The enigmatic and introspective New York emcee is back with another 13-track mixtape titled War in my Pen. Having included renaissance man in my ‘honourable mentions’ list for albums that have defined 2018 for me, MIKE is someone I have recently discovered this year. Through his experimental, lo-fi and jazz inspired beats, MIKE’s detailed account of his life experiences in New York and London both captivating and incredibly soulful.
On his new 13-track mixtape War in my Pen, MIKE flows and raps over 33 minutes of gorgeous gritty production that captures a dark mood of the urban nightlife in a sprawling metropolis. The off-kilter soulful samples on tracks like “Rottweiler” or “AFC” with King Carter, who kills his feature, brings the album to life as MIKE raps about his own troubles with work as well as trying to carve out his own identity on the big city. “Nothin’ To Me” sounds so East Coast in sound in its sampling, as the murky beat allows for MIKE’s incredible flow to be drowned and engulfed by the sound of the beat itself. The features Navy blue, Medhane, Taphari and King Carter bring their own personality to the record. The lo-fi mixing on this tape allows for vocals and beats to intertwine and merge in a way that brings this tape character and an aura MIKE has been able to maintain with his music for years now. It really is an eye-opening album that deserves all the credit and play.
Listen to MIKE’s War in my Pen below via Bandcamp, and make sure you support!