Those who have either followed me on social media or have kept updated with the website know how much I’ve been singing this man’s praises. New-York’s young hip-hop visionary MIKE has released some of the most eclectic, introspective and interesting albums over the last few years. From his exquisite 2017 classic May God Bless Your Hustle to one of my favourite albums of 2019 Tears of Joy, he has consistently exceeded expectations with his albums. Exactly a year after the release of his incredible Tears of Joy, he is back with another phenomenal album titled Weight Of The World. Producing the majority of the album as dj blackpower, he is able to craft a subdued, intricate and soulful soundscape, with soul loops and samples that captivate me like no other type of production this year. And I have to mention the amazing KeiyaA, who produced 3 amazing tracks on the album, rbchmbrs who produced one of my favourite beats on the album as well as RedLee and darryl johnson for their contributions. Everyone did their thing on this album, with MIKE’s incredible vision being at the forefront of it all.
“love supremacy” kicks the album off with a whirling, pulsating beat that gives MIKE the perfect canvas to speak his truth. He kicks off by saying “Through the bubble wrap, it’s bustin’ out the bubble jacket / Don’t fall in love with pack ’cause comin’ back become a habit.” His flow throughout this track is immense, and his intricate lyricism and wordplay makes for a mesmerising listen. The album hen shifts gears on “alert*”, a woozy, jazzy and off-kilter beat with a heartfelt, more sombre verse. He states “I leave the Earth confused / Even my papa know it’s doom that I need to work through / Don’t think my conscious got the room.” MIKE has discussed his depression throughout his entire discography, and his thoughts throughout this album are still as vivid and heartfelt as on previous projects. “Coat of Many Colors” is one of my favourite tracks on the album for its angelic production and his introspection. The mixing on Weight Of The World is pretty rough – his muffled vocals are sometimes subdued within the dense, soulful instrumentals. On “More Gifts” he proclaims “More gifts than there’s curses and shit / I’m fineprint, you n****s really cursive as shit,” and it reflects his aura as an artist. By describing himself as fineprint and others as “cursive as shit,” he is finding peace with the ability to say less with more impact, keeping all the loud, unnecessary shit to an absolute minimum. “What’s Home 1/2” is a phenomenal track produced by rbchmbrs, with an incredible Brazilian sample in the second portion of the track that captures this mesmeric soulful tone that I just find infectious. “What is home if it isn’t your heart? / All alone but it took me the farthest” is a deep moment of self-reflection, seeming to finally find peace within his own heart. “Delicate” is beautiful, but one of my favourite tracks on the album is “No, No.” That angelic, soulful beat hits so hard as he flows effortlessly. “And took my lady to a casket out the pearly gates” was the most poignant lyric on this track, in reference to his mother, who sadly passed away last year.
“Get Rich Quick Scheme” has one of the most experimental and loud beats on the entire album courtesy of KeiyaA, who has has a phenomenal year so far. MIKE’s verse on this track is among one of my favourites on the entire project, as he states “Said I’m more than just this image you were tryna sell / Try to water down the mission for the clientele.” Whether this is in reference to some conversations he’s had with record labels or just a reference to how they tend to water down art for consumerism is something I don’t know for sure. He then goes on to say “And never idolized a n***a with a office shirt,” which is most likely in reference to pig police officers. The KeiyaA-produced “trail of tears” is phenomenal as well, with another off-kilter beat and a short, concise verse from MIKE. “weight of the word*” is incredible too, featuring the lead single “Nothin’ 2 Say (Never Forget).” That beat tho? Absolutely crazy. I love the hard-hitting beat on “Iz u Stupid” co-produced by RedLee and featuring lyrics like “Iz U Stupid or lack in the brain,” which oddly reminded me of the classic animated Pinky and the Brain show. Jadasea does his thing on “Da Screets,” but Earl Sweatshirt stole the damn show on “Allstar,” with an exceptionally intricate and dense verse featuring lines like “Huh, I shot the sheriff, don’t expect to get no calls from him / Tell the deputy, “Next,” remember Jigga got Chrisette” and “I’m finished tryna ruin what I start / I’m through it, trynna barter for remorse, sabotagin’ / Steppin’ with a chip on my shoulder, don’t chomp it / Water spillin’ out the Flint faucet, toxic.” He absolutely goes off, and I think it’s fitting to have MIKE end his project off with one of his biggest inspirations and mentors.
There’s still so much to digest on this incredible album, and trust me it will be on repeat for the rest of the year, being a clear contender for album of the year. There’s something about his music that mystifies me. The muffled and almost suffocating mix of vocals and soulful yet futuristic production. It’s like I’m drowning in the music, being a part of it like no other artist. It’s truly something special and something I find a hard time processing sometimes. On Weight Of The World, MIKE finds more clarity and reassurance that he’s on the right path for himself. Taking the weight of the world with him, he navigates through a spacious, soulful and dense soundscape. A true inspiration. Please buy this on Bandcamp if you can!