By Lorenzo Cook
The deep, modulated voice of Captain Murphy taunts the listener: ”Labels try to sign me, speculate on my identity. Good luck — you’ll never find me.” First appearing on the scene in late July accompanying Earl Sweatshirt of Odd Future on the Flying Lotus track “Between Friends,” Captain Murphy has been under the microscope of the blogosphere. But attempts to dissect each line, tweet, and visual in the desperate attempts of unveiling the mysterious rapper have all been in vain. Only mere speculations or educated guesses have been made regarding who might be hiding behind Captain Murphy.
Even though he has publicly denied any affiliation, the dark themes, the aggression and the overall strangeness of the flows and content might lead one to believe Tyler the Creator is the voice and brains behind the anonymous rapper. Other popular candidates include Rejjie Snow, the Irish rapper with flows similar to those of Captain Murphy and a voice to match, Earl Sweatshirt and even Flying Lotus himself. Snow very recently claimed he was Captain Murphy, but that claim is unverified at this point.
Nov. 18 marked was the release date of Captain Murphy’s album Duality. The album was released via MediaFire, a filesharing website, on a single 35-minute mp3 file. The reasoning behind this may be to force the listeners to enjoy the record as a whole rather than individual tracks or, as Captain Murphy’s sample of The Dark Knight says in his song “The Killing Joke,” “Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The album opens with a type of motivational speech on starting a cult. “Since the death of God, there’s been a vacancy open. You can fill the void. Here’s how…” A slightly disturbing way to kick off an album, but it sets the tone for the tracks to follow. Slow jazz beats, similar to the music of BadBadNotGood (recurring collaborators with Odd Future and backing band for Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator), demonic laughter, sound clips of famous UFO cult leader Marshall Applewhite, all make up Duality for what is is: absolutely nonsensical and mysterious.
Captain Murphy has given no hints as to who he is. He’s covered up his traces his well and everyone who is known to have worked with him is keeping their mouths sealed shut. He even follows everyone who is suspected of being him on Twitter to further confuse those determined to find a slip up that will lead to an unveiling. Could this be a way of reviving the excitement surrounding Tyler? Could this be Rejjie Snow or any other smaller rappers approach to breaking into the scene in a big way? At this point, it seems we may never know the true identity of Captain Murphy.