‘Yo Purrp (Swag)’. ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ has stood the test of time as a party-starter. It’s booming bass and galactic swag solidifies it is an all time classic of the 2010s. With ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ Purrp had evolved the Miami Bass sound. It sounds exactly what Miami Bass should sound like in 2023 if the genre is ever revived. There is not much to be said about ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ other than that it is a timeless classic. One of the heftiest bangers to come out of the 2010’s. When it comes to a classic like ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ there’s no need to wax poetic about it. The music says all that needs to be said. An unmitigated classic, ‘Friday (Strip Club)’ solidifies NASA: The Mixtape’s legacy amongst internet rap lore.
The 10 track escapade into the NASA galaxy ends with ‘Snapback 90s (Rare)(RIP Eazy E Bring Back The 90s)’. ‘For The Love Of Money’ was a resurrection of the laid back West Coast sound whereas ‘Snapback 90s’ is a resurrection of the ‘Gangsta’ rap movement which was pioneered in the late 80’s and 90’s. Drawing inspiration from groups such as South Central Cartel and NWA, SGP channels his inner Eazy E to profess his love for the 90’s era of hip-hop. Purrp’s hard hitting delivery equals the hard-hitting beat and it creates a fitting outro track to NASA:The Mixtape. The song is militant in its nature and it allows us to finish our journey through the NASA galaxy on the same note we started it. ‘Intro (Rare)’ sets an apocalyptic tone and ‘Snapback 90s (Rare)’ carries that same defiant tone until its final seconds. The whole project is an injection of infectious swag and energy. Which makes it fitting that those qualities are retained in the outro track. ‘Snapback 90s (Rare)’ leaves you immersed in the NASA galaxy, it leaves you wanting more. Luckily, SGP fans had a plethora of music to look forward to after the initial bombshell that was known as NASA: The Mixtape.
NASA: The Mixtape is one of the greatest mixtapes of the 2010s. The sounds, flows and aesthetic established on this tape are unlike anything else in the rap hemisphere. These elements truly take you to another universe. The tape is succinct and simple but these qualities may be its biggest positives. SpaceGhostPurrp takes samples from a multitude of styles such as: Dubstep, RnB, West Coast Rap and Southern Rap. Purrp ties this variety of styles together with aural pleasures which include speaker-breaking: 808s, hi-hats, claps and drums. He sprinkled his ‘phonk’ sufficiently over the soundscape to give the sounds of NASA: The Mixtape an unmatched originality. Music critics and listeners alike, tend to champion complicated sound patterns and rhyme schemes but NASA: The Mixtape is living proof that when utilised in the correct matter simplicity reigns supreme. Little things, which may seem insignificant to some, add to the NASA experience. The nostalgia-inducing sound effects of 3d pinball add an extra layer of depth to the project. Sound effects like the ones displayed throughout NASA have become a staple of Purrp’s artistic arsenal. The prophetic nature of NASA: The Mixtape also elevates it status as one of the greats. Throughout the tape SGP drops many prophetic gems such as: “SpaceGhostPurrp imma bring this rap shit back”, and “Im tryna make this rap shit better fuck sellin’ crack”. These prophecies, which have now become true, add to the legacy of NASA. When you catch the little gems such as the: prophecies, the declaration of his dreams and desires for the future of rap, the soul which flows through SGP becomes very evident. Again this prophetic nature of the NASA Tape adds another layer of depth which only adds to its legacy.
Holistically, NASA: The Mixtape can be regarded as one of the best mixtapes of the 2010s because of its originality. Everything that features on the tape has a unique feeling. The sounds, styles and aesthetics haven’t been duplicated since. NASA: The Mixtape is undoubtedly one of a kind. A class above other underground projects. The galactic phonk will take you on a drugged up, swagged out and introspective journey through the NASA universe which will have your trunk rattlin’ from start to finish. The samples will make an old-head swoon, the pinball effects will have you fiending for Windows 98, the fresh sounds will elevate your sonic palette and the variety of flows will keep you intrigued. There’s something for everyone on NASA: The Mixtape. There are throwback sounds and Eazy-E flows for the hip-hop heads, there’s quasi-based flows for the disciples of Lil B’s ‘Bitch Mob’, there’s booming bass and layers of mesmerising sounds for those in ‘druggy’ mode and most importantly there’s an unmatched sense of swag throughout the tape. NASA: The Mixtape has that X-Factor. Regardless of who you are NASA will have you space swaggin’ like no other. Whether you want to cruise through your city and bump something at ignorant volumes or if you want to get intoxicated and take yourself to space right quick, the NASA Tape is your perfect companion. NASA: The Mixtape is the ideal fit for any situation and it is for this reason amongst many others that NASA: The Mixtape is an undisputed classic. It should be considered a top 10 mixtape from the 2010s and in the present day it remains criminally underrated.
I often wonder what would happen if Purrp kept his foot on the gas with the NASA sound. Would he still bring the wave of darkness that inspired the whole rap game? Or would everyone be on the space swag wave? I believe the NASA sound had great mass appeal. Purrp would eventually progress from the NASA sound and bless the world with Blvcklvnd Rvdix 66.6. The NASA era often gets slept on because it preceded the storm. All the NASA sound, swag and aesthetics can only be traced to a 30 minute tape. A tape so limitless in its potential that if this sound remained Purrp’s primary sound he could of brought a whole different wave to rap world. But like most great artists do, he chose to progress. This progression embodies the beauty of SGPs art. The progression is fluid, so sudden that it’s like falling in love with a whole new artist each time he switches his style. The NASA style though, will forever be his most underrated.
NASA: The Mixtape helped propel Purrp’s career. It put him on the underground map. He was still in the infancy of his career but the greatness of NASA: The Mixtape gave him a perfect foundation to build upon.
On NASA: The Mixtape, SGP had openly paid homage to those who inspired or influenced him. Through several shout-outs and samples during the tape it became clear that Purrp was Hip-Hop’s renaissance man. He was hell bent on restoring that 90’s feel in the rap game. SpaceGhostPurrp continued on his righteous path to revive the bygone era of the 90’s and 2000’s by releasing the Purrped & Chopped series of mixtapes. Purrped & Chopped was essentially Purrp’s homage to DJ Screw. The series of tapes were a mish-mosh collection of: freestyles and rare songs which spanned several eras of music. The Purrped & Chopped tapes became Purrp’s vehicle to pay homage to those that came before him. The tapes also became Purrp’s vehicle to put his fans on to the music that inspired him personally. These mixtapes are more than DJ Screw homage tapes. They were devices to spread his 90s renaissance across his fanbase. It’s no surprise that DJ Screw and several other artists featured on these mixtapes became a part of every tumblr kids playlist. The Purrped and Chopped tapes played a role in shaping the music tastes of everyone in the underground. These mixtapes were a unique avenue for Purrp to further entrench his aesthetic amongst the underground masses. SGPs Purrped and Chopped series remain an overlooked part of his legacy.
The first installment in SGP’s Purrped & Chopped series was ‘NASA Underground: Lost Tapes (1991-1993)’. The tape is blend of Chopped & Screwed SpaceGhostPurrp songs and 1 take freestyles. As mentioned before Purrp restored the feeling of the Screwed Up Click era. Instead of it being Screw and his cohorts, Purrp assumed the role of being a man one army. This first edition of the Lost Tapes focuses more on Purrp’s freestyle tracks. Throughout the 14 tracks SGP vibes over an assortment of instrumentals and then gives each freestyle the Purrped & Chopped treatment. NASA: The Mixtape introduced us to the world of SpaceGhostPurrp and the Purrped & Chopped era immersed listeners in the 90’s revival that Purrp was pioneering.
The first installment of the Lost Tapes series shows the courage of SGP at the time. Coming off a release which had garnered him a decent internet buzz, he could have easily followed a traditional career trajectory instead he chose to veer left. He chose to double down on 90s revival by dropping a series of tapes that were catered towards a very niche underground audience. These experimental projects showed Purrp’s commitment to restore that 90s feel in the rap game. Chopped & Screwed music has always been a feature of Hip-Hop since DJ Screw introduced the world to it, however no artist had put forth the effort to make Chopped & Screwed music such a prominent part of their discography. This was until SGP released the Purrped & Chopped series. This collection of tapes should be viewed as an amazing display of homage to the pioneers of Screw music in Texas. Purrp ensured their legend was respected and admired in this new internet era. These mixtapes should be seen as an educational tool for new generation Hip-Hop fans seeking that O.G. knowledge. They restore the feeling of a bygone era. One of the best eras in music history. NASA Underground: Lost Tapes (1991-1993) is the first installment in this underground workshop.
The next installment in the Purrped & Chopped series was Purple Hulk NASA Underground: Lost Tapes (1994-1996). On this tape SGP chops up some classic tracks from the 70’s and 80’s such as: Fatback Band – ‘Is This The Future’ and BB and Q Band – ‘Genie’. The inclusion of these old school tracks were of a similar to how Screw’s inclusion of old school tracks in his wealth of tapes. Purrp combines these classic tracks with more S.U.C. (Screwed Up Click) style freestyles. He also chops up a classic Gudda Gudda cut from Lil Wayne’s ‘Sqad Up’ mixtape series. A true illustration of his prolific Rap knowledge. On the second installment of the ‘Lost Tape’ series Purrp chops up deep cuts from various eras to shine a light on forgotten classics. Just like the first installment ‘Purple Hulk’ is an hour and twelve minute vibe out session that takes you into the abyss of rap culture.
On March 15, 2011 the Rap world lost a bonafide legend. The voice of ‘G-Funk’, Nate Dogg passed away. One day later SGP released a Purrped & Chopped tape in his honour. ‘Purrped & Chopped/ RIP Nate Dogg & DJ Screw’ is 7 tracks of ‘G-Funk’ greatness. Purrped & Chopped by none other than SpaceGhost himself. He continued his admirable trend of paying homage whenever necessary. Consider this tape a celebration of a Hip-Hop legend. The 7 track haze is a must listen for fans of slowed down music. SGP continued his honourable tirade by honouring a Hip-Hop legend who laid the foundation for future artists to succeed. The Purrped & Chopped series helped establish SGPs status as culture connoisseur.
Following the release of the Nate Dogg tribute tape SGP released ‘Purrped and Chopped: RIP DJ Muthaphukkin Screw’. Arguably Purrp’s most diverse tape of the series, the tape features songs from: Mos Def, Max B, Odd Future, Tangerine Dream and Three 6 Mafia. With ‘Purrped and Chopped: RIP DJ Muthaphukkin Screw’ SGP provides listeners with a full fledged palette of what inspired him. This tape is an essential listen if you are trying to dive into Purrp’s music taste during the early underground era. SpaceGhostPurrp continued his crusade to restore the 90’s feeling in rap with this addition to the Purrped & Chopped series.
Just before the dawn of Blackland Radio 66.6 came the most experimental tape of the Purrped & Chopped series. This tape was: ‘420 Tape: Purrped & Chopped’. The mixtape is a 40 minute trance inducing mash of slowed SGP instrumentals as well as SWV and Toro Y Moi cuts. The true gem of this tape is a track titled ‘DRKNZZ XF LXVX (Darkness of Love)’. In the song’s preamble Purrp shouts out several figures who have helped his profile grow. Artists such as Syd, Mike G, Speakz and Lil Ugly Mane are shouted out. The song is a remix of the ‘Been Fweago’ instrumental off of Blvcklvnd Rvdio 66.6. The hallowing instrumental is chopped, cut and slowed which intensifies one of SGPs darkest soundscapes to this date. Purrp refers to this track as his masterpiece and you can tell why once you start bumping this track. ‘420 Tape: Purrped & Chopped’ is the rarest tape from the Purrped & Chopped saga. It’s part Vaporwave, part DJ Screw. The uniqueness of the ‘420 Tape’ adds another dimension to the Purrped & Chopped series.
The release of Blvcklvnd Radio 66.6 brought a whole new wave of attention to SGPs world. In the wake of this new wave he added to his Purrped & Chopped series by releasing a new installment in the ‘Lost Tapes’ series. ‘NASA Underground: Lost Tapes (1997-2000)’ is the third edition of the Lost Tapes series and the sixth instalment in the Purrped & Chopped saga. SGP makes a return to the classic ‘Lost Tapes’ formula by mixing unreleased freestyles with classics from other artists. Just like its predecessors, this tape emulates the ‘Screw’ world nobly. ‘Lost Tapes (1997-2000) features two of the most profound tracks of the whole Purrped & Chopped era. ‘RIP Jitt Pt.1’ and ‘RIP Jitt Pt.2’. These songs are dedicated to Purrp’s fallen friend Ladarius ‘Jitt’ Frazier. SGP has dedicated his career to memorialising ‘Jitt’ and these two songs personify the pain Purrp feels after losing his close comrade. ‘RIP Jitt Pt.1’ and ‘RIP Jitt Pt.2’ are rare songs in SGPs career where he drops the mystique and allows us to witness the pain he felt when he lost his friend. We get to see the emotions of the underground messiah. This rare moment of introspectivity illustrate the hidden gems which exist in all the Purrped & Chopped tapes. Some of SGPs most experimental, emotional and groundbreaking work exists in the Purrped & Chopped era.
The next installment in the Purrped & Chopped series is ‘Club Nvzv (1995)’. This tape is another compilation of songs from other artists that receive the Purrped & Chopped treatment. This tape is the spiritual successor to ‘Purrped & Chopped: RIP DJ Muthaphukkin Screw’. ‘Clvb Nvzv (1995)’ focuses strictly on the grimiest of 90’s rap. The essence of the ‘Phonk’. This tape features songs from legendary artists such as: Master P, Trick Daddy and Lil Chill. Purrp again illustrates his profound knowledge of Hip-Hop classics throughout this tape. ‘Clvb Nvzv’ personifies Purrp’s 90s renaissance to the fullest extent. Undoubtedly, ‘Clvb Nvzv (1995)’ helped shape the music interests of his whole fanbase. This tape is the last installment in the ‘Purrped & Chopped’ era. He would continue to revert back to the ‘Purrped & Chopped’ style throughout his career. Releases such as the Alize Mix and the VENENO Series are the successors to the ‘Purrped & Chopped’ saga. The ‘Purrped & Chopped’ collection helped Purrp fulfil his mission of reviving the 90s rap world. These tapes helped SGP spread his wave across the underground. The Purrped & Chopped saga was one of a kind in the modern rap world. For those trying to delve into the career of Markese ‘Money’ Rolle the ‘Purrped & Chopped’ tapes are essential listens.
Aside, from the Purrped & Chopped tapes, SGP also released a plethora of ‘loose’ Purrped and Chopped songs and the ‘Summer Jam’ series through his YouTube channel. Again these tracks further propelled his aesthetic to the masses as he accompanied the ‘Summer Jam’ series with visuals. These visuals were a compilation of clips from throwback live performance shows such as ‘Soul Train’. Essentially these visuals are what was portrayed in the Migos’ ‘Walk It Talk It’ music video. Always ahead of his time, SpaceGhost used the Summer Jam series to further proliferate his artistic visions.
In retrospect these tapes represent a very unique part of Purrp’s legacy and his artistic journey. The Purrped & Chopped collection was an unprecedented vehicle for Purrp to proliferate his aesthetic. With each consequent release Purrp was single handedly reviving the 90s. Most importantly he was putting modern fans on to the legendary DJ Screw. Each tape serves as a history lesson, a crash course on how the hip-hop landscape felt in the 90s. This collection of tapes was a tribute to the legends that inspired and paved the way for artists like SpaceGhostPurrp. SGP was in the midst of paying his dues and he ensured he educated his fans on what’s really real. SGP was on a one man crusade to revive that underground culture of the 90s.
In terms of its legacy, Purrped & Chopped is slept on. The mixtapes are certainly an acquired taste. They exist as evidence on how SGP created his universe from the ground up. ‘NASA: The Mixtape’ broke the doors down for Purrp. Whilst the Purrped & Chopped saga helped entrench his status as the internet rap scenes mystical overlord. Just as Screw put the South onto classics from other regions, SpaceGhostPurrp put the internet onto the rare and real classics from various eras of Rap. It seemed like Purrp had the recipe to transform the music world forever. He would do just that with his next official mixtape release.
THE BLVCKLVND SUPERNOVA: “THE DOPEST ALBUM OF 1991” (UNTIL FOREVER)
Blackland Radio 66.6 changed the world forever. The mixtape was released on May 1, 2011 and has since become one of the most influential mixtapes of the 2010s. The visions, sounds, flows and presentation of this tape set the standard for the new era of underground rap. This project altered nearly every aspect of the rap world. The tape chronicles SpaceGhostPurrp’s evolution from the creator of the ‘space swag’ into the rap game’s number 1 anarchist. Blackland tore down the walls of traditional song structure, sounds, presentation and it changed the traditional mixtape formula. It is one of the few projects that can claim that it changed the game forever. But how exactly did it change the world? It’s time to take an in-depth look into the supernova that is Blackland Radio 66.6.
Before pressing play on the 20+ track bible of Blackland it is instantly evident that this project is not for the faint-of-heat. Two things that discern Blackland from other mixtapes that were released during this era are its track listing and art direction. The cover of Blackland Radio 66.6 is a pen-and-pixel inspired masterpiece. The artwork was crafted by Lil Ugly Mane. This mixtape art depicts Purrp amongst headstones and a pile of skulls. Flanking Purrp are two quotes which have since become iconic. These quotes are “Suck a Dick for 2011 Swag” and “Dopest Album in 1991”. The cover is reminiscent of Lil B’s Red Flame and Blue Flame tapes with the main difference being the darkness depicted on the Blackland cover. The purple background coupled with the skulls and headstones make Blackland a perfect fit alongside any Memphis rap tape of the early 90s. The art direction of Blackland is so important because it adds to the overwhelming experience of the mixtape. The art direction personifies the sound of the tape and this helped Blackland become the genre-shifting force it is now renowned as.
The tracklisting is another aspect, outside of the music, that makes Blackland such a legendary tape. The song titles are all written in SGP’s secret code; the Raider Hieroglyphics. A’s became V’s, O’s became X’s, E’s became X’s and U’s became V’s. The formula for the hieroglyphics were simple but it made fans feel like they deciphering a hidden ‘g-code’. Little elements such as the hieroglyphics added dynamism to the Blackland recipe and furthermore to SGP’s aesthetic. Blackland’s art direction and the hieroglyphics helped the project transcend music. The total package is what made Blackland shift the culture. The Raider Hieroglyphics have since become synonymous with Purrp, his affiliates (Raider Klan & ASAP) and his fanbase. The hieroglyphics became a phenomena. Influence is often a speculative subject but when you have an art direction so unique you can clearly see what it brought to the culture. SGP coupled this unique art direction with game changing sound to create music history.
Blackland Radio 66.6 starts off on an aggressive note. ‘Possessed’ sets the tone for the Blvcklvnd adventure with its dark and gritty lo-fi quality. ‘Possessed’ restores that cassette tape feeling right from the outset. SGP starts off the track with an iconic rant that exemplifies why the song is titled ‘Possessed’. Following the rant, a Mortal Kombat sound is summoned from the depths as it transitions to the Lex Luger-esque beat. The soundscape may be similar to Lex Luger’s beats however SGP’s subject matter quickly separates this song from the standard trap song. On the hook Purrp screeches: “Possessed, possessed, bitch I’m bout it, look in my eyes, why would I lie”. This screeching, screaming delivery is more suited for heavy metal than it is conventional rap. That is the beauty of Blackland, it goes so far against the grain of what was the status quo at the time. ‘Possessed’ should be viewed as the track where Purrp created ‘Trap Metal’, a sub genre he would expound upon in 2014 with his IntoXXXicated project. The tone and style of this song escapes the usual rap tropes and instead takes the less traveled Odd Future path of anarchistic angst. As soon as you press play on Blackland you are taken in to the depths of an un-mastered, angst-ridden, dark and grimy world in which Purrp reigns supreme. ‘Possessed’ is a stark contrast to the ‘space swag’ of the NASA era. The Blackland supernova was about to take off.
After being thrown into the abyss of Blackland via ‘Possessed’ we take a right turn into the hedonistic nightlife with ‘SAND 2011’. ‘SAND 2011’ is one of the most popular songs spawned from this project. Odd Future and The Internet member Syd dropped this song at the various shows she would DJ. This opened SGP to a floodgate of new fandom and it was one of those moments that helped catapult his status in the underground world. A career defining moment for Purrp. A co-sign from Odd Future in 2011 was a major coup. This added exposure helped cement ‘SAND 2011’ as one of the biggest bangers in underground history. A banger which remains in many playlist rotations until this very day. Sonically the song is very different to ‘Possessed’. It maintains that anarchist energy. Due to the lo-fi, limit breaking nature of the beat and the vocals. ‘SAND 2011’ is championed by an infectious loop of a FL (Fruity Loops) stock sound which combines with the Blackland drum package to create havoc on your speaker system. It remains one of the hardest hitting instrumentals to come out of the underground. Lyrically, SGP spits debauchery that is befitting of the songs title (Suck A N*gga Dick 2011). The debaucherous content and the infectious beat make ‘SAND 2011’ the ideal party starter at any underground function. ‘SAND 2011’ is homage to the Three 6 Mafia track ‘Suck A N*gga Dick’. It exemplifies how SGP is willing to repay those who inspired him with the necessary homage. ‘SAND 2011’ is a rare stroke of genius. It is the anthem which catapulted SGP into cult status. An anthem which helped birth the supernova of Blackland.
Purrp would revert back to the ‘trap metal’ sound for ‘Fuck Taylor Gang (Not a Diss We Just Not Dickriders)’. The title of the track screams anarchy which follows the general theme of the Blackland Radio. Underground fans were praising Purrp for dissing the movement of Wiz Khalifa but he debunked the claim that it was a diss to Wiz. Purrp insisted that this song was a diss to a gang of people in his hood who used the Taylor Gang moniker. It was essentially a diss to those who were followers AKA ‘dickriders’. Despite the abrasive title of the song, Wiz Khalifa would collaborate with Purrp on the song ‘T.A.P.’ which Purrp produced. SGP restores the ‘trap metal’ vibe on ‘Fuck Tayor Gang’ by sampling a menacing guitar riff and intertwining them with the staple sounds of the Blackland era. These sounds being the: Mortal Kombat screech, Godzilla sound, speaker breaking kicks, drums and 808s. On the track Purrp vehemently decrees: “If you rep what you rep gon n rep that, it’s the Raiders in this bitch wearing all black”. This passage from Purrp is important because it establishes the Raider Klan’s M.O. It personifies the Raiders as all black rockin’ soldiers who will rep their sets at any costs. On ‘Fuck Taylor Gang’ SGP announces that the Raider Klan are willing to go against the grain and that they are here to stay. SpaceGhostPurrp had founded the Raider Klan a few years before the release of Blackland; ‘Fuck Taylor Gang’ and Blackland Radio 66.6 helped establish the Raider Klan movement.
Through the first three tracks on Blackland Purrp set the tone of the tape. The first three tracks encapsulate the gritty, grimy and low-fidelity qualities of early Memphis Rap tapes. These tracks also show that Blackland is not a cookie-cutter rehash of the 90’s wave. Instead SGP adds unique elements to the tape that set it apart from anything else in the rap world. The journey through Blackland continued with SGP taking us to the tunnels for ‘Get Yah Head Bust’. The Mortal Kombat theme sampling track creates an unsettling ambience which will have the most fearless person paranoid. ‘Get Yah Head Bust’ is another defining song for Purrp’s career. ‘SAND 2011’ was the prototypical ‘banger’ that broke Purrp through to a wider audience but ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ became the song which established his wave and aesthetic. The harrowing dark ambience, the video game sample and the enchanting psychotic lyrical content that are present on ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ became the benchmark for the quintessential Purrp experience. This song is part- horrorcore, part- new age boom bap. A fusion of the deepest cuts from DJ Sound mixed with the ‘choppy’ vibe of RZA’s group the ‘Gravediggaz’. The atmosphere created by SGP is unparalleled and this atmosphere is why ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ is a standout song. This cut off Blackland was a collision course of the grimy East Coast sound and the harrowing nature of Memphis Rap. Purrp brought two of the grimiest worlds together. ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.
On ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ Purrp took us to the tunnels. The depths of Blackland. Once we escape the tunnels we move back into the debaucherous world which was introduced on ‘SAND 2011’. SGP expounds upon the ‘strip club steez’ of Blackland by blessing us with ‘Grind On Me’. ‘Grind On Me’ takes the same soundscape from ‘SAND 2011’ and rearranges it in a less frenetic way. It’s a song to mack to, whereas ‘SAND 2011’ is a song to mosh to. ‘Grind On Me’ remains a hidden gem in Purrp’s discography. It offers a change of pace on the project. ‘Grind On Me’ brings us out of the tunnels and lets us vibe for a few minutes amongst the chaos of Blackland.
SpaceGhostPurrp keeps the strip club shaking on Blackland by following up ‘Grind On Me’ with ‘Like A Strippah’. Purrp maintains his player mack status on this track by producing an up tempo beat that only can be described as one-of-a-kind. ‘Like A Strippah’ features menacing keys, chops, mortal kombat squeals and the classic Blackland drum patterns to create a vibe that will get any girl “twerkin’ it like some strippers”. ‘Like A Strippah’ shows Purrp’s proficiency at creating strip-club fuelled hedonistic bangers. His up-tempo beats remain other worldly and he delivers his lustful rhymes with a rare vigor to create the perfect soundscapes for all the trill strip clubs out there.
Spaceghost keeps us on this hedonistic path by following up ‘Like A Strippah’ with the laid back haze that is ‘Take Dat Dick’. ‘Take Dat Dick’ is the after party anthem. The slowed down drowned out haze of ‘Take Dat Dick’ is best suited for late night vibe sessions with your significant other. Mack-ology 101 is on display throughout the track. His flawless ability to seamlessly switch between his punk rock anarchist mentality and his worldwide pimp mind-state is displayed several times throughout Blackland. This ability is a true testament to his prodigious artistry. ‘Take Dat Dick’ is another sonic masterpiece which further proliferates SGP’s genius sound design. The elements of the ‘Take Dat Dick’ beat are familiar to a lot of the other self-produced cuts on Blackland. Purrp’s transcendent ability at managing to alter and merge these elements allow him to keep each beat as mind-blowing as the last. ‘Take Dat Dick’ sees Purrp slow these elements down to create a hazy and smoked out ambience which continues our trip through the hedonistic world of Blackland. When cooking the beats on Blackland it seems Purrp is creating the recipe for aural hell. Except this aural hell is just as beautiful as it is scary. Like an evil deity Purrp has us under the spell of Blackland for the duration of the tape. The evil chemist of the rap world, SGP would darken the world with his Blackland Supernova.
‘Mack Named Purrp‘ is the magnum opus of macking, pimping and vibing. Blackland started off by alternating between the anarchist-spirited tracks (Possessed, Fuck Taylor Gang, Get Ya Head Bust) and the hedonistic strip club bangers (SAND 2011, Grind On Me) but from tracks 5-8 (Grind On Me, Like A Strippah, Take Dat Dick and Mack Named Purrp) the mastermind SGP would diverge us in to the debauchery of Blackland. The Barry White sampling song continues to portray the visions of an everyday mack in South Florida. These ‘strip-club’ and ‘player-mack’ anthems help Purrp assert his identity as a Miami-bred artist. Miami was the birthplace of Unkle Luke and the 2 Live Crew. A rap group which pioneered the sex-fuelled subgenre of rap which became known as ‘Miami Bass’. ‘Miami Bass’ music was created for the sole purpose of getting women to “shake what they mama gave ya”. It holds a special place in the culture of Miami. Essentially it was music created for the players and pimps to get their mack on. Although Purrp’s sounds are a far cry from the ‘Miami Bass’ movement it can be said that his anthems intended for the strip clubs, for the players and the macks have their roots bound in Miami Bass culture. Through these lustful tracks SGP is both asserting his identity as a South Floridian and reviving aspects of Miami Bass culture with his own twist. These songs about macking, strip clubs and sex culture are subtle odes to his upbringing as a Floridian and to his love of Southern culture in the 90’s.
For ‘Mack Named Purrp’ SGP samples the prince of pillow talk, Barry White, to create an instrumental masterpiece which would later be used for the Juicy J track ‘20 Zig-Zags’. ‘Mack Named Purrp’ is the perfect contrast between the limit-breaking and speaker knocking elements of Blackland and the otherworldly ambience created by the Barry White sample. The sample has you floating on cloud 9 whilst the kicks bring you back in to the depths of Blackland. Flow wise, Purrp utilises a cadence that was brought to prominence by Southern rap in the 90’s. The flow furthers Purrp’s mission to create a 90’s revival. Purrp raps: “Project Pat should be coming back to slap y’all in the mouth, Bring the 90’s back to the fuckin’ South”. Mack Named Purrp is one of the best tracks from Blackland. It sets the table perfectly for ‘Tha Phonk’ which truly revived the 90’s Southern flow.
‘Tha Phonk’ is a song which helps define the 2010’s. It is a track which is largely responsible for the Memphis revival that would play out during the rest of the 2010’s. ‘Tha Phonk’ is one of SpaceGhostPurrp most revered songs from his storied career. The song features SGP reviving a flow which is associated with the legendary Three 6 Mafia. Using Three 6 Mafia’s ‘Late Night Tip’ instrumental, SGP formally introduces us to the Phonk. This song is his passion fuelled mission statement to revive the 90’s. Couple this impactful song with the powerful music video and it created a work of art which shifted the culture. The video depicts SGP, in an iconic all black fit, dwelling on his lonely in various grimy locations. Brandishing an occult like skull SGP presents himself as an imposing figure. The all black, gold teeth swag depicted in this video has become commonplace in the modern rap game but it is this music video which revived that aesthetic. SGP’s subtle aesthetic differences such as the: hieroglyphics, unique descriptions on his YouTube uploads and his generally mysterious online persona were brought to life in the music video for ‘Tha Phonk’. For the first time ever viewers were exposed to SGP’s aesthetic in the flesh. The way it was presented in ‘Tha Phonk’ music video left a lasting impression on the underground rap world. Blackland was the tape that opened the world’s eyes to Purrp whilst the music video for ‘Tha Phonk’ helped the vision of Blackland take over the world. ‘Tha Phonk’ is one of the most important songs of the 2010’s and its music video helped shape the underground world.
After several tracks which display Purrp’s mack-ology, ‘Tha Phonk’ was a return to the anarchist tone set by the opening tracks of Blackland. Purrp continues this anarchist nature with the next song ‘Underground’. ‘Underground’ is another ‘fuck you’ to the conventional rap industry. Purrp raps: “This ain’t no J. Cole Rock n Roll, this that Raider shit” which characterises the Raider’s as the contrarians of the rap game. On the hook SGP raps: “Fuck all these weak rappers who won’t survive in the motherfuckin’ underground”. ‘Underground’ is the track which draws the battle lines between the industry and the new age underground. Entering the 2010’s the underground was revolutionised by Lil B the Based God. His esoteric swag and his utilisation of the internet helped inspire a whole wave of independent artists who would use the internet as their medium to establish their careers. SGP was among this new breed of internet artists. Songs such as ‘Underground’ helped set the parameters for what an underground artist embodied in this new internet era. ‘Underground’ encapsulates the anarchist and contrarian principles which would reign atop the moral hierarchy in this new age of internet music. For this track Purrp crafts a soundscape which would be fitting for a boss battle in any classic video game. Sampling rokOPERA’s ‘Zombie 98’, a track from Italian horror film ‘Zombie’ (or Zombi 2), SGP continues his trend of taking the most obscure tracks and bringing them into the void of Blackland. ‘Underground’ laid down the laws to the followers of this new age of internet music. The underground revolution was brewing and Blackland helped bring this revolution to fruition.
SpaceGhostPurrp switches up the flow and tone of Blackland with ‘1991 Thowed’. This track is another one which displays his desire to revive the 90’s rap world. ‘1991 Thowed’ features Purrp rapping over a swirly and drowsy G-Funk instrumental. An ode to the West-Coast’s gangsta rap hay day. Purrp also pays homage to DJ Screw by slowing the track down for all the drank sippers out there. The freestyle interlude serves as a nice reminder to the listener of what Purrp’s mission was at the time. This mission was, of course, to restore the feelings, sounds and swag of 1990’s rap music. He wanted to bring back that true underground vibe. He also wanted to ensure that the legends from each region got their necessary homage. East, West, North or South, SGP was riding for every legend. ‘1991 Thowed’ is a welcome change of pace from the chaos of Blackland Radio 66.6. It is also another selfless act of homage from Purrp. These acts of homage have been commonplace throughout his career. Especially on the next track ‘Tha Real’.
‘Tha Real’ sees SGP continue on his West Coast crusade. For this song, SGP tackles an Eazy-E instrumental to provide listeners with a much needed smoke break on the harrowing Blackland adventure. We catch Purrp in his laid back mack status yet again on this West Coast fuelled cut. ‘Tha Real’ is another freestyle track like the previous song ‘1991 Thowed’ and it serves as a smoke break of the Blackland tape. A true escape from the anarchist and debaucherous nature that is displayed predominantly on the mixtape.
Throughout Blackland Purrp was displaying his selflessness by constantly paying homage to the 90’s pioneers that inspired him. SGP took his selflessness to the next level by placing other underground artists’ songs on Blackland Radio 66.6. The first song from an artist other than SGP that we encounter is ‘My Hood’ which is performed by Lil Ugly Mane and produced by Ahnu. This track is the perfect introduction to the architect of the Blackland cover art. Lil Ugly Mane, just like SGP, was beginning to make waves in the underground scene with his own Southern inspired melancholic music. This placement on Blackland introduced Purrp’s fans to the mysterious figure that was Lil Ugly Mane. Ugly Mane would go on to build a large cult following himself. This placement on Blackland can be viewed as something that sowed the seeds for his meteoric rise in the underground world. Aside from Lil Ugly Mane, Purrp also placed songs that he produced for other artists on Blackland. These artists were: JK The Reaper, Stonergang (Sortahuman, JoeyBagaDonuts & Dizzy D), and Main Attrakionz. All these artists would go on to forge their own paths in the underground and this placement on Blackland will forever make them a part of history. SGP’s placement of other artists songs on Blackland shows his true selflessness. Purrp was still building his own platform but he was willing to share the spotlight that he had with his underground cohorts. Although a lot of Blackland’s content can be viewed as divisive SGP’s placement of other artists songs on this mixtape shows that deep down he is an honourable man who was trying to promote unity in the underground scene. These other artists songs do not detract from the Blackland experience at all. If anything it adds to the ‘radio-station’ aesthetic that the title insinuates. It is also an illustration of the unity that was present within the burgeoning underground scene in 2011.
‘Been Fweago’ is yet another classic cut from the transcendent Blackland Radio project. ‘Been Fweago’ features haunting soundscapes comparable to ‘Get Ya Head Bust’. If Purrp took us to the tunnels on ‘Get Ya Head Bust’ then on ‘Been Fweago’ SGP took us to the asylum. The eerie ambience created by the bells combined with the chaotic build up and breakdown of the beat will have listeners in a lucid state of pandemonium. Purrp’s career is full of some of the most experimental sonics to come out of the Hip-Hop world. ‘Been Fweago’ might be one of his rawest creations. ‘Been Fweago’ is the sonic descent into the underworld. It is your worst nightmare in .mp3 form. Purrp’s genius is on full display with ‘Been Fweago’. The left-field composition of the beat, the trance inducing hook and SGP’s razor sharp verses combine to create an infectious experience. Lyrically, Purrp embodies the hustler’s mentality: “Can’t get a job so you try to sell coke”. ‘Been Fweago’ is all about getting it how you live regardless of your situation. It is the psychotic hustlers bible. Drugs, Money, Bitches and getting ‘Fweago’. Once the song has played through in its entirety Purrp runs it back and slows it down for all the screwheads out there. SpaceGhostPurrp’s fanbase is often referred to as a cult. ‘Been Fweago’ is one of Purrp’s finest seances to date.
‘Been Fweago’ sent listeners on an endless descent into the depths of the underworld. Following the pandemonium of ‘Been Fweago’ we encounter ‘Captain Planet’. SGP channels his NASA origins by crafting a beat that is fit for the milky way galaxy. ‘Captain Planet’ samples Tangerine Dream’s ‘Remote Viewing’ (which was featured on the GTA IV soundtrack). The combination of Purrp’s hard hitting elements with the inherent esoterism that is present in Tangerine Dream’s music creates a true sonic blessing. This esoteric soundscape adds another vibe to the Blackland palette. Pitchfork once characterised Purrp as “…woozy Wu-Tang loops… paired with an off-the-dome rapping style that’s equal parts Lil Wayne and Lil B”. This is perhaps best exhibited on ‘Captain Planet’. On the first verse of the track SGP uses a polished rhyme scheme and he drastically switches this to a quasi-based flow for the second verse. His ability to emulate their style (Wayne & Wu-Tang) and ad-hoc switch to the signature based flow (which was pioneered by Lil B) exemplifies his ability to remain fluid as an artist. These ad-hoc switch ups exemplify the underground landscape at the time. At this time, underground music was all about self-expression. Through the constant switch of sonics, rhyme schemes and thematic styles Purrp was essentially doing whatever he wanted. He abandoned the norms and changed things up ad-hoc. Something that traditionalists would stray away from doing. These ad-hoc switch ups on ‘Captain Planet’ and on a larger scale Blackland Radio 66.6 create a crash course of differing styles and movements. It’s part 90’s renaissance and part new age anarchism. Purrp provides us with microcosms of rap history. ‘Captain Planet’ is one of those microcosms.
As stated before, Pitchfork characterised SGP as: “…woozy Wu-Tang loops… paired with an off-the-dome rapping style that’s equal parts Lil Wayne and Lil B” because of his ability to replicate, blend and interpolate aspects of various styles. ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids (RIP ODB)’ sees Purrp channel 36 Chambers RZA to decree himself the “Osiris of the underground”. This song sees Purrp deliver technical rhymes over a sparse instrumental which is reminiscent of early Wu-Tang works. ‘Osiris of The East Pyramids’ is SGP’s homage to the golden age of East Coast Rap. The boom bap era. SGP often pays homage to the Southern culture of the 90’s whereas ‘Osiris of The East Pyramids’ demonstrates that Purrp has love for every coast. He is a true Hip-Hop connoisseur.
‘Legend of the East Pyramids’ provides another surprise to the listener. For this track, SGP flips Portishead’s song ‘Strangers’ from their acclaimed album ‘Dummy’. Purrp provides the obscure goodness with this sample. ‘Legend of the East Pyramids’ continues down the grimy, gritty and hazy path of ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids’ and ‘Get Ya Head Bust’. The boom-bap, East Coast tunnel renaissance is in full effect.
Another aspect which is rarely discussed about both ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids’ and ‘Legend of the East Pyramids’ are the connotations of these tracks. The use of mythological terms such as ‘Osiris’ and ‘Pyramids’ are little insights into Purrp’s enlightenment and his beliefs. ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids’ is a track in which Purrp asserts himself as the ‘Osiris’ of the underground world. The Osiris is an Egyptian God. The references to Pyramids in the song title further stress this enlightenment present in the shadows of these tracks. This element of enlightenment is important in the context of Blackland Radio 66.6 because it is often mis-cast as a demonic mixtape due to its abrasive title. The sounds, themes and vibe of Blackland are undoubtedly dark but this glimpse of enlightenment was an insight into the knowledge SGP possessed. ‘Legend of the East Pyramids’ and ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids’ are gritty in their nature. They are also gems of light within the depths of the Blackland tunnels. Blackland Radio was Purrp’s journey through darkness. These two tracks shows the light he has within. He would unleash this light to all by transforming from ‘Dark to Light’ during the ‘God of Black’ era. The seeds were being sown for his incoming wave of empowerment on ‘Osiris of the East Pyramids’ and ‘Legend of the East Pyramids’.
We continue to aimlessly dwell around the tunnels of Blackland as Purrp introduces us to his Raider lifestyle on ‘Rath of a Raider’. SGP continues his 90’s East Coast revival by hopping on Low Lives’ ‘Ill Rhymes’ instrumental. An extremely deep cut from the late 90’s. On ‘Rath of a Raider’ SGP goes into great detail about the lifestyles and ideals of the now infamous Raider Klan. “Feel the wrath of a Raider, he’s a trendsetter and a skater, constantly thinking bout the paper” are his opening bars on the track which instantly proliferates the Raider mentality. He utilises the wordplay heavy rhyme schemes that were prevalent during the boom-bap era. He drops gems such as: “Lyrically Warren Sapp my metaphors will tackle you”. He intertwines these gems with lyrical images of the Raider Klan ethos: “He’s too smart, with a cold heart, don’t come to me crying bitch I laugh like Kevin Hart”, “Leather jacket, all black, with the Raider snapback and the timbs [Timberlands] to match, it’s all love black”, “The only crew to walk around like the Terminator, get out of line you lil bitch and feel the wrath of a Raider”. ‘Rath of a Raider’ is SGP’s most impressive and focused lyrical effort on Blackland. Over the classic boom-bap sound, SGP was able to vividly explain and characterise the lifestyle of a Raider Klan soldier. Although Raider Klan was established locally by Purrp in 2008, ‘Rath of a Raider’ is the track which gave us the image of what a Raider stood for and what they were going to look like. It gave credence to the Raider movement. It played a role in birthing a movement that changed the music landscape forever.
‘Rath of a Raider’ was the manifesto for the Klan movement. Following this manifesto we are thrown back into the frenzied chaos of Blackland with ‘Tha Power’. ‘Tha Power’ restores the chaotic, mind bending energy of ‘Possessed’ and the pandemonium of ‘Been Fweago’. The incessant squeals, high pitched sirens and distressing sounds provoke a chaos within the mind. This track is another one which encapsulates the youthful and bounding energy within Blackland. Another track which speaks to the anarchist within us all. ‘Tha Power’ and its youthful, anarchistic energy ensures that it fits perfectly amongst the delirium of Blackland.
For the closing track of Blackland Radio 66.6, Markese Money Rolle aka SpaceGhostPurrp glides with quasi-based nonchalant raps over 2Pac’s ‘Against All Odds’ instrumental. After the epic journey through Blackland you would expect a crescendo ending. However in classic SGP fashion he throws convention to the wayside and closes the project with a hazed-out, one-take Based freestyle. This contrarian ending is the perfect way to end Blackland Radio. Holistically, the tape is all about crushing norms and restoring the feel of a bygone era in rap music. With this outro Purrp throws one last jab to convention and again ends things on his terms. Blackland is a crash course of sounds, styles and aesthetics. Instead of ending with a bang it ends with a hazy whisper. ‘Fuck The Golddiggaz’ keeps us in the cycle of Blackland. It leaves us wanting more. It leaves us wanting the crescendo moment. However the crescendo is within all of Blackland. We are thrown from one sonic extreme to the next, from one rhyme scheme to the next and from one mortal kombat squeal to the next. We experience highs or crescendos throughout the whole tape. By ending the tape on a rather unassuming note, Purrp leaves us under his mystic spell. He keeps us fiending for the future of his journey. One of the greatest tapes of our generation ends on a murmur, but real underground heads wouldn’t have it any other way.
In conclusion, Blackland is one of the greatest projects in modern Rap history. It is one of the few projects that is responsible for shifting the whole culture. One of the few projects that changed the music world forever. With Blackland Radio, SGP did not just achieve his goal of reviving the 90’s, he also breathed life into the next generation of artists. The dark, chaotic, hazy and frenzied sounds, the selfless displays of homage, the constant echoing of Godzilla and Mortal Kombat sound effects, the angsty, anarchist, debaucherous, lustful and introspective lyrical themes and the groundbreaking aesthetic fused together to create the ‘Phonk’. The ‘Phonk’ would change the world forever. Max B brought the wave in the late 2000’s and SpaceGhostPurrp brought the ‘Phonk’ in the 2010s.
The NASA Tape showed SGP’s boundless potential. He was a young kid with a vision to change the rap game for the better. He had visions of being a reviving the 90’s rap scene. Traumatic life experiences growing up in Carol City, Miami and a passion for music led to the birth of Blackland Radio 66.6. A tape which personifies the youthful anarchist. Blackland is a ‘fuck-you’ to the rap game and it’s an eye opener to whoever is willing to listen. Purrp’s evolution from NASA Tape to Blackland is one-of-a-kind. Those who heard NASA: The Mixtape when it released caught a glimpse of Purrp’s potential. He had exceeded and fulfilled this potential within the space of a year. SpaceGhostPurrp’s monumental progression was just the beginning. The rise of the Raiders was about to come to fruition.
For many, Blackland Radio is a piece of art that defines who they are. It opened our eyes to new sounds, styles, artists and new movements. It tapped into our inherent anarchist nature and provoked our desire to defy the norms and be different. Blackland is the ultimate cult classic. It is also the best kept secret of the rap game. Stumbling upon Blackland Radio shortly after it’s release was life changing for those who listened. It was the equivalent of finding that inspirational book that transformed your livelihood or finding a passion that drives and motivates you. Blackland Radio 66.6 was one of those rare works of art that transformed who you were, who you listened to and how you dressed. It shaped your artistic identity. It was deeper than simply being another mixtape. Blackland shaped the undergrounds identity. Soon we were rocking all-black, gold teeth, changing our A’s to V’s and our E’s to X’s. At one point all underground fans were showcasing their inner Raider. Some took a liking to the dark nature of Blackland, others took a liking to the anarchist ‘fuck the world’ nature of Blackland whilst others embraced the history within Blackland Radio 66.6. No matter what aspects you personally took a liking to, these forces (darkness, anarchy, history) worked in unison to transform your artistic being.
Blackland Radio 66.6’s legacy will forever remain underrated in the public eye. Simply because it is a niche project. It’s too lo-fi for audiophiles, too abrasive for Hip-Hop purists and generally too out of control for those who aren’t in tune. The only legacy Blackland holds amongst the mainstream world is a 7.1 review from Pitchfork, a handful of references in Denzel Curry interviews and an interlude dedicated to Blackland on Curry’s latest studio album ‘Zuu’. This lack of public recognition is the biggest hole in the legacy of Blackland Radio. Its legacy amongst underground fans is immeasurable. But it has never received its rightful ‘swan-song’ in the public eye. Blackland empowered the youth like no other project before or after it. To many of us, SpaceGhostPurrp is our equivalent to Wu-Tang, NWA, Cash Money Records, DJ Screw, No Limit Records and many of the other legends from the 90’s. This is because Blackland inspired, shaped and impacted a whole generation of listeners just as these various movements during the 90’s did. General ignorance will forever withhold Blackland Radio 66.6 from receiving the recognition it deserves as the most impactful tape of the 2010’s. Today’s rap game is fuelled by artists, aesthetics and visions inspired by Blackland Radio 66.6. If you know, you know. The real will forever acknowledge SGP as a forefather in the modern rap world.
After the release of Blackland Radio 66.6 there was newfound attention on SpaceGhostPurrp. He was posted on the iconic MISHKA bloglin which was notorious for breaking new underground talent. He was also profiled on LA Weekly. Purrp had become the flavour of the month. SGP would parlay this buzz into pushing his Raider Klan movement, forming the Trillwave with Speakz! And he would continue to build his buzz by moving to New York to create with Harlem upstart ASAP Rocky. The two would combine forces to create another game changing movement. The ASAP Raiders. The future was looking bright for Purrp and soon a whole era of Rap would begin. The evolution of SpaceGhostPurrp would continue as he would morph into the God of Black.
To be continued…