Captain Murphy's long-awaited mixtape, Duality, is finally here as of noon last Thursday. An album that brings as many questions as it does answers, it is a unique experience that fans of Madvillain Earl Sweatshirt, or Flying Lotus should enjoy.
Not only an incredibly charismatic and realized debut (especially since Captain Murphy has only been in the public eye for less than 6 months), the corresponding video, created by Xavier Magot, is so well done it could make a grind-house feature blush. Even though it has dropped, there are still many questions (other than the identity Captain Murphy), such as the names of the tracks (thus making this review harder than it should have been). On Sunday, on his Twitter, a link to a seamless Mp3 was available for download. Reportedly, the 28th of November will be the date we are given the deluxe edition of Duality and feature "more songs and the instrumentals."
|Captain Murphy - Du∆lity|
"My doppelganger made a banger..."
Opening up with a rhythmically tribal track, his talent as a lyricist becomes apparent very fast. A lot of the songs prior to release put Captain Murphy in a slower tempo, but he busts out of the gates with this fast paced, deep voiced venture. The fact of the brevity of these tracks and how well they blend really showhow they are meant to be listened to in one sitting. After the first track, the mix-tape shifts into some familiar territory with his three previously release tracks "Mighty Morphin' Foreskin," "The Ritual," and "Between Friends" (Featuring Flying Lotus and Earl Sweatshirt) following one another.
A darker turn is taken after "Between Friends" as vengeful, violently sexual lyrics (some even containing vocals manipulated so much they sound demonic) fill the tracks before "The Killing Joke," another Flying Lotus produced track that makes great use of the Os Mutantes' track "Ave Lucifer." The following instrumental may be one of my favorite tracks on this tape. "His mystic powers and physical strength make him the most dangerous man of his time. No one knew him, they only feared him...the ladies adored him" says the narrator. A bouncy beat with some more trademark laughing echos in the background before fading into a bong hit (at this point a screenshot of Step #6: Sex & Drugs Always Help pops up). After a short track and interlude, "Immaculation" featuring Brainfeeder artists, Aziz Gibson and Jeremiah Jae, sets apart the prior tracks with its smooth beat and talented guest spots.
After another quick track featuring all of my favorite things about Captain Murphy: a schizophrenic shifting of vocals, the trademark laugh, vivid story telling, and skilled lyricism. The album ends with the celebratory-esque "Shake Weight." The track is lyrically just as dark, but due to it's usage of the TNGHT track "Bugg'n" it is a little more traditional in a sense of how glitchy and sporadic the rest of Duality is. "Shake Weight" was released over summer and where it didn't really seem to fit the mold, it makes sense where it is placed in the album.
I love this album. Hip-hop has had a great year in 2012 and it is case and point with albums such as this. An innovative concept, a talented artist that contains an aura of mystery about him, and releasing a download for free isn't too shabby either are all good enough reasons to be a solid release and this album happens to fit all the criteria. I would give you my favorite tracks, but I recommend just checking out the entire thing. It is 35 minutes well spent.