Originally written for The Northern Light.
When you think of rappers and hip-hop artists, prominent names like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Tyler, the Creator, come to mind. These well-known artists had to start somewhere in their hometowns. In Anchorage, Space League is a group of artists that are making their names known through the help of the local hip-hop scene and Twitter.
Robert Desmond Gross, Saalik Goode and Maliq Green formed Space League.
Goode, also known as Leak Leisure, was fortunate to have parents that were artists themselves. His father was a well-known hip-hop artist in Anchorage back in the day, and his mother was a poet. When he was younger, Goode would rummage through his aunt’s CD collection, curious to explore various artists.
“She had CD’s like BTK, Omarion and Outkast. Just sitting down and listening to them I thought to myself that it would be dope to pursue music,” Goode said. “I told Maliq about it when we were young, and we both decided that we should try to make this song together.”
In elementary school, Goode and Green had a knack for creating songs.
“We had a little piano and we made beats to perform in front of our family. We weren’t really writing serious songs. It was just little kid songs with little melodies,” Green said.
In their teenage years, they had a few friends that rapped and helped feed their passion for creating music. During their early years in middle school, Green met Gross coincidently during lunch time.
“I met Desmond at Romig Middle School when I was 13 years old. He asked to cut me in line because it was pizza day. From there, we became friends,” Green said.
Gross, also known as LoveSongDesmond, was introduced to Goode afterwards. Realizing they all rapped and wanted to create content, they formed a group.
“We call it Space League because a league is already a group like justice league superheroes. We’re Space League because it’s limitless,” Gross said.
Their group started off as strictly rap, sampling beats that gave them each their verses. Space League’s first song was called “Black Sky.”
“We have way better music than that because that was so long ago. I’m not saying it’s not good, but it’s not as good as it can be,” Green said.
As time progressed and a new style of hip-hop and rap hit the charts, they tried their hands on various sounds with new and old influential artists like Childish Gambino, Method Man and J. Cole. Experimenting with multiple styles, they created their own individual music within Space League while continuing to support each other’s sound.
“Nowadays, I’m very versatile. I try to move from different genres. I wouldn’t really say my sound is pretty much set. I don’t sing, but in my songs, I have this Travis Scott type of thing going on,” Goode said. “With Maliq, he’s strictly rapping. When he casts the punchline, he goes hard from that. Desmond is the most creative because he reminds me of Tyler, the Creator. He tries to sing sometimes. He’s not a singer, but his sound is very unique.”
For Space League, an obstacle that continues to persist is getting their music out into the world.
“I think that’s a major setback for us. I wouldn’t really say it’s an excuse, but we would get overlooked since we’re in Alaska,” Goode said.
Local businesses and artists like Frozen Founders and Kvsper have supported groups like Space League by taking it to social media to spread the word.
Goode had recently released a single produced by BlackMayo called “YahYah” that earned 44,600 listens on Soundcloud that gave way for performances around Anchorage.
Each artist in Space League has worked to create and produce their own sounds while continuing to reach for the same goal.
Their plan for the future is to create a brand-new Space League logo, producing new content and releasing their music as far as they can reach.
Space League music can be streamed on their official Soundcloud.