MIKE - Weight of the World
Jun 21, 2020
Spellbinding, cerebral beauty where you least expect it.

Perhaps unlike any other hip hop record so far this year in its timely, plentiful presentation, choppy flow, and dopey aesthetic enriched almost to perfection. Delivered alongside strikingly moving lo-fi and psychedelic instrumentals, MIKE's 'Weight of the World' is an enchanting sketch-book of music that's as exciting as it is moving in its hypnotic setting.

MIKE's latest creative endeavour may be described as a thought worth a thousand pictures. Those familiar with the sLUms movement, MIKE's very own unique aesthetic as a rapper and his musical trajectory over the years will find familiarity in the rather 'visual', almost improvisational arrangements encountered on 'Weight of the World'. It's a style and expression engraved in many of MIKE's albums since 2017's 'May God Bless Your Hustle', and one he masterfully projects in 2019's confessional, tormentive tragedy, 'Tears of Joy'. MIKE's albums always proved lethargic and apathetic in tone, and while gentleness, optimism and colour is to be found in greater display here, those blemishes still remain. Granted, in our current times of police brutality, protests and quarantine, one has to wonder is there really much goodness to be found? 'Weight of the World' briefly touches upon such struggles in the form of introspective thoughts, though seeming more like fading events as the album divulges into a moment of near-meditation and starting anew, reassuring of the times we are living in.

'Weight of the World' is a reflective piece that arrives in a timely fashion, exactly one year after 'Tears of Joy', released first on SoundCloud as one track (at the time of me writing this, it's only up on there and Bandcamp). It's brief in its runtime, its songs mostly 1-2 minute abstractions, but truly rich and satisfying in its layered beats and sampling. Although not fixated on structure in its sketch-like delivery, one can tell MIKE remains attentive to detail in even the most negligible-to-the-ear, later moments. This makes the journey through this dense jungle of divergent lo-fi, cloudy hip hop beats enticing as you appreciate the album for all its finer imperfections in one complete, cathartic sitting. With MIKE gliding through the cavernous beats with his rapping rather than laying on top of it, many satisfying details will catch your ear.

sLUms enthusiasts, other hip hop fans and many newcomers will find intrigue in MIKE's inventiveness, providing a new aesthetic to a genre that on the surface-level, seems already well-established. Immediately gratifying, consistently soothing, I'm in awe. This is what more hip hop records this year should strive to be.

FAV TRACKS: love supremacy, alert*, 222, More Gifts, what's home 1/2, delicate, plans, get rich quick scheme, trail of tears, allstar (feat. Earl Sweatshirt)

LEAST FAV TRACKS: never thought (tribute), da streets (feat. Jadasea)
Inglume's Tags
1 Comment
Jun 23, 2020
This is a great review!
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