Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp

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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries

After opening his official debut album with that "Russian recording of Hell" hoax looped into a sample, the aptly dubbed rapper/producer SpaceGhostPurrp offers "I don't have money, I don’t have cars/All I have is the truth and a couple of bars" before nailing his attractiveness with "Destroying competition 'cuz the style is unique." Sure the stuff underneath borrows from witch house, cloud rap, and every other underground scene that doesn't want to be a scene in 2012, but Purrp's got his own way with this damned and foggy sound, explaining it on "No Evidence," saying his beats are "mystical things, vibrating like a beeper" as the epic night track creeps along for seven minutes of haunted elegance and whispered hooks. Those hooks and the crafted flow to each song here separate this ghost from A$AP Rocky and the rest of the Blvck Scvle set (all sharing a love of flipping their "A"s upside down for "V"s), and if you mention that this underground mixtape hero comes from Miami, you'd better remind folks that it's Florida that gave us Trina and true American death metal along with the glittery business of Pitbull and Rick Ross. There isn't a hint of Lebron or South Beach here as "Danger" comes off as the most blazed and dark booty music imaginable, while previous mixtape hits "Suck a Dick 2012" (a slow zombie pimp cut) and "The Black God" (a motivational number for creatures of the night) return with fuller, more expansive production thanks to Purrp's promotion from bedroom producer to well-funded beatmaker on the 4AD label. The legendary imprint fits as his music evokes smoke, darkness, soft focus, shut eyes, and other things you might find on a This Mortal Coil or Dead Can Dance album cover, but the most beneficial bit is the money, turning mixtape dreams into full-bodied recordings that could warm any tube amp or shake any trunk. While no hood language is sacrificed, the cohesiveness found on his best mixtapes is lacking, although SpaceGhostPurrp warned fans that this was a sampler platter more than anything, meant to take his subterranean sounds aboveground and allow for rebooting before the real official, official. On that level, it succeeds, offering an easy, accessible entry point into this Dark Knight's world.

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