Spark Master Tape is a rapper of unknown origins. He has released three mixtapes since 2012, which have garnered interest from blogs and music websites such as Mass Appeal Magazine, passionweiss.com and most recently, The Fader. Nearly all of his beats are produced by Paper Platoon, which is also the name of his unique collective that includes visual artists and musicians.
Spark Master Tape’s second mixtape, 2013’s The #SWOUP Serengeti, was described by Mishka NYC as, “enough bump and 808s to satisfy y’all that think Juicy J is god and enough verbal dexterity to have everyone that misses the old days of rappity rapping.” Masking his voice by pitching it down and sampling everything from 2pac to rare soul, Spark Master Tape has been described as “a gimmick, a sonic choice, or something in-between.”
In 2014, Spark Master Tape became unresponsive. His Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram had been abandoned. There was no information about Spark’s whereabouts. The rest of the Paper Platoon collective were also gone. Rumors circulated that he may be in prison – this was completely false and nothing but a joke made by frequent collaborator “KAi Sky Walker”. No official word was given by anyone in Paper Platoon.
On January 25, 2016, after about two years since his mysterious disappearance, Spark Master Tape tweeted “#SWOUP”. This was the first communication from Spark since 2014. A week or so later, a video was posted to the official Spark Master Tape YouTube and Facebook, which showed a small group of people, filmed in black and white, wearing strange masks. At the end of this video, which was titled “SUNKKEN”, words appear on the screen that say “Silhouette of a Sunkken City” and “March”. This is in reference to his long-awaited third album, Silhouette of a Sunkken City.
He then released his first song since his return, “Livin’ Lavish”, on February 19. The music video for “Livin’ Lavish” was released on February 23. In an interview with The Fader explaining his new video and sudden return, Spark Master Tape said,
“2016 the year of that sewage and garbage, we out here militant and ignorant. Schemin’ on everybody with a hoverboard and a dream. Shout out to DJ Charlie holdin’ shit down like he back to baptizing. We out the ocean, ready. In the name of Spark, the Paper Platoon and the holy #SWOUP; we shall rise.”
On March 29, after a short period of silence, fans received a brand new #SWOUP visual “Tenkkeys”. In an interview with Complex, the Paper Platoon General had this to say:
“It all started with some SWOUP and a hand grenade, five years later we swimmin’ out the case like Polly Pocket lookin’ for a place to park this 2106 Lada. We on that 3-6-5, cash grab with a chance of voluntary manslaughter. #SWOUP”.
On the same premiere, it was announced that Spark’s highly anticipated third album would drop on April 15.