Steven Ellison’s other gig, it appears, will be back before too long.
For a couple of months in the back half of last year, Murphy was hip-hop’s biggest whodunnit – an anonymous MC releasing a series of dusky psychedelic rap tracks, with apparent co-signs from Ellison – aka Flying Lotus – and Earl Sweatshirt.
In November, Ellison theatrically outed himself as Murphy, and dropped the charming, trippy Duality mixtape. Speaking to XXL [via Pitchfork], Ellison revealed that a new Captain Murphy release is in the offing:
“I’m four tracks in. It’s cool. It’s a lot deeper though. This one is kind of like more introspective I feel. It’s a lot darker in the tone of it too. It’s a little less playful. But who knows? It’s only four songs. I’m not in any rush to finish it. But I love doing it. I am having so much fun doing this new character thing”.
Ellison also goes into raw detail about the motivations and anxieties behind his work as Captain Murphy. He recalls the Damascene moment that brought him into rapping:
“I can recall the moment specifically. I haven’t told anybody this and I am so glad to talk to you about it. I feel like it was such a big deal for me personally. [Odd Future] started playing me some of The OF Tape Vol. 2. … I asked them, ‘Yo, Hodgy, how long did it take you to record this shit? How long did it take you to write this song?’ ‘Aw, my nigga, it took me like 15 minutes.’ 15 minutes? Are you fucking serious? I was like, ‘Nah, nigga. I am gonna do this shit”.
Ellison describes fretting about what collaborator Earl Sweatshirt would make of his initial work: “I hate this shit. He hates it. He probably sent it to Tyler, Tyler probably hates it. Everybody fucking hates my rapping. [Laughs] That’s what I was thinking to myself”.
He also touches on the whole issue of his anonymity, suggesting that he was forced, William Bevan-style, into revealing his identity following the flurry of internet chatter surrounding it. Or, in his words: “All you motherfuckers making websites and shit about who I am and all this shit made it this way”.