Spark Master Tape is the most interesting new rapper I’ve come across in the last few months.
The first thing that caught my attention here was the production. It skews toward Southern (Memphis feels closest), but there is much more going on here than can be simply pinned to a generic regional template. It’s schizophrenic in the best possible way, an unsettling sonic collage careening from sample to interlude to a sharp turn to fuck knows what else. And all that is just the backdrop for for Spark’s raps, which were the next thing to impress the hell out of me. This guy doesn’t really rap in verses in the traditional sense, instead he unleashes vivid streams of consciousness that lurch and fracture along with the production. These narratives are unfailingly dark and at times gruesomely detailed; a passage describing the death of his brother on ‘Charlie’s Episode: Wanye Kest’ is a particular stand out. The vocals are always screwed down, which only darkens the mood further.
It’s all confusing and disorienting and a bit disturbing. There’s an element of performance art here that reminds of Lil Ugly Mane, and it’s hard to tell how much of this is real and how much is in character. I’ve only been aware of Spark Master’s existence for a week, so I’m still trying to sort it all out. But early impressions are obviously very favorable. Big props to Ray The Destroyer for putting me onto it.
He also has also a mixtape called Syrup Splash that was released last year. It has a lot of the same characteristics described above but doesn’t feel quite as stylistically polished as the new songs above. It’s well worth your time though, it’s embedded below the jump.