There have been various artists taking the anonymous approach to their image and branding, but few have done so in the way rapper Spark Master Tape has perfected over the past few years. The dark aesthetic he’s captured makes his music as intriguing as it is mysterious, and once you get a taste of his unique sound, you’ll find yourself diving into the depths of the internet to find out anything you can about this mythical rapper.
To bring you up to speed, he first surfaced in 2012 and hit a stride of releases with must hear mixtapes Syrup Splash followed by The #SWOUP Serengeti just over a year later, and has kept his flow of music constant with several great loose singles while teasing a third project. Then, he went rogue and seemingly vanished just as mysteriously as he had once appeared. He went from actively giving updates and interacting with fans on twitter to not as much as a single tweet for a year, all while releasing no new music for even longer as rumors started spreading that he had gotten locked up or retired the project. Listen to "All I Know" below off The #SWOUP Serengeti, which is one of my personal favorite tracks.
His unusual sound consists of entirely pitched down vocals with clever, smooth flows over his go-to producer Paper Platoon’s immediately recognizable beats. He incorporates jumpy, trap drums dropping in and out of the beat accompanied by classic hip-hop & movie samples combining to create his eclectic graveyard production ranging from mellow instrumentals to some of the most hype hip hop production out there, all while masterfully and tastefully tossing in airhorn & military artillery samples. Check out "Propecia" below, which showcases some of his strongest production with a hard hitting beat sounding unlike any other hip hop instrumental I've heard while he delivers his elusive bars hitting just right, making it nearly impossible to only listen to this track once.
Spark has essentially created a character in his music that brings an evil sort of ambiance with subject matter ranging from sex and drugs, to wreaking havoc across America, and even sipping soup; all layed atop the fittingly grim production. His persona is sort of a boasting street kingpin bringing a post-apocalyptic vibe as he typically goes in for short, spastic verses over thumping instrumentals littered with unexpected beat switches like it was tossed in a blender and mixed together.
Things got interesting when he recently broke his silence with a single tweet #SWOUP and shorty after shared a cryptic, chilling video announcing his much anticipated third project Silhouette of a Sunkken City is finally due April 15. Following up this news, he went on to drop his first song in 2 years titled “Livin’ Lavish,” followed by "Tenkkeys," which is one of his best songs to date and one of the few tracks he's delivered multiple full, uninterrupted verses. Both new singles were released with music videos displaying his signature, menacing themes with masked men flaunting thug activities through imagery reminiscent of an old horror film.
Spark Master Tape has gained a sort of cult following in the online hip-hop communities as his one of a kind, intriguing sound is unmatched. It's shaping up to be a big year for Spark as Eminem's manager & Shady Records co-founder Paul Rosenberg has added Spark to his roster and has been actively pushing the new project.
This has us all asking: who is Spark? No one knows who he is for sure. And it seems as though that’s the point. He’s created and perfectly become an addictingly enigmatic rap personality all while meticulously offering no hints as to his identity or whereabouts. The almost evil, lawless persona is probably best left as incognito as putting a face to this comic book villian like figure would ruin the eerie mystique that is Spark Master Tape. Stay tuned for more material and familiarize yourself with this mysterious artist.
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