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SpaceGhostPurrp (video still from "Black God")
Interview by Eddie STATS & anto

Before the SpaceGhost conflict with A$ap’s man–about the time Twelvy dissed the Raider Klan–SpaceGhostPurrp sat down with Okayplayer to expound on the mysteries of phonk. The highly rated producer/MC touched on everything from trillwave (he’s all trill, no wave) to Trayvon Martin. Along the way, we finally get a breakdown of the knowledge (all science, no math) behind his single “Black God” and how he squares the hieroglyphics of “Osiris Of The East” with a rep built on tracks like “Suck A N**ga Dick 2012.” Purrp also speaks on how he balances his time between rapping, making beats and a [prospective] career in porn. Read on to learn the answer to these and more pressing questions (and download his LP Mysterious Phonk in instrumental form here)

OKP: In some ways you have a very Miami sound but it also kind of cuts across L.A., New York, Memphis and a lot of other places. How does that fit together?

SGP: It’s just who I am, what I been into all my life, what I know about. If a n*** asks me about underground Memphis rap, I talk to him about it like this [snaps finger]. That’s all I know. That’s all I would listen to, if I wasn’t listening to local Miami rap, I was listening to Memphis rap, or Houston rap or underground New York rap and underground West Coast rap. My whole thing was underground. Cause I felt like people in the underground wasn’t getting credit like they should. I just put it all in one and made SpaceGhostPurrp.

OKP: What’s the science behind [your clique] Raider Klan? That’s something that people might identify with a West Coast-type of vibe, the Raiders hats and all those things. What’s the origin of that?

SGP: The way we come off, it’s phonk. We all about that, about that 90s sh*t. We been on that vintage West Coast sh*t hard. In my eyes, West Coast hip-hop back in the days was untouchable. Now it’s in another lane. I’m not from the West Coast but I got enough balls to say “You know what? If nobody else don’t f*** with that type of sh*t, I’m gonna f*** with it, because I love that rap and I’m gonna bring that sh*t back, I wanna keep it going. I don’t have to talk about gangsta sh*t or about killing and selling drugs – it can still be phonk without talking about that. So that’s all we’re trying to do.

OKP: I’m curious about who some of those early influences are because your stuff–it’s not necessarily Miami Bass but there’s definitely a Bass aesthetic to it. Is it mostly Miami cats or what did you come up on?

SGP: We came up on Trick Daddy. I’m talking about early Trick Daddy. He had the bald head. Thug.com; that type of sh*t. That’s Miami, that dark, gloomy-ass, storytelling-ass sh*t. That influenced me growing up, and Three 6 Mafia and all of them did, too. But my music basically shows how that raw Miami gutter sound really sounds. People will say it sounds like Memphis, it sounds like Houston but at the same time Miami represents that same sound. Our underground has that same type of sound. We will listen to DJ Screw and old underground New Orleans music cause we was on that same sh*t. We all from the south. Me never had the chance to expose that to the industry. We had Uncle Luke with the whole Bass movement but you know, I show people what our sound really sounds like – our dark sh*t.

OKP: So you’re the dark side of Miami.

SGP: Exactly.

OKP: A lot of people have described your sound as “trillwave.” Again talking about what goes on in New York and other cities too – do you feel like that’s a real movement that you’re part of? Or is that just something that people put on it?

SGP: Yeah, it’s like a label. I think they’re doing that cause I came to New York and people in New York support my music and I love that. But the whole “trill” thing, that’s not a movement to me, that’s a way of life. Just like Raider Klan is a way of life. It’s a lifestyle to be who we are. Being trill in the south, that’s everyday. We don’t even got to say the word “trill” to be known as that. It’s all about what you do, less about saying it.

OKP: Speaking of that, especially because of your tracks for A$AP Rocky and other stuff that you put out in that category, a lot of people knew you first as someone who makes beats. Now you’re obviously recognized as a rapper first. But in terms of your own growth, did you come to making beats first or did you start rapping and just needed beats?

SGP: I started rapping when I was 7, started making beats when I was 13. I got better over the years. I’m just trying to balance it all out.

OKP: Time-wise, how do you balance it? Do you make beats and then write to the beats you’ve already made?

SGP: Yeah, I make the beat and I get a little tune in my head, a little sound and I talk/rap to the beat and whatever until I find that sound and then I go to writing and come out with some crazy sh*t.

OKP: Do you think there will be some changes to your creative process now that you’re on a label?

SGP: Well it has slowed down a little bit. I haven’t had the chance to really make beats like I wanted to. But when I get a chance, it’s gonna speed back up.

OKP: Talk a little bit about the title of your LP, Mysterious Phonk? Where does that come from?

SGP: It just represents the sound of my music, describing what it sounds like. When people hear my music it’s gonna give them that reaction. They’ll react like “ok, I like this sound, it’s kind of mysterious. I can’t really figure it out but I like it.” And then it got a phonky tone to it, as they used to say in the old days. That’s why I call it Mysterious Phonk.

OKP: I guess part of the reason I ask is because just going off of the tunes that people know you from – from “Suck a D***” to “Black God” it’s a big leap, at least it struck me that way–I was kind of surprised when that video dropped. Are you a 5-percenter, is that part of your philosophy…or was that more of a metaphor?

SGP: I’m the rapper who raps what’s on my mind. So “Suck a D***” was like… I didn’t even expect that sh*t to go about the way it went. I think what made it go all over the internet was that it had the vintage Three 6-sample. And that was my biggest influence. So that’s what got it out there. But I’m the rapper to just do what’s on my mind and do everything that I learned growing up. I just put it in one big blender and I just do it.

OKP: So if it’s “Suck a D*** For 2011” does that mean that that’s over for 2012, is there a new steez for 2012?

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