Suspicions are flying. As Captain Murphy releases his first official mixtape, Duality, the interwebs are abuzz with the unanswered question, “Who is Captain Murphy?” Links have been made to the experimental hijinx of producer Flying Lotus as well as his two OFWGKTA pals Tyler the Creator and Earl Sweatshirt, who make vocal appearances throughout the mixtape. To add another monkey wrench into the confusion, Irish Rapper Rejjie Snow recently made an announcement claiming he is the voice of Captain Murphy. But before we can buy into the idea of single voice or artist as the creator of Captain Murphy, we’d rather take a better listen. In hip-hop group fashion, Duality’s tracks are filled with numerous voices and tones that layer over and play upon each other, much like any fine FlyLo production. With clever lyrics beyond the basics of Tyler, the Creator, we question if anyone has come close to solving this mystery.
Perhaps the downfall is in looking to find one single artist for the answer. For generations indie bands have created side projects, albums and entire auxiliary bands comprised of superpowers. Maybe it’s time hip-hop finally creates super groups that can blow simplistic beat-and-lyric rappers off their hinges. These Captain Murphy beats are reminiscent of great erstwhile hip-hop groups like A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots, and are as lyrically thought out as a Talib Kewli and Mos Def callabo. Can we really give one man credit for all this creativity? This project reeks of collaboration and we’re simply not ready to accept a one man crowning. It’s too exciting to think the hip-hop powers-to-be are hiding away in a lab somewhere holding secret meetings as they stealthily make music to box into our ear drums. Live stream Captain Murphy’s Duality here, or play the 35-minute video below.