With a voice like James Blake and strictly black or white turtlenecks, he’s owning the Interweb. In his debut video to “Without U” Spooky treks through the snow like an R&B pilgrim, duets with himself while wearing du rags and some questionable Fubu jersey–which will unmistakably bring you right back to 2001 in a heartbeat. This is how BuzzFeed described him last spring when he went viral online.
But who is Spooky Black really? The stage name is somewhat backdropping in itself, and confusing. When I first heard of it, I steadily thought I was about to witness the next dodgy attempt to produce some 2010s revival of digital-electro-club-daunting-manufactured tune, wrapped up in hipster hype. It turns out I couldn’t have been proven more wrong.
Spooky Black is a quiet and weepy-voiced, sexually amped-up kid from St. Paul, Minnesota, whose real identity and backstory have been largely kept under wraps. Honestly, you should just check out his video to get the picture. An almost VHS-quality clip, it opens with the slender singer stretched out on a white sofa wearing a white du rag on his head. That scene is intermixed with shots of him in a black turtleneck, gold chain and another du rag, singing in a lonely, wintry, woodsy setting. Here and there we see him duetting with himself in the music-video version of a cheesy, dual-image high school senior portrait.
The truth about Spooky Black is very uncomplicated. He’s doing something that seems unexpected, and presenting it in a way that might appear devoid of much sense to most. He’s the whitest man alive, his stage name is Spooky Black and he takes the public by their hand into his unapologetic, young church of turmoil and sensations.
It would be a shame for this guy to slip through the cracks because people don’t take him seriously based on his wearing durags. The kid’s all-right.
Wander through the dead with you caught up in my head
Thinkin’ Ima flip and fill my brain with lead
Ima end my life without you