There’s something about Mike G’s rapping style that is completely hypnotic. I can’t really figure it out, but almost everything you hear him on, he commands the flow of the track quickly and bounces along it with incredible ease. It’s quite unique in terms of his sheer synchronicity with any production he’s met with, and whilst that might turn some people off, I find it fun listening.
This is as good an example of his rap style as you could ask for. The production itself is pretty easygoing and slow-moving, plodding along with sharp clicks, chunky bass and mesmerising, eastern-influenced string plucks, and generally isn’t too active or in-your-face. That laidback style can often result in quite dour, boring tracks, but again it’s Mike G’s cool, laidback delivery that elevates the track, synergising effortlessly with the production’s tempo to fill out the soundscape’s gaps. His lyrical work is generally consistent and here is no different, with a mix of braggadocios raps and punchlines throughout, whilst Left Brain’s dulcet tones make for a good slice of tonal variety.
All-round, it’s a pretty enjoyable hip-hop jam with a good chillout sensibility, and is one of those that will quietly rack up a bunch of plays in your library. Mike Check Vol. 2 coming soon.
Seems like it was a long time ago that he was hip-hop’s most buzzed about artist, eh? Trinidad James returns with an OFWGKTA assist on his most recent single (I suspect many of us hadn’t heard the original), and don’t worry- he’s still talking about gold.
That said, this is far less of a gimmicky track that his popular All Gold Everything. The production’s a smooth blend of distorted horns and atmospheric percussion with tons of bass, generally carrying a clunky, jazzy vibe that peaks well during the verses rather than the hook, and ends up making this quite endearing. Trini’s hook is another ‘yell it at the top of your voice in a club, but never listen to it at home’ type, but it’s the verses you’ll stick with this one for; Mike G opens in familiar fashion, delivering his effortless raps in that inimitably rhythmic style, before Trini throws his hat in the ring with an energetic, arrogant performance. Hodgy closes out with a verse somewhere between the two, combining a relatively laidback flow with brash confidence, and finishes off what is a fun bit of light listening to get your head nodding in the car.
There’s something about Mike’s flow that’s incredibly mesmerising. Initially, I figured it was just a lucky streak on his rather good Ali album, but his various releases and features since have demonstrated a capability for simple, rhythmic deliveries every time. His ability to ride along ever so effortlessly with whatever the chosen production is can only be a good sign for his future, and such control certainly makes him one of Odd Future’s most versatile rappers.
Similar to his work on The Jet Age of Tomorrow’s Asia (from the recent album), Mike’s backed by a drifty production that’s heavy on both minimalism and atmosphere. The airy synths combine well with light yet crisp percussion, creating a cool, calming quality to the soundscape that Mike comfortably bounces along throughout, matching its inherent mellowness with his easygoing raps, whilst his comparatively sharp cadence makes for a good contrast to that overall smoothness.
It’s easy listening hip-hop at its finest, and whilst the clip is just an in-studio performance, it’s enough to show that Mike himself is clearly a pretty easygoing performer, with his presence emanating a calm confidence throughout. Worth a listen for sure, and here’s to hoping a full project is in the works.
Details around this release are a little confusing. Some outlets say it’s a demonstration of Mike’s unheralded production capabilities, others say it’s a compilation of his works in recent years, and yet more suggest its all-new material. What’s for sure is that this release comes exactly 3 years after his excellent Ali mixtape, to date one of my favourite projects from the Odd Future clan.
Hard to believe it was that long ago, and whatever the contents of this tape (a quick listen suggests a blend of new work and recent features), it’s good to get some new Mike G. His laidback style is very malleable, and hence he’s a great fit over a good range of productions, displayed throughout his career and thus far on this project too, with some soulful productions sitting alongside those of a more alternative variety, including his likeable feature on Charli XCX’s You’re The One remix with re-recorded vocals. Looking forward to giving this a full listen, and a free grab is available below (stream here, if you’re so inclined)
Wolf lands officially tomorrow, and for those of you who’ve avoided any leaks and such, you can check out the entire 18-track LP here. From a very brief listen to a few of the tracks, there’s a marked maturity in his music, and in keeping with the two previously-released tracks, the dichotomy of Tyler’s chaotic and introspective sides are represented well. The maturity comes in the form of the weighting-it seems as though the album’s highlight tracks (and those said by Tyler to be his favourites) lean more toward the reflective side of his work, and there’s no doubt he’s delivered well on that front in that past.
Features include Pharrell, Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu, Coco O of Quadron, Casey Veggies, Earl Sweatshirt and a handful more of the Odd Future clan. Plenty of promise, and you can preview the LP below before making your purchase decision tomorrow.
On the back of the promising Brag II snippet and Mike’s announcement of weekly #MikeGMondays releases, this came with much expectation. Unfortunately however, it’s rather average.
Syd tha Kyd helms the beat once again, but trades in the laidback style for a stop-start hip-hop beat with a minimal, tough to love style in the verses, and a fantastic contrasting depth for the hook which boasts airy yet lively synths that inject the track with much-needed vibrancy. Mike’s distortion effect on his raps does his monotone style no favours and hence dulls his lyrics, though they’re not at his witty best either, whereas Speak!, who is new to me, does a better job with his contribution thanks to a clear delivery and a couple of smart lines. Mike’s series starts a little disappointingly, but there are certainly hints of promise. Had that hook production been more widely utilised, it would have injected the necessary energy into this one.
Only a 50 second snippet, but it’s nice to have some new, original material from Mike, and it certainly helps that his Odd Future cohort Syd tha Kyd has helmed the production.
Her work as part of The Internet heavily influences the beat, with soft vocal sample, light keys, smooth percussion and airy synths combining for a wonderfully laidback beat that you’ll want to play over and over again. Mike’s no slouch with his raps, and arguably quite overlooked as far as the OFWGKTA clan goes given that he generally delivers clever raps in solid flows, albeit with a little too much monotony at times. Here he improves that latter aspect as he almost seems to harmonise rather than rap at times a move which allows him to blend his vocals much better with the mellow production. Full of promise and I’m looking forward to a release soon.
Not hugely (remotely) familiar with the original, but as a big fan of Mike G’s raps and The Internet’s general existence, there’s plenty of attraction to the track, and it actually stands up fairly well.
The video is trippy, deliberately rough-looking and mostly random; everything you’d expect from heavy Odd Future involvement. There’s little more to say: it’s frighteningly hypnotising (those creeping skeletons are weirdly mesmerising), works strangely well with the audio, is completely bizarre and yet I just can’t stop watching it.
Matt Martians (who I’m assuming helmed most of the production work as part of The Internet) does a great job with the beat, keeping it funky and bouncy throughout but throwing in those spacey, atmospheric, Jet Age of Tomorrow-esque synths where he can, making for a good overall beat that’s prevented from becoming annoying by simply being quite short. The highlight for me is undoubtedly Mike G’s verse, with his relaxed yet ever-slick flow being a great contrast to the psychedelic production, whilst his lyricism works within the confines of the track well without stunting his naturally clever style. The YouTube description suggests this is out on 19th August, so keep an eye out for it to hit iTunes then.
Having listened to Mike G’s enjoyable Ali recently, there’s no doubting that of all the Odd Future rappers, he’s the least Odd Future: by that, I mean he’s a more standard west coast style rapper, with a laidback flow and regular (in rap terms) content that makes him stand out by virtue of simply being rather normal.
Hodgy Beats steps up to the boards with a mellow yet slightly disquieting production, blending thin production with wistful synths to provide a solid backdrop. Mike comes through with decent, if unspectacular raps, though it’s his comfortability and connection with the production that stands out here, with his lazy flows in particular floating effortlessly on the beat.