I'm an unabashed Spaceman fan. Besides being one of the top live performers in the city in any genre, he's also one of the most ferociously gifted MCs, both in terms of his writing and his delivery--a rare combo. So when I saw the title of his new mixtape, Greetings Earthlings, I felt sorta disappointed. (You can download it for free here.) I don't give a damn how interstellar your name is, the last thing the local hip-hop scene needs right now is another sky-scanning astronomer freaked on the far-outness of the cosmos. Bo-ring.
But don't judge a mixtape by its title, kids, 'cause save for a skit gently lampooning the wannabe astronauts among us by Sabzi (?), Spaceman sticks with what makes him such a compelling figure (see above). He treats language with an endless fascination, and, as a result, drops some inventive lines. Like this: "Seattle heroin flow/I inject it with the Space Needle"; "I'm built for any beat/You can ask my architect"; and, my personal favorite, because I'm from them thar parts, "I'm like Tampa Bay/ 'cause I've got a lot of Bucs." And if you think it's all clever braggin' raps, try "SXSW CMJ," a heartfelt, strangely comedic portrait of the artist as an anxious up-and-comer. Stay grounded, Space.