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See SpaceGhostPurrp Wander Miami in ‘The Black God’ Video


The new video for SpaceGhostPurrp’s “The Black God” invites a couple of relevant comparisons. The syrupy, horn-blaring midtempo track originally appeared on the Florida rapper-producer’s God of Black Vol. 1, but these gritty black-and-white visuals come attached to the revamped version that will appear on his official debut album, Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles of SpaceGhostPurrp, arriving June 12 on U.K. indie stalwart 4AD. What’s more, the video shows SpaceGhostPurrp cruising around his hometown of Miami and hanging out with scantily clad women right after a similar but more extreme clip from his cohort A$AP Rocky.

This incarnation of “The Black God” feels caught between the two worlds, between the mixtape’s lo-fi casualness and big-ticket hip-hop’s ostentatious opulence, in a way that’s curiously appealing. As with previously released Chronicles track “Bringing Tha Phonk 2012” the remastered version here loses some of the hypnotic intimacy of the original. Gone are SpaceGhost’s beguiling spoken-word rants about people being turned into “hamsters.” The thunderstorm sound effects? Also gone. Instead, “Black God” has become a more conventional track, to mixed results: Without a proper context, SpaceGhostPurrp’s slack-to-the-point-of-being-based lyricism (“chillin’ like a villain”) stands out more, but on the other hand, this far more muscular recording definitely stands on its own to a degree the more free-flowing mixtape cut can’t quite match.

And then there’s the video. The nighttime footage of SpaceGhostPurrp riding around Miami in the back of a car, wandering the streets, throwing money around in a game of poker, or caressing a scantily clad woman brings to mind A$AP Rocky’s recent “Goldie” video, where the Harlem rapper did a whole lot of similar things — except in Paris, in more expensive-looking cars, with women who weren’t just scantily clad but naked. As SpaceGhostPurrp emerges as a rare rapper on 4AD’s dreamy roster, he appears to be at a point between mixtape murk and big-budget rap’s will to power, and that’s turning out to be a pretty fascinating place.