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Captain Murphy

by Ali Hibbs on November 29, 2012


As of press time, the identity of mystery rapper Captain Murphy was still unknown. But, man, the Internet can speculate. All year, tracks have been cropping up now and again with a deep-voiced rapper spouting verbose lyrics over beats by Brainfeeder-oriented producers Flying Lotus and TNGHT, in one instance with Odd Future prodigee Earl Sweatshirt taking a verse. Some have guessed the whole thing is Sweatshirt’s big return after his fabled disappearance last year. Others guess that it’s Odd Future cohort Tyler, the Creator (mostly on the depth of his voice), and Rejjie Snow has had to publicly say he’s not the Captain in order to curb rumors.

This kind of thing only happens when something is good enough to actually listen to, which DuΔlity, a 35-minute streaming mixtape that appeared on the website captainmurphy.xxx this month, is. In a blindfold test, I’d probably guess the record to be the much-anticipated new Madvillain record, based on the Madlib-style cartoon samples and MF Doom-style baritone flow. But there’s certainly something else going on here. Like, the video that accompanies the mixtape.

The thing doesn’t get all-out NSFW until the hardcore banging about halfway in, but the package as a whole is enough to give you the creeps. Drawing on Marshall Applewhite’s Heaven’s Gate cult training tapes and footage of Jim Jones’ Guyana compound, DuΔlity proposes that everyone wants to be a cult leader in an age when God is dead, and then teaches you how to do so.

Sixties soul samples make the thing an incredibly funky affair, though, with plenty of noncult references sprinkled in along the way. “Mighty Morphin Foreskin” has Madvillain written all over it with references to the Simpsons and Street Fighter, while “The Ritual” reeks of Odd Future at their most pridigious, spewing lines like “So unorthodox/Tell em I’m with a shaman eating Ramen in the parking lot./I brought a bag of dreams with me, breathe the kundalini in/Exhale the meaning and the feeling of Elysium.” Meanwhile, the video chops nanosecond-long clips of ’80s movies like Flight of the Navigator, Captain Ron and The Goonies.

Shit is dense. And awesome. I don’t know who this guy is, but I’m ready to shave my head and drink his Kool-Aid.