It’s been a little less than a week since an enigmatic rapper with a sizable Twitter following named Captain Murphy made his debut live performance in LA, a gig that went viral after the Murph revealed that he’s actually experimental LA producer Steven Ellison (aka Flying Lotus). Ellison has played a key role in elevating the MC’s career even as Murphy’s real identity was kept secret; it all started in July when Adult Swim released a new FlyLo track called “Between Friends,” which features Murphy spitting with beloved Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt.
Captain Murphy became a fascinating Internet phenomenon in the passing months, a self-described villain who obscured his voice in deep and syrupy pitch-shifted sound effects, released songs via brightly colored videos, and claimed he was a cartoon. Murphy never let up about his animated reality, at times getting defensive about his two-dimensional world before last month’s release of Duality, a psychedelic video montage that’s also a mixtape. Considering the aura Murphy managed to create while trying to convince the world that he’s a foul-mouthed toon the “big reveal” that he’s actually a well-established and respected producer felt like a bad M. Night Shyamalan twist.