Spiz The Prophet, a young MC from Philadelphia is as underexposed as he is underrated and to me an artist like Spiz going unnoticed for around three years whilst some of the lamest Rappers have risen to the top is tantamount to criminal. It’s a sad state of affairs when the masses only listen to and buy music which is mass-marketed, and regardless of the fact that underground or independent music is more innovative and inventive, unless a major label and mainstream broadcasters incessantly plug someone, people won’t even acknowledge their existence.
Spiz’ first mixtape titled “Golden Era” was released in 2013 and it featured some great songs, the album was a mixture of old-school beats courtesy of Mike Gibbs, some more contemporary production like that of Diego Bugatti, and a great flow and delivery from Spiz.
The title track was a nice introduction to the Rapper, he perfectly blended a soulful, golden-era-esque beat with head-nodding verses.
“Smooth While Raw” was exactly that, some smooth production from Gramatik and some raw rhymes from Spiz, the late nineties-sounding track even got a video.
This blending of eras continued with “The Whole Fuckin World” a great track which also showcased Spiz’ ability to rap over a faster beat with a more rapid flow.
In 2014 Spiz dropped “Can I Kick It” an update to the Tribe Called Quest song.
This track featured in his second mixtape “Golden Era 1.5” and the mixtape again featured a mixture of the old and the new. There were some great contemporary songs like “Blood Is Thicker Than Water” but the stand-out track for me was “BlackOut” a mellow track which just made you hark back to the 90’s East Coast scene especially when the Artifacts sample kicked in.
Spiz then followed this with “Golden Era 2” and this mixtape again contained a mixture of classic and contemporary. Modern tracks like “Make Sense” were alongside old-school-esque songs such as “Stoner Society 2”, “Whatchu Know Bout That” with its Jazz trumpet, and the freestyle over Smif-N-Wessun‘s “Bucktown USA”. Spiz once again showed that he had an affinity with the Golden Era of Hip-Hop, in fact the song “Old Soul” said exactly that with Spiz proclaiming “they say I’m young with an old soul”, the track even referenced the Wu-Tang Clan and a little Das Efx.
In 2016 Spiz brings his “Golden Era” Trilogy to a close with his mixtape “Golden Era 3: Genesis”. This release marks the biggest change in terms of content, and the album is a departure from making a throwback-heavy release. I think Spiz has made a concerted effort to combine the two styles, “None Left” for example is a nice blend of new and old-school, as is “Speed Of Light” with its catchy chorus, there’s of course tracks like “No Morals” which could easily be played on the radio and in the clubs, and tracks like “Gawd” can satisfy fans of both the new and the old-school. Like the title suggests however, there is a golden-era-sounding joint like “Ills Of The World” but I think this release is an attempt to create a more “up-to-date” sound and thankfully it has worked.
The most recent track from Spiz The Prophet is this, a freestyle over a beat which samples Route 94 & Jess Glynne’s track My Love (originally used by Yo Gotti on “Fuck Em”). If a song like this was refined and released it could easily please both mainstream broadcasters and underground fans alike (and it has to be said that Spiz did a much better job of rapping over the beat than Gotti did).
It’s strange when someone with such obvious talent isn’t recognised by the masses, with three mixtapes and a handful of music videos it’s plain to see (and hear) that Spiz The Prophet is a gifted Rapper. He makes entertaining music which rarely falters, and more importantly his style and content is consistent, so why is he still languishing in the underground?
Prophets Over Profits.
Interesting. As I’m hosting a radio show at my university, I’ll play some his music.
I played his music during my university show, and while not a rap fan I do agree that this guy is quite good. He has a great flow and his music is very entertaining to listen to. Why he isn’t more widely recognised while mediocrity like Kendrick Lamar and Drake dominates the charts is baffling to me. Good article. 🙂
Thanks, if more people like you promote the good stuff we might one day change what the masses know about Hip-Hop.
By the way, Spiz released an EP after I wrote this article. The Bonus Track “Illuminated” is another great song…
Shit mane, looks like none of his tracks are available in my region…while ALL of Future’s mind-numbing tracks are available like fruit fly larvae… I’d have really liked to listen to this guy…
Looks like most of his early shit has been deleted from Soundcloud and Spotify. It’s a pity…