Mystery emcee Captain Murphy revealed to be Flying Lotus


Captain Murphy, an unknown hip-hop pseudonym, seeped up from the underground no more than a couple of weeks ago, making the rumor mill work overtime to unmask this mystery emcee. Theories swirled after a track released for “Adult Swim” featured the name Captain Murphy along with Flying Lotus and Odd Future’s Earl Sweatshirt.

Flying Lotus feat. Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy – “Between Friends”

After a few weeks of inactivity, the mix tape Duality was released to much fanfare and accolades, both due to the variety of production and rhymes. The vocals tend to sound slightly altered, which fueled the rumor that it may be more than one artist. Some thought the lyrical quality lent itself to the Odd Future camp and may be some combination of Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator, and rumors swirled around with links to Flying Lotus, who also was a possible addition to the audio-tweaked stew. Some even thought it was a collaboration between the Low End Theory crew with up-and-coming wordsmith, Zeroh, a young LA writer and performer.

Zeroh – “Barkpench”

The mix of production featured on Duality is a variably “who’s who” of beat producers, the bulk hailing from Los Angeles. Production credits include Jeremiah Jae, Madlib, Teebs, Just Blaze, SAMIYAM and the mega-hot TNGHT. One of the best tracks on the release utilizes TNGHT’s track “Bugg’n”, a big beat that has been begging to be flowed over.

Captain Murphy – “Shake Weight”

Captain Murphy – “The Prisoner” (Live at The Airliner)

Then last week, it was announced that Captain Murphy’s identity would be revealed at The Airliner on Wednesday, November 28th at the weekly staple, Low End Theory. The masses arrived early, which is pretty standard at this progressive Thursday night church, and not long after, a caped and masked man took the stage to Gaslamp Killer on the controls. He stood tall, and most in the know figured it out quickly. Stephen Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, was in fact the mysterious voice spitting semi-obscene rhymes over a surprisingly refreshing mix tape.

Earl Sweatshirt – “Between Friends” (Live at The Airliner)

Earl Sweatshirt decided to make a rare stage appearance for “Between Friends” at The Airliner, donning his signature fishing hat and grinning ear to ear. One can only hope he starts to get more stage confidence as many wait on baited breath for any release or semblance of a tour.

A deluxe edition of Duality features a track-by-track breakdown, a plethora of psychedelic artwork and even instrumental versions of the tracks. The accompanying videos on the Captain Murphy website have a great visual quality, which further enhances the total package.

There has not been much from the camp since the unveiling, and like Earl Sweatshirt, one can only hope for more shows and polishing from this promising project. Flying Lotus’ critical ascent appears to have larger wings than once thought.


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