Two months ago, Miami rapper and producer Spaceghostpurrp's YouTube channel registered a few hundred views. But one dip into the then-nineteen-year-old's world of viscous sound waves had us hooked: It sounds as though he's sunk a creaky, abandoned arcade into a sea of thickened cough syrup. Yet just as easily, he rockets you out of that ominous oblivion with the kind of ricocheting bass lines born only in the South.
We were so excited we had to write about him. We weren't alone--in early April, Odd Future's Syd tha Kyd began playing his music before their shows, and now his name is all over your Twitter timeline. We called him and got this interview:
LA WEEKLY: Your rise has been crazy. The rapper Speak played you for me, I had to find you immediately, and within a few weeks, everybody was talking about you all the time.
SPACEGHOSTPURRP: Yeah. I think after your LA Weekly shit, people were curious. Like, "Who the fuck is this n*gga?"
Even though I wrote that post on March 29th, it's still getting hits--a lot of hits--almost two months later.
That's crazy, man. We gotta fuck it up when I get out there. Spaceghostpurrp is gonna search all these ancient lost places for these sounds that people never discovered, and he's gonna play them to hypnotize you. Get high, and listen to my shit. When you do that, I got you.
The optimum listening condition for Spaceghostpurrp's music is being high?
When you're sober, you're gonna like it. But when you're high--you know how when you watch a 3-D movie without the glasses? You put on the glasses, and what happens? It's like you're in the movie. When you're high, it's like, "I don't know who this n*gga is but I feel like he's rapping in my face right now, and it's tripping me out." Even when I blow, and listen to my shit, I think, "I don't even remember making this shit! Is this me?"
This is gonna sound like a conspiracy theory, but after your YouTube videos were deleted, and then your Twitter page got deleted, I had this feeling that maybe you were this secret industry creation, not a real person.
Whaaaaat? (laughs) Naw, I'm just independent. You know how we do it in the South.
I treat my songs like clothes. I match all my clothes. So my beats gotta match my lyrics, and the way I rap gotta match the beat. That's why I sound different on every song. It's kinda throwing people off, like "Is this the same person?" But yes, it is me.
I put 666 [in the title of hist latest, Blackland Radio 66.6] not because Odd Future put 666, but because it's the mark of the beast. How many heads did the beast have? More than one. I am the mark of the beast. I have more than one head style. So it's deeper than rap. Rap is just the music.
I got my ear for music from my father, and I get my lyrical skills from my mother. She's from the '80s, she came up in the MC Lyte era.
When I was 13, I just started practicing on my bass lines, because I used to play the drums when I was in second grade. I knew about bass patterns, and the snares, and from there, my dad was on top of me when I was making music, saying, "Your bass lines are crazy, your snares are popping, but you gotta have that sound that when a bitch hear that shit, they gonna be about to die." And so every night, I'd stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning just finding crazy shit. 'Cause without bass, you ain't got shit. As long as you got that bass, that right sound, and the right flow, and then you switch it up on 'em, people are gonna be like, "Damn."
This Raider Clan shit is about to get serious. On some Michael Jackson shit, like how he took over the world.
Tell me about Raider Clan.
Raider Clan is a clan of skaters, hipsters, misunderstood kids who are considered weird to kids known as hypebeasts. A hypebeast is a kid who--put it like this: You know how you go to the hood, and the n*ggas in the hood gotta have their Air Force 1's, their dreads, their gold. They gotta look like somebody else instead of being themselves. Raider Clan is a clan of people who've had their hearts broken--been lied to, cheated on taken advantage of--and they were like, fuck this shit, I can't take it anymore. The only people I'm gonna be loyal to are the people who've been there for me. Everybody else gets the cold shoulder. The black heart is what Raiders have. That's why we wear black. You show people your weakness, and they're gonna turn around and give you they ass to kiss. Our black shades represent the blindness--I don't see them. The Raider hat is just to let a bitch know. Our uniform. We wear all black to represent our hearts.
So what broke your heart?
Well, I'm from Miami. This shit is ... you ever been here before? People who haven't grown up in Miami, they're lucky. Miami is fucked up. If you wanna know who Satan really is, come live down here. Satan is in everybody down here. Satan ruined this shit; this is his playground. Everybody on yayo. Nobody wanna be shit here. They say they wanna do it, but they're not DOING shit. They wanna sit here and humiliate others, kill each other for no reason. The girls here are stuck up, rude, think they're the shit. The dudes here are confused, lost souls, weak minded, easily influenced, disloyal. You can't trust anybody here.