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Noise: Mullyman combines Prince loops and Ravens pride on “Purple Reign”

January 24, 2013

Every year, rappers with an NFL franchise in their city get pumped up about making anthems for the home team, especially since Pittsburgh’s Wiz Khalifa topped the charts with “Black And Yellow” just as the Steelers were headed to the Super Bowl last year. Baltimore rappers are no exception, and there have been a flurry of Ravens songs coming out of the local hip-hop scene every winter, particularly from Mullyman. Two years ago “Black And Purple,” Mully and Wale’s remix of the Wiz hit, from his WiRemix 5 mixtape, became the Baltimore MC’s only charting single to date when it grazed Billboard’s Hip-Hop/R&B Songs at #98. And now, with the Ravens headed to the Super Bowl, Mully’s got the perfect song for the occasion, “Purple Reign.”

The DJ Booman-produced track makes a connection that’s on-the-nose but nonetheless works: Prince singing the title of his megahit “Purple Rain” in a stuttering loop over relentless snare drums, in a style that recalls Lil Wayne’s “A Milli,” while Mullyman spins purple prose about the Ravens. Even if the team wins the Super Bowl, the song will never go mainstream, mainly because Prince Rogers Nelson doesn’t clear samples, but “Purple Reign” definitely deserves to break out from the pack of Ravens rap tunes that get more plentiful every time the team makes the playoffs.