It’s been said that nobody knows how to be legendary anymore, but that was never a problem for Raider Klan. Rewind to a decade ago, shortly after the dawn of YouTube and the start of Soundcloud, where a wave of unsmiling teens from South Florida first set if off, making cold-steel music and coming to bring the “phonk.” Their vision was refracted through wavy VHS-style videos and a uniform of black clothes, gold teeth, and occult trappings. Their crew name was enigmatically stylized RVIDXR KLVN. A mythmaking so absolute that leader Spaceghostpurrp inducted ASAP Rocky and ASAP Yams by way of candlelit seance.
In many cases the turn of the decade gave us the artists that became today’s establishment: Rocky, pioneering fashion influencer; Drake, gentrifying hitmaker; Gucci Mane, Atlanta trap god; Odd Future, the new standard bearers for cult shit; and Young Thug, whose pinched nerve yawps are practically an industry plug-in.
It also gave us folk heroes who changed the game, but now haunt it from the fringes: Lil B, Chief Keef, and Raider Klan. And with the latter, haunting was always part of the idea.
Originating from Carol City in Miami, FLA, a place nicknamed “Murder Gardens,” Purrp says growing up meant either fighting or getting bullied. He was known for jumping into fights to defend black skateboarders. Denzel Curry remembers everything seemed like palm trees and sunshine until his cousin got killed, then he really noticed things were bad. Raider Klan came specifically from the sanctuary of Purrp’s aunt’s house, where his cousin kept equipment for Purrp to make beats (“I wouldn’t be shit without my cousins.)”
Raider Klan carried aspects of that sanctuary. For all the darkness in the music, artists said being involved felt therapeutic; they felt like they were part of a family, and it afforded them the opportunity to leave their hometowns for the first time.
Having absorbed hip-hop history from another cousin’s old Three Six Mafia and West Coast gangsta rap tapes (shout out to cousins), Purrp wanted his own music to play a part in his generation’s ongoing ‘90s hip-hop revival — except he would come at it from an underworld perspective. While Joey Badass was remaking Tribe classics and Big K.R.I.T. was rapping over “93 Til Infinity”–approachable and upbeat references–Purrp brought back corrosive, unfriendly styles and under-your-skin chant music.
Even though he only had an amateur recording situation and no real training, he wanted to shock the world. It resulted in a high energy, low sonic fidelity style that aligned him with the mainstream-attacking Lil B and Odd Future. The combination of limitations and choices clicked. Purrp put the early and late ‘90s in a blender, used Mortal Kombat screams and Killer Instinct growls the way RZA used kung fu movie samples, and emulsified it into BLVCKLVND 66.6. His classic debut album was like an angry and ecstatic Grand Theft Auto radio station. It was a reality-distorting work of art that changed lives and made Purrp sound truly possessed.
Finding online success with it, and inspired by the expansion of A$AP, he consulted his iPhone girlfriend Kreayshawn about elaborating his universe. She was helping to do the same with Lil B in Oakland, directing all his videos. They went back and forth on new members, as Raider Klan spread to NYC, LA, Houston, and Seattle. Crazily it all worked. Purrp A&Red his collective with innate expertise, reaching out to hella cool, unknown rappers for whom the forgotten-classics angle was appealing, and who felt BLVCKLAND on a visceral level. They put in work and repped his concepts. And like that, Raider Klan was a thing, a rolling black cloud of online rap.
The bond between Raider Klan and A$AP was short-lived. Not long after the seance, Purrp accused A$AP of stealing his style (which was itself heavily influenced, but I digress). That, along with some IRL/Twitter tussles between the crews, ended things.
The Raiders themselves fizzled out quickly, too, having grown too large too quickly, with no infrastructure. The whole thing only lasted from 2011 to 2013. Too bad since Purrp and Rocky’s “Keep It G” was good and “Pretty Flacko” is outstanding. And because Raider Klan was kicking out jams at an alarming clip, many of which hold up today–their rawness is missing from 2020 musicians whose work is designed for playlists.
The context for their heyday was the blog era, when music was just floating around the internet, untethered. People ripped and uploaded their home collections. Other people downloaded and kept the files. It was an internet built by people, not a cage built by a company.
The industry had lost major ground to piracy, and new acts simply evolved with the times, making music at home, distributing directly to fans, using social media for the first time and finding out what was possible. Artists embraced the independence, realizing they had all the power over how their music should sound and how it should come out. Stylistically rappers and producers were trying hard to sound different.
It was the Tumblr era specifically, where people were reposting various types of nostalgia–and also porn and anime–heavily moodboarding. The nostalgia for previous rap was a sign that hip-hop had become mature as an art form, offering classic bible material to preach about. And like how the Strokes sounded like The Cars and Television, retro inspiration took on a new viability. Maybe biting wasn’t a bad thing anymore–if you were also conveying the spirit, it was homage.
That climate is why you had Seattle-based Raider Key Nyata, at 15 years old, rapping over Memphis innovator Gangsta Pat–when other kids in school were listening to Wiz Khalifa or LMFAO. Because he was into Purrp’s Tumblr, which listed Raider commandments (“never trust a smiling face” was one), his life was different. You had Houston Raider, Amber London rapping over Doc Million, the water-smoking Ohian with a deathwish, footnote of G-Funk. Ethelwulf figured out a mixture of Xscape and Memphis rap. Nell blended Korn and ScHoolboy Q. It all went together.
Raider Klan was coherent unto itself, but made no mainstream concessions, with a disdain for the market. They soon became industry pariahs known for beef and disorganization. The same went for that whole echelon of internet folk heroes. Even Lil B’s mixtape with Chance the Rapper didn’t go pop. Chief Keef can’t cross over even if JAY Z borrows his “Faneto” flow. And with his beefing ways, Purrp made sure Raider Klan was anti-establishment for life: he beefed with Rocky, Yams, Soulja Boy, and several Raiders during the fall of the Klan, including Curry and affiliates like Robb Banks. He set the template for Gucci’s twitter meltdowns, but unlike Gucci never came back out as a new guy with positive PR. He stays the bad guy, disses dead people, tweets awful stuff and deletes it.
Things got especially petty toward the end, when Purrp still wasn’t paying the group. They eventually got tired of doing everything on the strength–making great music and fighting an unwinnable war against A$AP.
In 2020, the artists who became the establishment get big brand partnerships and lucrative tours. The folk heroes play modest rock venues to die-hard fans. Raider Klan could too, if they ever decide to actually want to do it.
It’s funny looking back on it all. In a way, all these artists were part of the same thing. Odd Future played Raider Klan and Lil B songs at shows before they went on stage. Eric Dingus, the producer of OVO-sanctioned Drake remixes, also made beats for Raider Klan’s Ethelwulf and Chris Travis. He’s why their Whosampled pages are so ill. It took until 2015 for Gucci to make a song with Lil B, but it happened. All these artists were peers in a way. Whether or not fans get it now, there were layers to the story when Drake got booed off stage at Tyler’s festival last year.
And A$AP still uses Purrp’s hieroglyphics by the way. To this day, their clothing brand is called VLONE.
“It should be pronounced ‘alone’” Purrp tells me, authoritatively.
After they broke up, Raider Klan seemed to completely vanish. Due to poor recording of content and commentary (people deleting their blogs, legacy media stupidly trashing archives when they got a new CMS), we suffered a cultural loss. Collect these rare files if you can find them on the internet. Datpizz has been a good site for online rap discographies.
Top Ten Raider Klan projects (in order):
- BLVCKLVND RVDIX 66.6 – Spaceghostpurrp
- Strictly 4 My R.V.I.D.X.R.Z – Denzel Curry
- THE WULF GXNG RXDXLFE – Ethelwulf
- 1994 – Amber London
- Codeine & Pizza – Chris Travis
- 2 Phonkey – Key Nyata
- Rap Life LA – Raider Klan (Boiler Room)
- Purple Lady Underground Tape 1993-1995 – Yung Simmie
- King Remembered Underground Tape 1991-1995 – Denzel Aquarius’Killa Curry
- BMW Black Man’s Wealth – Spaceghostpurrp
Individual Raiders are still active, like of course breakout star Denzel Curry, one of the most consistently imaginative rappers out — a regular Pitchfork favorite who performs on Jimmy Fallon. Lots of Raiders are up to interesting things. Grand Milly from the New York chapter put out music with Stones Throw last year. Key Nyata has a new group Cyanide Syndicate with Nacho Picasso and Keyboard Kid. And Purrp is always liable to pop up producing for SoundCloud hitters like Chxpo or Lil Tracy.
Purrp’s work in Ohio and with the DMV especially in the past few years qualifies as a new chapter, meshing him with Working on Dying, Marcy Mane, Wifigawd, and Black Kray. Their music with Purrp is eerie and chaotic. By now these guys are Soundcloud legends, and Black Kray was on the Raider Klan skate team if anyone remembers that.
Perhaps pushing the Raider style the furthest, you have the unofficial affiliates: the South Florida crew of Ronny J, Pouya, XXXTentacion (he had “Fuck Purrp” tatted on him, even though he loved Raider Klan), Lil Pump, and Smokepurpp. No Raider Klan, no those guys. Repping the more gothic side of the Klan were the southerners Bones, Xavier Wulf (fka Ethelwulf), and Chris Travis, who moved out to L.A. and helped make the scene that incubated Gothboiclique and Lil Peep. And let’s not forget Suicideboys’ consistent sold-out tours, pushing extremely Raiderish music. Phonk wafts over America.
A completely different story here, but had Peep and X not died in 2017 and 2018, they would be hip-hop megastars today–and both of them were heavy Raider Klan fans with audible influence in their music. If they had lived, I predict that the status of the group would be different. I wish we could interview those young legends on the topic.
But instead we have the living legend Spaceghostpurrp to consult — whose real name is Markese Money Rolle if you can believe that. — Andrew Matson
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Spaceghostpurrp – producer, rapper, founder
Kadafi – cousin of Purrp, bankroller and manager
Amber London – rapper
Kreayshawn – consultant
Key Nyata – rapper, producer
Rell – rapper
Nell – rapper
Denzel Curry – rapper
Eddy Baker – rapper
Yung Simmie – rapper
Dough Dough da Don – cousin of Purrp, rapper
Robb Banks – rapper with full Purrp produced tapes, not officially Raider
Spaceghostpurrp: If it wasn’t for my cousins, I wouldn’t be shit.
Kadafi: Purrp was an outcast, but he was that kid you wanted to fuck with. People thought he was weird growing up. Where we came from in Carol City, people weren’t riding around on skateboards. They’ll laugh at you.
Spaceghostpurrp: I always had love for the black skate community, so when I used to see niggas disrespecting and bullying black skaters in my neighborhood, I used to stop that. I wasn’t bullied, but I was just always in problems and shit. It ain’t like Chicago where they just pick up a gun and just shoot your ass. No, in Miami, you either fight or you get picked on for the rest of your life.
I always had love for the black skate community, so when I used to see niggas disrespecting and bullying black skaters in my neighborhood, I used to stop that.
Kadafi: We come from struggle. People didn’t want to take us in, that kind of stuff. My grandma raised all of us in one house. But we got cousins who played in the NFL [ed. note: Kadafi also worked out with several NFL teams], and my father, he had his own music studio and this crew he managed, Poet T Posse. And I had aunties and cousins who rapped. My father’s sister had a little two-bedroom place, and I set it up the back room as a studio. Before I’d leave the house I’d tell Purrp and Dough Dough, “When I get back, y’all should have a shoebox of rhymes.”
Robb Banks: To me Purrp was the first Florida rapper. Not ever, but that sounded like, Oh shit, you’re really from the crib. You’re really from Florida. You sound like it, look like it, dress like it. We here! It was cool to see one of us doing that and being seen in that light. And it made other people want to be seen in that light.
Kadafi: Purrp became a Three Six Mafia and Project Pat fan and that whole movement because we got an older cousin named Mike. We never heard that type of music. He used to play all that chopped and screwed, all that Texas stuff. We’re from Miami and I’m older, so I grew up listening to Trick Daddy, JT Money. But my cousin Mike listened to underground music, and we didn’t know nothing about that underground sound. He had magazines and music and we used to come around the house and study it. Purrp put it all together and that’s when he became Spaceghostpurrp.
Spaceghostpurrp: Shout out to Mike. Ugly ass nigga. I’m just playing around, we just roast each other but…he’s an asshole. That nigga was a player though, a smooth, slick-talking motherfucker, and every time that nigga pulled up, he was playing some some OG, Houston shit. Like I’m talking about SUC, Michael Watts tapes. Or some old ass, motherfucking Mystic Stylez tapes. And I was just like a little nigga. I had to be six, seven, eight years old. Hearing that shit, it just made me realize, Damn, this is what it is right here. Like that type of shit that niggas be playing on the radio, I don’t wanna hear that shit. I wanna hear this shit. When [Mike] put me onto that shit, I aint never stop fuckin with it.
Kadafi: Purrp came up with the symbols, the way he wrote RVIDXR KLVN using Xs and flipping the A around. He came up with that so we could have our style of how we write our name or how we write anything. You see A$AP…different people use the way we write stuff now. Purrp was like, Watch this: Everybody trying to copy our style. So we’re going to switch it up. And he came with the numbers. 275. If you put 2-7-5 in your phone it’s BRK. So it stands for BLVCKLVND RVIDXR KLVN. We went off initials.
Spaceghostpurrp: [As far as our lo-fi sound], when Garageband came out, that’s how I recorded. Niggas used to hop on that Logic Pro shit. I was like, Yeah I like it but it’s not distorted. That was the whole concept. The lo-fi concept was for people that couldn’t afford studio time. Like you heard X [XXXtentacion] from like a year ago, you heard his shit, right? It was a platform to open doors for young niggas that record shit like that. His shit was not mixed but sounded dope. The underground inspired me and their shit wasn’t mixed but sounded better than half the niggas that put out shit today.
It was like pressing the refresh button on the internet.
Key Nyata: For me, [the underground] was niggas like Wiz [ed note: SGP produced “T.A.P.” with Juicy J], Curren$y. That showed me what the underground was. They weren’t on TV really, they weren’t on the radio at all, but they had numbers, and they had fans. That’s what created the underground; the independence of it all. Wiz waited multiple years to get signed after he had got that one deal. While he did that, he created the underground. When he blew up, that shit basically was no more because he’s mainstream now, right? So, Purrp comes in and fills that gap, and takes it all the way back down to where the roots are. Back to Three Six, back to all the West Coast gangster music, back to all that. So it restored that feeling. It was like pressing the refresh button on the internet.
Denzel Curry: At first [growing up in Carol City is] real regular. Everyone’s playing football, everything is cool. As you get older, you start to notice things like people dying, a lot of crime. That was the dark energy that was surrounding it at the time. That’s what it was when I grew up in Carol City. It was cool and then my vision got distorted. After my cousin got killed [by police] in Zone 4, I seen it for what it was.
Yung Simmie: It’s pretty cold. It’s not like California that’s pretty diverse, with more people, with Asians, all type of different people, other than just black people and Cubans. It’s smaller in Broward and Miami. You’re talking two small ass cities. Cold cities. Weird shit. I think it’s like a Florida thing. Territorial shit. I don’t know.
Kadafi: Trayvon Martin went to Michael Krop High School. Some of our artists knew him. One of his cousins, I went to school with. Everybody was connected to the kid, or to his family. Gun violence has been going on for so long in Florida. Where we’re from, Carol City, that’s Murder Gardens. I just lost one of my closest friends, he was like a brother to me. Stro Corleone. He was real close with Gunplay. He was a solid dude with a following in the hood. You know, when he speaks, they listen. Rest in peace my homie.
Kadafi: Miami is not like Atlanta. In Atlanta [hip hop] everybody comes together, and people piggyback onto the next person up, and everybody gets on. It’s not like that in Miami. We ain’t trying to help. What surprised me was when Rick Ross did a song with Denzel. That surprised me. Because you would never see that. Trick Daddy, JT Money, Luke: they never reached out to us. They definitely heard about us but never reached out. Iceberg is from Miami and never reached out, but when he does interviews and they talk about Florida, he’ll bring us up like “Yeah, they came off the internet.” And it’s like, I think they don’t respect how we came to the music game. They were in clubs everyday and we didn’t have to do that. We got up online. And they probably look at that with no respect, but it was a different time. It wasn’t like back in the days. It was our time in that internet world.
I think they don’t respect how we came to the music game.
Rell: I used to listen to Iceberg, Trick Daddy. We used to acknowledge who motivated us, but I think other people were scared to do shit like that, to pay homage or some type of respect. It never really happened for us in Miami. There was talks about this person, that person trying to work with us. But that shit just never fucking happened. It was good to know that they knew who we was, but it would’ve been better if they reached out.
Spaceghostpurrp: I came in the house one day, I’m high as fuck, I’m just scrolling down on my internet or whatever, listening to music. I seen Kreayshawn, and I’m like, Who the fuck is that? Damn I want her. She was just genuine, down to earth. I used to send her little ratchet ass songs and she would play around her friends. Because I wasn’t taking music serious, even when I dropped BLVCKLVND. I just wanted people to see my vision with the shit I was doing. She used to get high and start listening to it and it started getting addicting or some shit. Then her friends started fucking with it. So I start sending them some beats and V-Nasty started hopping on my shit.
Kreayshawn: We started talking in ‘09. I definitely watched his music go from remixing stuff, chopping and screwing stuff, to making beats. At that time I was making music and videos for Lil B. I was in film school. It was way before “Gucci Gucci.” And part of our thing was to share stuff with each other and kind of like, check in: Am I doing something dope? Yeah, we’re doing great right now–we’re killing it!
Kadafi: I remember Juicy J coming down to Miami. We did a song with Juicy J and that kid Speakz [“Deez Bitches Rollin”]. Then we went to New York. And after that, Purrp told me he wanted to build a team around him. Purrp was always by himself alone. He had Raider Klan tatted on his chest so he’s like, “I’m Raider Klan.” And then you see A$AP Mob, but A$AP Mob got like ten, twenty, eight people. So he came back home and wanted to build a crew.
Kreayshawn: I was like, Who are you thinking about adding in? I think it was Eddy Baker and Stunnaman [from the Pack]. I was like, these are people I know. I’ve known Stunnaman since I was 15. Eddy Baker is someone I would see all the time on Fairfax. Stunnaman might have been part of Raider Klan for a really short time. This was like 2010.
Spaceghostpurrp: Around that time you had me, you had Lil B, you had Joey Badass and his crew, you had Kendrick and his crew, and Odd Future. All these young niggas coming out. It was really like a ‘90s baby thing too. Show the world what a 90’s baby is. When Raider Klan did it, we wanted to show the older niggas that y’all don’t have to worry about hip-hop, or rap being at a bad state. Because you know, Nas was like “hip-hop is dead” and all that shit. Luckily, I’ve gotten to shake hands with Nas, that’s one of my favorite rappers. At that time, I wanted us to show the OG niggas, We understand how you feel. Let us take that shit to another level so y’all can rest.
Kadafi: Purrp had a song called “I Love Lesbians” and “Friday” and started getting a buzz through the internet. Kreayshawn was putting people in California on. That’s how Odd Future started hearing Spaceghostpurrp and they were playing his music before they hit the stage. And he had never met them. They never saw his picture. They just heard his music. That’s how it spread. When he went to New York, it got bigger. He was lacing A$AP and them up. Like wearing all black and gold in your mouth and, This is how we need to come out. Stuff like that. When he came back to Miami he wanted to build his team so he could do it his way.
Spaceghostpurrp: Rocky and Yams reached out to me on Facebook. Rocky dropped the “Purple Swag” video and everyone was telling me to diss him. I’m like, Nah I’m not finna do that. The nigga from New York and the nigga kinda fucking look like me, which is fucking weird. The fuck? Who is this nigga, is this my cousin? I didn’t know what the fuck was going on. Tyler was out spitting roaches out his mouth. I came out with BLVCKLVND and motherfuckers were like, What the fuck? And then this nigga Rocky come out from all the way in the middle of New York looking exactly like me face wise, sound wise, and I’m like, Bitch, what the fuck? What Twilight Zone are we in?
He reached out to me and I hit him back, and jit wrote me like a long paragraph like, on some hip-hop shit. Like, Bro, I fuck with your music. I look up to you. Blah, blah, blah. He older than me, telling me that. He wasn’t finessing me, he wasn’t manipulating me. The nigga was dead ass serious. That’s hip-hop shit. You know how New York niggas is, when they believe some shit … you know how they is when they get into they feelings and they pouring their heart out you know? He was saying how niggas in Harlem was hating on him because his swag was different. It kinda made me think about growing up in Miami. I was still in the hood here, and I was around real niggas but they just didn’t understand certain shit. Like when I used to listen to Three Six Mafia they didn’t understand. They thought I used to worship the devil.
Amber London: I was already wearing bandanas at my shows that I did locally [in Houston], and I was on that kind of ‘90s vibe. So when I seen Purrp do it I followed him on Twitter. Then I tweeted like, I would wear bandanas before I heard of the Raider Klan. He seen it, he was like, Prove it. So I sent him a picture with me in a bandana and then a link to one of my songs I had put out called “94 Cool Shit” and he was really impressed. That was my entry. He gave me that title, Raider, started calling me Queen this, Queen that. I said, Alright, let’s do it. That was my entry.
Key Nyata: When I was about 14 is when I really first started putting music on the internet, and Speakz was the very first person to reach out to me. Shortly after, it was Vince Staples. I started fucking with Purrp randomly because of Speakz and them niggas. Everybody was just intermingling, you know, and I was trying to get into the circle because it looked like what I wanted to be doing. I kind of just put myself in that position, and we started smoking with each other, and eventually I was in Raider Klan. But I am going to mention that Vince told me not to join that shit, and sometimes I think about, what if I would have listened to that nigga, you know what I’m sayin’?
Spaceghostpurrp: Early on [in Raider Klan] you had A$AP Rocky, you had Black Kray, you had Denzel Curry, I think somebody came before Denzel Curry though. My nigga, Young Renegade from the block, shout out to Renegade. You had Yung Simmie, you had Xavier Wulf, Chris Travis, Amber London, Key Nyata, Rell, Nell, Ashton Matthews, Vince Staples … Vince nigga, Vince Staples, yes, your ass was in the Klan too. Who else? Fuck.
Vince Staples, yes, your ass was in the Klan too.
Eddy Baker: I was in it before everybody. I’m literally the second Raider Klan. I joked about calling it NSYNC. I feel like it’s a legendary boy band the same as like the Jackson 5 or the Beatles. We were one of the first internet rap groups. We started by meeting up on the internet and really made moves all across the country, even the world. We toured America and Europe and shit. It was a big movement for something that had started online. And just even bringing back the old school music was rare. That type of music, nobody was doing it at that point.
Key Nyata: Around the time when Tumblr was really important, Purrp had a really, really, really poppin’ Tumblr. All of our philosophies and things of that sort were on his Tumblr. So, you could just go read that shit, and you’d be like, “Damn, that’s what Raider Klan’s about. That’s what’s up, I’ll fuck with ’em.”
Spaceghostpurrp: Black people in Miami, we take shit serious, we take life serious. Like if you go to Miami, ain’t nobody jumping around, ain’t no laughing. Every moment of their life is serious because you never know, growing up in Miami, you’ll be here one day, you’ll be dead the next day. So that’s what I’m trying to store in the youth’s heads. I’m trying to get them to understand that you gotta take every moment serious.
Amber London: I joined in late 2011. At that point I had only really heard Purrp. It wasn’t until after he told me to be in Raider Klan that I started seeing other people that was in the group and getting to see more what their vibe was and where they was coming from with it. They were like heavily influenced by Three Six, which I had of course heard of but that wasn’t my main source of influence. It opened up my artistry.
Rell: I was in college, so this is like 2010, 2011 when we really got together and made it a big deal. I was, what, 18, 19? It was organic as hell. We already knew Curry and shit. He came over one day and was talking about Raider Klan. Pouya was coming over a lot, showing me videos and stuff. Then, my brother was asking me if I wanted to be a part of [Raider Klan] because they was coming at him and he didn’t want to do much without me, because that’s what we’d been doing. We became part of the group just as all friends. There wasn’t no paperwork or nothing at the beginning. We were just all homies making music and calling ourselves this entity.
There wasn’t no paperwork or nothing at the beginning. We were just all homies making music and calling ourselves this entity.
Key Nyata: To me, man, it was really special. When I got in Raider Klan, I was still a kid. I was about 15. So it was like everything to me. Mixed with the love of making music, I had some camaraderie with niggas that wasn’t from my neighborhood and shit, and that was cool to me. Of course, I had my homies from the hood and shit, or just my regular friends at school or whatever. But this was something special because we linked up to make the best music. And I didn’t want to toot my own horn, but I was going to say: I think I was probably the youngest rapper to do anything substantial, as far as internet shit.
Denzel Curry: I asked, Can me and Mike Dece join? And [Purrp] was like, Fasho. And I was like, I won’t let you down. I was always my own individual. But who I looked up to at the time was Lord Infamous, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Dungeon Family. I wasn’t trying to copy off Purrp. I was trying to bring a sound back, along with him.
Kadafi: I remember [Purrp] telling me, I want you to hear this kid named Denzel. He’s rapping all fast and stuff. I want to get him out the hood, man. That was his whole thing. Get everybody out the hood. And that’s where he was going [before Raider Klan crumbled]: he was showing them a whole different world. So many kids had never left Florida.
Denzel Curry: Me and Purrp talked on the phone for the first time when he was in New York with A$AP Rocky. I was 16 years old when I first joined Raider Klan. And there wasn’t barely any members in [it].
Eddy Baker: We had the skate team, it was my homeboy Matt Stoops, Taj, Germ. I don’t know if you know Germ. He did a tape with $uicideboy$. We had a bunch of shit, bro. The business just wasn’t on point. You know what I’m saying? That’s just one thing about us. Like, we were organically making shit. Nowadays, you got kids making a movement and you’ll have a white guy get behind them and blow the motherfucker up in a matter of six months. But they don’t have that code. We just had some fucking raggedy ass hood kids putting Raider Klan tags in their bios and repping that shit, telling all their friends, wearing all black, spray painting shit, and banging that shit. This shit was way different than any other movement. It was street. I feel like we started that code.
Rell: When we heard Purrp’s shit, I was like, What the fuck? I didn’t know how to fucking take it. Then, I kept listening to that shit. It made me think about not only different sounds, but different types of shit that you could do. It’d be unorthodox, but it would all make sense. And the shit that he’d say. Like, goddamn, I ain’t never hear a motherfucker say some shit like this.
Amber London: It might sound crass, but when Purrp put out “Suck a Nigga Dick 2012,” back in 2011 or whatever, I had never heard that type of production. The sound was so nostalgic, it reminded me of old southern music. Pimp C was very vulgar. I’m from Texas so his music, “hairy ass hoe,” he done said everything you can think of and I think it’s beautiful. Do your thing. I don’t care. Around the same time I heard Purrp, that’s when I first heard Lil B say, “I’m that pretty bitch.” I thought, Oh my God, this is genius. A man just said he’s a bitch. This role reversal is incredible. [Ed Note: Amber’s “Low MF Key” includes the lyric “I’m a pretty bitch that spit crack.”]
Eddy Baker: It wouldn’t be no Eddy Baker without Lil B. I met Lil B at his show, and then from his show I met a guy named Speakz. And the guy Speakz ends up fucking introducing me to Purrp’s music. It all happened from Lil B. Lil B started all this shit. Everything. B made it okay to not give a fuck and just be basic and do what the fuck you wanted to do. I know every person in Raider Klan is influenced by Lil B.
Rell: [Purrp being so explicit] made me more susceptible to not giving a fuck instead of thinking too hard. Fuck that shit. Just go through that shit. If you’re feeling like that shit, just go through it, especially when making beats, too. Curry made me think about how I present myself. Amber made me think about coming hard and shit, because when she dropped “Low MF Key” and then all them projects behind that shit, her respect was like, through the roof. Phonk resonates a lot of different ways to me. It ain’t like we sat down and talked about, yeah, boy, this is what phonk is, this, that, that. You knew phonk when you heard that shit. It goes way back to the fucking 70s with the fros. Everybody had their own type of way of inputting the phonk in their music. It was like everybody tried to just feed off Purrp, but still be themselves. Everybody did their own little thing, dog. I don’t even know how to explain the shit.
You knew phonk when you heard that shit. It goes way back to the fucking 70s with the fros.
Amber London: I don’t think I ever distinguished what underground was until I heard Purrp. I just knew music. Then when he came out it took me to a whole different dimension, like a whole different reality of music where it felt like, OK, this underground and this is mainstream. Once he gave it a name, it was like okay, We’re proud to be a part of this. We don’t want to be mainstream, we don’t want to be on a big label. We want to be independent and we want to be underground. I think that’s like Pimp C’s mentality. An underground legend. That’s the only thing I want to be in music. I never wanted to be like Nicki Minaj. I was just rapping because that’s what I like to do. When [Purrp] put it in that way, like underground and stuff, it made me feel like I can just claim my own lane and I didn’t have to try to burst on the scene or do what everybody else was doing. I could actually do my own thing and have my own people who support it. The benefit of the underground to me, is that all the money goes straight to you and you’re not compromising who you are or your character. It’s like, what do you value more? Respect or fame?
Denzel Curry: Purrp taught me to channel my dark side. Metro Zu taught me to channel universes. When it came down philosophical stuff, Purrp taught me to utilize my pain as much as possible. He sent me a beat and was like, Release your pain. Release all that shit. I started releasing it.
Dough Dough da Don: When we were kids, Curry’s cousin got killed. He got killed at a party. Gun violence. So the kid had something to talk about. We knew he had something to talk about. He got a lot of pain he need to release and he probably ain’t know how to release it. We just put him with the music, put him in the studio and now you got Denzel Curry. That’s real, man. And he knew Lofty from Metro Zu, who was the first person to put a microphone in my hand to actually get on stage and rap. We were just dropping music before that. So I got much love for Lofty.
It’s like, what do you value more? Respect or fame?
Denzel Curry: Metro Zu was sort of part of Klan at one point. Me and Lofty already knew each other because he was really tight with my cousin. When I started snapping and I dropped King Remembered, they were like, Oh shit, he evolved! This nigga’s raw. Because they were watching my shit for a minute. Then Freebase sent me the beat for “Run Run Lil Jitt.” All of Metro Zu heard the song because he put it on his [MySpace] page, and Ruben Slikk reached out and was like, Yo let’s do a track, and we did “Demons On My Mind.” I went to his house, which was the Zu Mansion, and that was my first time seeing cocaine. I was like, This shit is real. And then he was like, Look, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m gonna bring all of CSPG. I need you to bring Spaceghost and all your homies. We’ll meet here, and we’re going to start this shit. And I was like, Let’s do it! Before Slikk lost his mind, we did that shit. Ruben Slikk and Purrp both lost their minds. But Ruben Slikk and Purrp are both innovators. When Purrp and Metro Zu met, they made “Mink Rug” that day.
Rell: We all had this big ass fucking session. Curry put it together. I had a smoother vibe, more of a Devin the Dude feel. But I could adjust with the crew. And I would go ahead and try some other things just to expand our group as a whole with different types of shit. What we did was … Damn, what’d we do that night? That was the night we did the “Ultra” song. That shit was crazy, how we did it. Curry found the beat, and came up with the idea. My cousin Yung Kane popped up first, then Nell got on it. You feel me? Slikk had just got out. Everybody was getting the feel back to being around each other like that. It felt like that shit was old times, but it was a new type of sound because everybody elevated in some type of way. It was a good time.
Nell: We were endlessly bringing styles together. Basically that’s how we looked at it. We looked at it, we could be like the next N.W.A. or Public Enemy or something.
Denzel Curry: Around 2009, 2010 it was bubbling. Around 2011, BLVCKLVND RVDIX 66.6 changed a lot of people’s lives. And I was putting all the skater homies on it. Like, yo, check this shit out! I did my own thing, but I repped Klan hard as fuck. It was a collective of individuals. 2011 is when everyone was finding each other. Everybody had their own twist, their own shit. You had me, Denzel Curry, aka RavenxMiyagi, and then it just transformed. And then you had Ethelwulf, aka the Black Blood Alpha or the Wolf Gang Rudolphe. He had his own style and shit. He started to formulate into another style, and formulated into another style. Other people kept their styles. Simmie kept his style. Key kept his style. Chris Travis evolved into different styles. But you can’t say anybody had the sickest flow, because we all thought each other were sick. We were all pushing each other in Raider Klan.
Robb Banks: BLVCKLVND RVDIX 66.6 is still to this day one of the best projects I’ve ever heard, rapwise, productionwise. But the peak of Raider Klan was 2012. BMW: Black Man’s Wealth. That was the last time you were really going to be hearing Purrp sliding, just sliding, on his own shit. And he put everyone on Raider Klan on that project, so you could hear them slide too. Mysterious Phonk, that was cool, but I liked BLVCKLVND better. It was gritty, it was raw. He rerecorded all the songs in a nice ass studio, yeah we get it. That was the peak of the fame, but sonically it wasn’t as good as the mixtapes. I remember when Raider Klan and Metro Zu was merging they did “Mink Rug,” and that shit was so hard. Probably one of my top ten songs from the Raider Klan days. “Still Sticking.” “Whole Lotta Ice.” “Whole Lotta Ice” is probably one of my top ten songs in life. Nigga got classics. I could never sit and hate on him. I couldn’t do that.
Rell: When everybody came together when we started linking up with all the other members from out of town, when we came together and made it more unified, that was the peak. The shit just became out of control as far as the buzz. It made us stronger as a unit.
Nell: It was when all of us decided that we were one nation. Everybody was supporting each other. Things were just like a family.
Kadafi: The peak of Raider Klan was [October 2012] when Spaceghostpurrp dropped God of Black. People was crazy about it. It was different, it was dark, it was real. It was everything in one about Spaceghostpurrp. I remember [around this time] his mom telling me that he was reading all kinds of crazy stuff. He was all over the place. One time he called me about the pyramids. He was deep into it. He was talking about how they built the pyramids, because I guess the book he was reading said aliens or something like that. He just kept going on and on about it.
Dough Dough da Don: Purrp just wanted to make beats. The next thing you know he got real good at making beats, and he always knew how to rap because we was always freestyling in my auntie’s back room. It peaked when we made God of Black. That’s when everybody wanted to get down. Around that time there was drama going on in the neighborhood in Miami, a lot of bloodshed, so we tried to bring family together. We tried to create a family with the music and it worked for a little while. Everybody was young. Everybody was children. Now everybody’s grown and they can possibly can see the vision. With God of Black, I never knew Markese’s mind went that far. He got a unique brain. He thinks differently. He showed me something I’d never seen.
Amber London: Being from the struggle but actually having that leadership, that Malcolm X passion for being black, and that passion for being misguided or misunderstood or just not fitting in…we all related to that. I think that misfit type of thing is what we all had in common and I can still see it today.
Kreayshawn: Once he put on Amber London, I was like, This is about to be hella tight. One big part of southern rap, or Memphis rap, or dark rap was that there was always females on the music. There’s always a girl verse, or a hook by a girl. That was one thing that really solidified that to me.
Key Nyata: As far as the peak, for me, I would say when we did that shit at Coachella and then that tour. That was pretty much the peak, man. That shit was special as hell. It was dope. It definitely changed my life for the better.
Kadafi: That tour was supposed to be just for Purrp. But he always wanted the crew to get on. So I had to divide the money between everyone, pay for everyone’s hotel rooms, food, everything. That’s how Purrp wanted it.
Amber London: I think the peak was probably around 2012-13 when we were going on tour. That was the first time most of us were together. It was cool just seeing different parts of the country because a lot of us had never even left where we were from.
Robb Banks: [SGP] had good intentions but went about things the wrong way. He sacrificed a lot of things. When he went to Coachella, he told me he wasn’t doing it unless it said Raider Klan not just Spaceghostpurrp. And he made sure they all got set time. And the BMW tour after, he lost so much money, lost I think 50 thousand dollars by bringing Raider Klan.
Spaceghostpurrp: You remember the guy in Rocky’s “What’s Up” video with the Versace glasses? That’s Dominic Lord. He was the nigga that designed the A$AP letterman jackets and shit. He put Rocky and Yams on to my music. He was the main nigga that introduced [Rocky] to the whole hieroglyphics and all that shit. I was just on some, Nigga you my homie, lets get this money. I didn’t know about business and contracts and papers. So I told [Rocky], Bruh, yeah, you Klan nigga. He was already A$AP but I said, you can be Raider Klan too.
Dough Dough da Don: We was in New York, me and Markese and Kadafi, and I seen over 40 kids at the show with Raider Klan jackets on. When I seen that I knew it was nationwide. Then we went to California and it was the same type of vibe. It wasn’t just no Florida thing. It wasn’t just no Miami thing.
Denzel Curry: No diss, but Purrp gave [A$AP] their style. The all black, the hieroglyphics, the architecture. Rocky and Purrp had similar sounds together. That’s why it worked.
Rell: A big deal was how we presented ourselves, what we wore. We used to always try to wear all black and shit to represent the crew and always, the we had the hieroglyphics to pretty much separate ourselves from everybody. Everybody in the group had their own thing or represented something. Amber represented for the G females down in the south. You’ve got Key. He’s for all the young heads, all the Gs. We always tried to make everything Klan-ed out and properly done.
Eddy Baker: We brought that old school back. We made it fun to be grungy again, to be dark. We didn’t have jewelry and shit. We just kind of made it cool to be fucking dirty, fucking punk, fucking … All fucking dark kids, you know? It was definitely for the people. Chopped and screwed music and making wavy beats, all that shit. That all started with Raider Klan.
Denzel Curry: Gucci Mane got his shine. Odd Future got their shine, for doing what they had to do. Lil B got his shine for doing what he did. This is Raider Klan’s time to get their shine. Because all the shit that we influenced is big as fuck now. And now it’s coming back because the fans don’t know.
Robb Banks: Being first sucks, to be honest. Bragging rights don’t mean shit. I see a lot of influence. Flows and things that reminds me of so and so. Black nails. Purrp did a lot of shit first. Nobody can discredit that. He was the first person to have a meltdown on Twitter, too. Ever. He had a meltdown first, he blew up first, he was the first nigga from Florida with the blue check, to get verified on Twitter. That was crazy!
Being first sucks, to be honest. Bragging rights don’t mean shit.
Spaceghostpurrp: I seen a lot of niggas take my vision, period. On the good hand, people do pay homage, like young niggas in high school and middle school pay homage and I wanna keep them … how can I say? I wanna keep them in tune with that culture. I wanna make sure they good and make sure they be on point.
Kreayshawn: The influence is everywhere. The way music was coming out, when you had Lil B, and Odd Future, and Spaceghostpurrp, and me, was like, We make music–yeah fuck it, we’re putting out music. We make music, we put it on SoundCloud, that’s us. I think that definitely inspired a lot of people. Not only do females tell me, but males tell me I inspired them to make music even though I was just rapping about guns and cats. It was the format that inspired them. Yeah, my music doesn’t have to be made in a $10,000 studio for it to slap and for people to like it.
Denzel Curry: [Awful Records] are descendants. There’s a lot of people who are descendants of Klan. Even the VLONE shit. That’s Raider hieroglyphics.
Spaceghostpurrp: It should be pronounced “Alone.” Me and Dominic Lord created that, if you wanna be honest. I will get my copyright ownership on. It was my concept and Dominic Lord and them got it tatted but that is my shit. So, yeah. But I don’t wanna speak on that. The fans already know.
Denzel Curry: Awful [Records] looked up to Purrp and looked up to Klan members. Even Playboi Carti had a tweet about “fuck A$AP.” He was on both [Raider Klan, and now A$AP]. He was a descendant.
Spaceghostpurrp: Father [from Awful Records] told me [he was a fan], like a real nigga. Just about the whole Awful Records told me. [As for] Carti … Carti was saying, “Fuck ASAP” in his tweets. “Fuck ASAP, I’m Raider Klan.” Bitch you was never Raider Klan.
Denzel Curry: XXX: a descendant. Ski Mask the Slump God: descendent. Smokepurpp: descendant. All those guys are descendants of what we did. We’re the OGs to them. G shit. As much as some of them don’t want to admit it. Ski said it in an interview, they were like, “Where did all this shit start from?” And he was like, There was this group in Miami called Raider Klan. And that’s how all this shit started. Straight up. Lil Peep is influenced by Ruben Slikk. Lil Tracy. Most of the guys that you hear about in this new underground were influenced by us. Suicideboys was influenced by us. They understood the blueprint of Raider Klan and followed it. And a lot of people who were in Raider Klan have found the new underground. Like Pouya found Suicideboys and Lil Peep and them. I found X and Ski. Jgrxxn found Craig Xen. He was in Schemaposse and then he got kicked out, and now he’s in Members Only with X and Ski.
Spaceghostpurrp: It’s an honor to see like, X [XXXtentacion] … he been fucking wit Denzel and Raider Klan for a minute. He was like a fighter in training you know what I’m saying? Look at him now, he a hardcore young nigga doing what he do.
Denzel Curry: Everybody looked up to Purrp for his individualism. Purrp making BLVCKLVND, me making Nostalgia 64, Metro Zu making Mink Rug, and Heaven, and the first Kush Packs, those were all influential shits. Ruben Slikk for his crazy, I don’t give a fuck lyrics. And his hair. You can see that in Famous Dex and Uzi. Lil Pump, too, but Lil Pump is more influenced by Lil B the Basedgod. Raider Klan was the southern version of Odd Future, really. Because Odd Future was first. We always gotta give them a shout out. Because they were the first to really accept us. Odd Future were playing “Suck a Nigga Dick 2012” at their shows, and then eventually it got to my song “Threatz.” And they were coming to the shows that Xavier Wulf and I was doing. Trash Talk too. And they went on tour with Purrp. The new people in the underground are getting big as shit, and it’s because we had to break the mold – the people in the other underground had to break the mold. Like what I’m doing, I got on NBA 2K18 and this Nike stuff. Xavier Wulf got on that show Atlanta. Bones is on one of A$AP Rocky’s albums. Suicideboys is doing shit for Juicy J now. And Purrp was one of the first people to work with Juicy J, him and Rocky. Purrp and Rocky go hand in hand because they co-created shit. It was literally BLVCKLVND RVDIX, Live Love A$AP, Nostalgia 64, and so on and so on. Which was influential to the game. Even when me and Purrp fell out, I still was like, BLVCKLVND RVDIX changed my life. I probably wouldn’t be doing this shit if it weren’t for that.
Eddy Baker: I’m friends with a lot of Gothboiclique. A lot of them have told me they’ve listened to the music for a second. Definitely I think we influenced a lot of people in L.A. When we did Lords of the Underground Tour, it was about 14 of us living at Bones’ house. That was after me and Chris Travis left Raider Klan, and we still had some of our Raider Klan homies, Dirty Red and Grand Milly on tour with us. We still had our Raider Klan homies with us. It was like we were kind of the first SoundCloud crew, if you want to say that, before SoundCloud. Just a bunch of rappers all from different places. Before SoundCloud, Raider Klan was strictly YouTube. We’d drop shit on YouTube with a MediaFire link in the description.
We’d drop shit on YouTube with a MediaFire link in the description.
Key Nyata: It’s been five years since Raider Klan but feels like ten. Five years ain’t supposed to feel like ten years. It feels like that because of the internet, and all the things that have gone on since then. All that history, I ain’t going to say it got buried, but it’s just so far back in the archives that people are just like, What? What is that? Like there’s so many kids today that listen to underground music. Even new fans of mine that have no idea, or just have the smallest idea of what Raider Klan is or was. They know Spaceghostpurrp because Playboi Carti dissed him, and Yachty dissed him. They don’t know Spaceghostpurrp because he started the underground.
Kadafi: I think it was XXL who said Kanye West and Beyonce were both influenced by the way we did videos. A$AP used our hieroglyphics and our style, the all-black, the gold teeth. If you’re a new fan and you don’t know nothing about us, and you’ve seen a couple of guys shooting their videos like we did it, you’re gonna think they created it.
Denzel Curry: Two thousand twelve was the heyday, when the beef happened, when all of us met for the first time, and when all of the mixtapes were coming out back to back to back. So it was like, He’s Raider Klan, he’s Raider Klan, he’s Raider Klan, he’s Raider Klan, he’s Raider Klan. And Ugly Mane was doing the covers at the time. I met Ronny J around that time.
Rell: So that shit that happened at Fillmore, and we were there. But as far as all that shit online and going back and forth and all the time, that wasn’t me. When it was time to go, all right, we out there. You know what I’m saying? My brother, after all that shit at Fillmore, he got locked up with Bari, with A$AP Bari. Bari was shedding a lot of light on a lot of shit we didn’t know. Personal shit between Purrp and Rocky. But I ain’t going to never say, No, I’m not going to go and riot for my cousins, for my homies. You know what I’m saying? That’s what I did. I played my part.
Yung Simmie: Me, I don’t get into things. It wasn’t my business. I don’t know what it was about. I know there was a beef, but I was like what the fuck are people tripping on. Purrp knew them. It wasn’t Yung Simmie beefing with ASAP Rocky. It was Spaceghostpurrp who was Raider Klan beefing with ASAP Rocky. And fans say it’s Raider Klan beefing with Rocky. And everybody in Raider Klan get’s associated with it.
Dough Dough da Don: Ain’t nobody had to go to the hospital, so it wasn’t really no beef. They just had a misunderstanding. At the end of the day it’s just music. Wasn’t no awkward position for me. Purrp’s my brother. I don’t know A$SAP Rocky from a can of paint.
Denzel Curry: [The beef] was a real thing. There were even times when shit got so out of hand, that I dissed A$AP at one point. Then I met Mark [Mutalah, my manager] and he taught me to question a lot of things about that beef. What I started to notice was egos in the clique were boiling over. People were looking at me as a traitor, because I didn’t want to sign a Raider Klan contract. And then I stopped dissing A$AP altogether.
I don’t know what I used to fight for. A$AP members, any time we’d see each other it’d be smoke. Random A$AP niggas, noname type people. But I look back and can’t remember what we were fighting for.
Robb Banks: I don’t know what I used to fight for. A$AP members, any time we’d see each other it’d be smoke. Random A$AP niggas, noname type people. But I look back and can’t remember what we were fighting for. It was just, Purrp said go and we’d go. I was 17. That’s why I resented him when I got older. You took advantage of kids. But like I said everybody was young, he was young, and it is what it is. [As far as the origin of the beef], that’s one urban legend that’s never going to get solved. Purrp will never fully tell you. Especially if he knows he’s being recorded. One thing he’s really good at is a master of deception, a master con artist like myself. That’s one thing that’s never gonna get solved. Then again it really ain’t my business. But from a fan standpoint, we’re never gonna know what really happened.
Kreayshawn: Purpp has always been very outspoken. He overreacts to things. Once he started coming after big people, a lot of people were scared to associate with him. Once the A$AP beef came out, I think people felt they had to choose sides. And they’re like, I’m going to choose A$AP because they have more clout. They’re more popping. And people fell back on Purrp. But at the end of the day, who’s right and who’s wrong? Who knows. People know how Purpp is. The point he was trying to get across [that he was being copied] wasn’t wrong. But the way it played out was too much. That’s why people were like, I fuck with Purpp but don’t want to be associated with his views. It was a big moment for everybody. Like, We’re about to be on. And they were almost there. They could go past A$AP, they could go past all this…but it’s politics. Definitely rap politics.
Key Nyata: [The beef affected me] for sure. Me and Yams were actually pretty close early on, before all of that started. And even once it had started, I remember him hitting me up and kind of trying to tell me, Don’t get involved in all this shit. But I was a young hothead 15 year-old. I was already involved, you know? I was already cussing niggas out, and saying a whole bunch of shit. Yams used to call me in class, fifth period, right after lunch. He was hella cool, man. Rest in peace. But when they started beefing, it just got a little more solid. We was just a little more militant, you know what I’m sayin’? It was just like, you know, fuck the other side type shit.
Kadafi: Ferg is still dissing Raider Klan. I don’t know why. Everything we created, you’re stealing it from us. You’re still using [Raider hieroglyphics]. But you want to diss us? Every artist is a fan of somebody. But you can’t say you created it. Come on man.
Spaceghostpurrp: I don’t understand that shit. I really wanna know what them niggas so hurt about, honestly. But Ima end that little shenanigan that they keep doing. Everybody who is reading this: They are dissing me because they want a reaction out of Spaceghostpurrp. Every time Spaceghostpurrp gives them a reaction, their clout goes up because the attention goes to them. If I was still around Rocky, I would tell these niggas, Bruh. Just focus on your music, stop trying to seek clout and relevance. Just focus, be great. Y’all niggas already talented. Now that shit Ferg [on “Madman”] pulled, that’s some relevance thirst shit, that’s some, Oh Purrp gonna respond and make a big ass rant on Twitter and make my song more relevant. That’s all it was.
Kadafi: My understanding was, Purrp and Rocky never had no beef. It was all [Bari] from what I heard. You gotta think about it: Purrp and Rocky were too close. Purrp’s from Miami and goes to New York and Rocky calls him his brother, keeps saying Purrp’s up next. Think about it. You’re in the crew who been with Rocky in the beginning, and he’s talking about some dude from Miami is up next? You’re gonna feel a certain type of way too, right? See what I’m saying? So you gotta find a way to fuck that up. Purrp didn’t stay in a hotel in New York, he stayed at Rocky’s house with his mom and his sister. When Rocky went to California, Purrp was still at his house looking after his mom. She called Purrp her son. So your crew sees that, somebody’s going to find a way to stop that shit. Rocky never dissed him except at the MTV awards, and then he still called to get the “Pretty Flacko” beat afterward. When everybody thought they were beefing. I’ll always remember Purrp calling me like, “You think I should give him the beat?” I said, “Why not? Y’all really beefing like that?” He said, “Nah, man. Fuck that. This is business.”
Eddy Baker: As long as they don’t touch me, I don’t give a fuck. I met A$AP Rocky at Jimmy Kimmel with Chris Travis. We both met A$AP Rocky, so it’s like everything is cool on our part. I’m not really tripping off A$AP. They do they thing, I’m doing my thing. We both getting money, so I ain’t really worried about it. It’s just one of those beefs where it’s like a lot of motherfuckers got to move on and continue their career. Some motherfuckers are going to live in the past and are still thinking about that shit. I’m in the future, so I ain’t really worried.
Kadafi: A$AP is still trying to find a way to beef with Purrp. It got to the point where every time Purrp put up a tweet, somebody found a way to delete it. They called Twitter or something. After the Bari situation with that young girl, Purrp’s been on Twitter and nobody’s deleting his tweets anymore. Bari fell back, he ain’t messing with Purrp. He’s got his own issues to deal with. We had to reach out to Twitter to find out what was going on. It’s like, some inside shit.
Denzel Curry: The shit [Purrp] said about Yams was fucked up. You feel me? Because that nigga’s dead. And I talked to Yams before he died. Me and Yams were cool. That’s why I defended him. That shit was fucked up. Even though he has a deeper relationship with A$AP than I do, it was fucked up because you’re disrespecting the dead. He’s my dawg, you feel me? I have to look out for my dawg.
Kadafi: Ferg made a song a long time ago, he said “Don’t ask me about Purrp and Rocky / Purrp brought the phonk into our crew” or something [“Perfume”]. I always thought Ferg was so thankful. So “Madman” with Ferg and Carti came out of nowhere to me. Purrp’s like, “Why is Carti dissing me? I never said anything to him. I like his music.” Somebody’s in his ear, telling him to do it.
Purrp’s like, “Why is Carti dissing me? I never said anything to him. I like his music.” Somebody’s in his ear, telling him to do it.
Nell: Big artists used to be trying to get at us and stuff. Kendrick Lamar dissed me–he think I didn’t know–on a song called “Two Presidents” with YG Hootie. He had did it on the same beat that I did in 2012 a year before he dropped that. And the first thing he said, was, “I’m vicious.” And that was the name of my song in 2012. That was the first and last thing he said on there, “I’m vicious.” It was a lot of stuff like that. I got dissed a lot. With A$AP, It ain’t like they were saying your name or nothing, but they’d say Raiders or something like that. Like in Ferg’s “Mad Man.” Stuff like that. Y’all already solidified in the game. Let us be.
Amber London: I believe music should be put before everything and those two guys had a great chemistry. I still hope and pray that they could collab another time or do something together. I feel like them two together had incredible potential.
Spaceghostpurrp: I honestly want them to forget I ever existed. Just walk past me when I see you in street. It’s no beef with them. I don’t hate them. I just don’t want anything to do with them.
Kadafi: After Coachella it started crumbling. It was a lot of people saying things in other people’s ears. I don’t know why. At first everybody was down. And then everybody started going their separate ways.
Yung Simmie: I never really left. It just fell apart, piece by piece. Starting from main dude who we all looked up to. Once that happens, you gotta get on your own shit. The leader of Raider Klan. It was miscommunication. A lot of miscommunication. We all entrepreneurs though. Curry’s an entrepreneur, I am. Being in a group is all good when you’re coming up. But everyone’s destined to do what they’re doing now. Raider Klan’s not that serious to me. We were making a lot of music as a collective, definitely. But once people saw what they could do, that’s what it was. As far as music and career, you had to make decisions about Raider Klan.
Amber London: It didn’t really last long. I think because people were not used to the fame and popularity they were getting. It probably was around 2013 when people were saying they didn’t want to be in it. It was right before my tape Tru 2 tha Phonk, and I was upset. I was like, God y’all making us look bad. I’m still trying to drop a tape. This isn’t good.
Robb Banks: It was Purrp. Purrp disbanded it a million times himself. You can go through the tweets. Deleted his twitter a bunch of times. He’s still to me, musically, a genius. But this shit is not for everybody. This fame, this rap shit, I’ve seen it break people.
Denzel Curry: It all came to an end the first day I took acid. That was the day Chris, Eddy Baker, Ethelwulf, Scott Lexington, J Grxxn, all them left Klan. The same day. My brother Soulja Mook, he called me and was was like, “You didn’t see what happened [on Twitter]?” He explained to me that they all left Klan. And then people were looking at me as a traitor. They all signed a contract and I’m the only one that didn’t. Then Dough Dough and my brother got into it, and he got kicked out. And I chose to leave. I’m the only one who didn’t sign. Key signed, Ethelwulf, Simmie, all of them signed but me. I wasn’t going to sign too early in my career, it wasn’t that time.
Key Nyata: [It fell apart] from niggas’ egos and people feelin’ like they weren’t getting treated fairly. There was people in other people’s ears talkin’ about, “Yeah, man, you deserve this, you deserve that.”
One of the biggest things I learned is that men definitely want to be the man.
Amber London: One of the biggest things I learned is that men definitely want to be the man. I had to learn the ego thing. It wasn’t crazy. But it did play a part. Guys take things a little differently than a woman would. You know what I’m saying? We just have different hormones. When things did get kind of crazy, I had to maybe talk to Purrp and maybe give a different perspective.
Denzel Curry: I seen it as a family. It ran deeper than the internet. Purrp always said it was deeper than rap, and it was. Once the egos got in the way, it shattered. That’s what fucked it up. Me and X [XXXtentacion] had “the Raider Klan conversation.” I don’t want him to go down the same road Purrp went down. That conversation was like, I know he’s doing a lot of crazy shit, and he’s in the news, but that shit can backfire. He ain’t going to listen to me, X don’t listen to me, he thinks he can give me big brother advice. I just let him do what he do now. That’s the homie, cool. But just know, I’m looking out for your best interest.
Spaceghostpurrp: I think all of us was sabotaged by social media and when that happened, that’s when people stopped taking underground serious. You got ignorant ass kids that see two rappers arguing on social media and think, Fuck both of them now. I wasn’t really compassionate back then, as far as I am now, but when Xavier and Chris wanted to leave I was like Cool, bye. When you got a bunch of dumb teenagers blaming you for Wolf wanting to go solo, that shit hurt, you know what I’m saying? It affected me for a couple of years. In the blink of an eye, the whole world is against me. For what? For a fucking miscommunication online?
And now this year come, everybody wanna, “Oh, Purp you paved the way.” Shut the fuck up. Because you was that same motherfucker talking shit. Don’t try to come back, don’t try to come tell me I paved the way because I’ve sat on the phone with Chxpo for six hours and helped him with his rap career as soon as he got outta jail. I heard this man cry on the phone to me, when his nigga snitched him out, and now he doing good in his career. Don’t fucking come tell me I paved the way just because my nigga doing good. You should’ve told me that when my niggas was trying to go solo. That’s why I’m in the cut, chilling.
Kadafi: When Purrp really started falling back from the music, he was trying to show the world that he’s not pussy. And that really fucked up a lot of stuff. He was trying to prove a point to fans and guys that he don’t know. I used to tell him, “This is music, bro.” So many dudes just talk. This internet world, people just say shit. You can’t take that in, because at the end of the day they’re just on their computer typing some shit. You’re trying to prove that you’re gangster or you’ll do this or do that, but all they’re doing is knocking you out of your place. And somebody else wants that place.
Kreayshawn: You can’t be too crazy or you’ll hit this ceiling where people are too scared to fuck with you. Same thing with Azealia Banks. Her views and opinions are unpopular, but her music is insane, unprecedented, good as fuck. Same with these Purrp. You hit a wall because people are scared to be associated with your views. What do you do, not talk? Delete your twitter? Older artists who sold millions of albums, maybe if they had an unpopular opinion back in the day they just shared it with a couple friends. Like, OK, cool. Now you go online and are like “toot toot” and everyone’s “no it’s ‘beep beep’ you dumb bitch! Fuck you!”
Eddy Baker: I can’t speak for everybody else, but for me I had felt like I had stayed silent for so long. I had stayed silent through so much shit. And then it just got to the point where it was like fuck it. I had to think about myself. I’m a real team player. It’s like if anybody know me, they know I’m a team player. I play my position. It was like I had played my position under Purrp for so long, and I had just gotten to the point where it was like, Well I got to do something for myself. I got to make a move for myself. When we were just beefing with the whole A$AP shit, I was feeling that shit heavy. It was just really tarnishing my name. Niggas know I’m a standup guy, but it was like just because I was associated with a certain crew, it was just hurting my whole rep. And the business wasn’t in my favor.
Kadafi: They say Purrp is crazy, right? But when Purrp first came out, they didn’t think he was crazy then. Understand this: you learn every day in life. And when he started learning, people started turning on him. People started stealing his style. While he was helping people. He’s going to snap. That’s any man. Everybody’s looking at him like, There’s Purrp again, he’s tripping. Nah, he’s not tripping. You gotta understand what people are doing to him. They’re shitting on him. He’s looking at it as, I helped you, so why are you going to stab me in the back? I came to your hood and got you out of the house. I didn’t have to do that. How could you be loyal to somebody who never did shit for you?
People that call you crazy, those are the crazy people. I’m not one to call anyone crazy. Artists are fragile beings.
Robb Banks: People that call you crazy, those are the crazy people. I’m not one to call anyone crazy. Artists are fragile beings. You gotta be careful when you’re dealing with them. I know niggas that got Raider Klan tattooed on them. Sean Pizz and Randy Acker got Raider Klan tattooed. Randy Acker used to run Def Jam. And he used to manage Purrp. Niggas was living and dying by Raider Klan. So to see that go away was big. The end of something big. The influence was huge in Florida.
Eddy Baker: At first, when we had started Raider Klan it was just a bunch of kids just making music and repping some shit. We all didn’t give a fuck about the industry. We were all just niggas making music, making dope music. Once the business got involved, a lot of shit changed. That’s why I left personally, but I didn’t want to be a whistleblower or nothing like that. I wanted to do my own thing without having any restraints.
Kadafi: I’m gonna say this: Look at Wu-Tang. Wu-Tang had their beef but around that time there wasn’t on internet so you never knew anything about it. If you look at the old videos backstage, you see it. You see the tension. Raider Klan was a whole different generation. Everyone’s on social media, and if you have a disagreement, the whole world sees it. And everybody picks sides. But while they’re picking sides, these guys aren’t really even beefing like that. It’s easy to get out of hand on Twitter because you have people jumping in. hyou have different crews. This guy saying something, this other guy saying something else, everybody telling their facts. Your friends saying “Did you see what this person said about you? That’s disrespectful.” And now your pride is in the loop. But if Raider Klan existed in the Wu-Tang days, you’d never know.
Kadafi: If all of us were still making music together, it would be huge now. Miami, Memphis, Texas: we’d sell out every venue. You see Denzel’s doing good. You look at Chris Travis. They’re doing great. Everybody’s got a following. Yung Simmie’s got a name for himself. These guys can fill up venues. If everybody came together, we’d be untouchable.
Amber London: I just felt like it could have been a lot more barriers broke, than people could have really seen or imagined. We weren’t flashy or extra weird, doing the most to get attention. We were literally just young, black youth making music and just putting it out. Being smart as far as production and just being innovative. Every generation needs leaders and I feel if things had gone differently, we would have been seen more as leaders. There’s some people nowadays who can’t even name the most popular Raiders. That’s not what I wanted to see. I don’t think everybody in this group has gotten the right, proper recognition.
Key Nyata: Personally, I think if we would’ve just stayed together, talked some shit out, we would have been runnin’ what this shit is right now. As far as the underground scene, it wouldn’t be so sloppy the way it is. That’s how I feel about it.
Eddy Baker: I didn’t want to leave. I thought we were going to be in Raider Klan until we was old men. You feel me? I thought we were gonna be old as niggas in Raider Klan, 50-years-old and shit. It just happened that way. It was just a personal move for me. I felt like it was a personal move for everybody because everybody that moved on went to the next level for the most part.
Kadafi: If he wasn’t with A$AP, Carti would have been with us. Because he was a fan. He wrote it on Twitter plenty of times. He wrote on Twitter also that he don’t fuck with A$AP, it’s Raider Klan…. Yachty used to fuck with Raider Klan heavy, too. He rapped on a Purrp beat. He did music with Black Kray, who was on the Raider Klan skate team. If Raider Klan never stopped, all them dudes would be with Raider Klan.
Rell: Eventually, I don’t see why everybody could get back together and do some stuff, because we already still work together. But, as far as the group, yeah. It’s not the same as it used to be because we still consider ourselves as Raider Klan.
Eddy Baker: I’ve seen a lot of people blow up and shit. I’m only 26. I’m still out there fucking shit up. I ain’t no fucking Drake or nothing like that. But I’m still very heavy in the underground scene. Even after Raider Klan, I still have my hand deep in the underground scene, doing shows, collabing, just whatever I got to do. I’m still very, very, very deep into the scene. You know? People still fuck with me. They still pay homage and shit. I just try to do the same. I try to show love, you know? That’s what Raider Klan was about, not being fucking bougie or nothing like that. It was just about being fucking a real motherfucker. We didn’t make $1 million together. We didn’t make $100,000 together. But we fucking did make a dope movement. And we showed kids that you can build something from the ground up.
Denzel Curry: Raider Klan played its position well as fuck. It was when the egos got in the way. It was just a bunch of bitch ni&&a shit. And I just don’t want my generation to go through that. Like, the next generation. I like the new guys who are coming out. A lot of them need guidance, because a lot of them are misguided. Purrp had [the quality of] guidance. He had some form of guidance.
Spaceghostpurrp: When me, Chxpo, Goth Money Records and Five Finger Posse all came together last year, it just shut everybody the fuck up again. Because we love music. All them, and every nigga that was in Raider Klan, we could have a big ass tape right now and you’d never know. I’m just saying.
Kadafi: There’s definitely been talks [about a reunion]. Purrp still communicates with everybody. It’s family. We had a movement that was so big. There was New York Raider Klan. L.A. Raider Klan. Texas Raider Klan. Miami Raider Klan. It’s like a pyramid. The architecture was there, and it’s still there. We did plenty shows overseas, too. We could all come together, drop an album tomorrow, and that shit would go crazy.
Rell: Right now, I’m thinking rock music. Curry’s going to help us with marketing it properly, because I don’t really know how to move with the rock band. We’re coming out in January. The group is called Dead Riot. We’re going to drop some art soon, and I’m going to drop a snippet. My brother’s about to drop his album. I’m on there. We’re just working. I think we’re supposed to be working on something together soon. I don’t want to say too much, but it’ll be some big shit that we’re working on as far as Raider Klan.
Eddy Baker: One thing about music is it never dies. It might take slower to get heard, but it never dies. I have kids every day still tweet me like, “Raider Klan.” They probably don’t even know that I’m in a whole different movement with a whole different group of niggas and everything.
Spaceghostpurrp: [Raider Klan] taught me to take people serious when they say “I look up to you.” I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but you have to take that shit serious.